Water retention(edema) is the condition of accumulated fluid in the tissues and the circulatory system or cavities. This condition is common before the pregnancy or during it and leads to swelling in the hands, ankles, feet and legs.
This condition is common in people with sedentary lifestyles, bedridden, people on long-term medications and inactive people. It usually is a life-threatening condition but sometimes it indicates more serious issues like kidney disease or heart failure. But in most cases, edema can be prevented, swelling reduced and treated.
These are the causes of edema:
*Excessive intake of sodium
If you consume foods that are high in sodium but you don’t consume enough water, your body enters a “reserve” mode and then it starts to retain water. In order to dilute the salty environment the cells may become twenty times enlarged with water.
Salt is not the only source of sodium, but the processed meat, some condiments and canned vegetables, as well.
There is a salt like the Himalayan salt and the Celtic seas salt that doesn’t lead to water retention but it helps you.
*Deficiency of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is balancing the water in the body and if you lack it you may suffer from edema.
A Journal of Caring Sciences’ study found that the intake of this vitamin is very beneficial in women with edema due to premenstrual syndrome. It is reported that this vitamin effectively reduces the symptoms than some other supplements. Vitamin B6 is water-soluble and it needs many cofactors so it can work. So, for best results, take the vitamin in whole food form. Such foods are: bananas, lean beef, turkey, chicken, tuna, unpeeled potatoes, pistachio nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seed, etc.
*Deficiency of potassium
This is very important mineral for the proper function of the cells, tissues and body organs. It is needed in the body to balance the water. Not consuming food rich in potassium but consuming foods high in salt can lead to edema. It can also lead to other health issues like muscle spasms, cramps and weight gain. This mineral can reduce edema effectively by reducing the levels of sodium and increasing the production of urine.
This mineral in found in many fruits and its highest amounts are in rock melon, watermelon and honey melon. Instead of taking any supplements, for best effects, you should consume vegetables and fruits that are rich in potassium.
It comes to dehydration of the body when there in not enough intake of water. When it comes to this, our body reacts by retaining water so it can survive. Consuming water regularly or juices that are rich in potassium can reduce dehydration and edema.
Consume a lot of water until the edema is subsided and you should avoid coffee and soda drinks because they dehydrate the body additionally.
*Deficiency of magnesium
The magnesium deficiency’s most common symptom is the water retention. The magnesium is needed for every function of the body and its low levels hold back many functions of the body and in that way it contributes to edema.
200 milligrams of magnesium on a daily basis can lower the edema in women with premenstrual symptoms, according to one study.
Edema can be significantly reduced with intake of food that is rich in magnesium or magnesium supplements (high-quality). Foods that are rich in magnesium are: dried fruits, yogurt, spinach, peas, whole grains, nuts, avocados, vegetables (dark-green) and dark chocolate.
*Excessive intake of processed foods
Processed food is rich in sugar and sodium and it also involves many artificial food additives that are very toxic to your body and they can damage your kidneys and liver. The food that is rich in sugar (artificial sweeteners) can lead to blood sugar. It can also lead to insulin spikes that are leading to cell’s sodium retention by increasing the kidney’s reabsorption.
That is why you should avoid food that is processed. Detox your body with some juices so you can preserve the liver’s optimal condition and prevent some serious health problems.
Here are some herbs that are very beneficial in the case of edema and they also have strong diuretic properties:
-Horsetail, dandelion, corn silk, nettle, hibiscus, garlic, fennel and parsley.