Happy Saturday, everyone! :) I think the ladies will love today’s topic, because we’re talking about 6 foods to get rid of water retention! Now… water retention, or edema, happens because of various reasons. And it sure isn’t pleasing when the number on the bathroom scale goes up suddenly!
Common causes of water retention:
- the “time of the month” (ladies!),
- consuming too much sodium,
- not drinking enough water,
- lack of potassium and/or magnesium.
Of course there are various other factors, for example medical conditions, and these should be addressed by seeking professional medical help accordingly.
Sometime towards the beginning of the year, I started to notice that when it’s nearing the “time of the month” I swell up like a beach ball and I had no idea why. The truth is, when the “time of the month” comes around, hormonal imbalance occurs and that leads to noticeable bloating. It makes me feel terrible!
Then comes the excess sodium. When you consume foods that are too salty, you upset the sodium balance in your bloodstream. When that happens, your body tries to dilute the salt by retaining water. The result? You become bloated.
Also, when you don’t drink enough water, your body attempts to hold on to every drop available and there you have it, water retention again. You get puffy, your clothes fit tighter, you feel sluggish!
Along with sodium and other electrolytes, potassium and magnesium are required to main the body’s fluid balance. If you consume too much sodium, you should eat foods rich in potassium and magnesium to help restore the balance.
Believe it or not, the first trick to getting rid of water retention is to drink plenty of water so that your body knows that it does not lack fluids, and can then flush the excess sodium and water retention out of your system. Follow up with these foods and the bloat will be gone in no time!
I LOVE avocados! I know they’re often given a bad rep for being “fatty” and “high in calories”, but they are actually good for you. Yes, there are 21g of fats in each medium-sized avocado, but the majority of these fats are monounsaturated, i.e. the “heart-healthy” fat which helps reduce bad cholesterol levels. Avocados are rich in potassium and Vitamins B-complex, E, and K. The high potassium content means avocados help you de-puff! Besides being a nutrition powerhouse, avocados are also very filling and delicious.
One medium-sized fruit costs you about 240 calories. As usual, eat this in moderation. I love having an avocado for dinner along with some Greek yoghurt and blueberries. If you like, you can check out my recipe for tuna stuffed avocados.
If you ever spot me shopping for groceries, you’ll likely see my shopping basket filled to the brim with my new-found favourite – Greek yoghurt! Fage Total 0% Greek Yoghurt is now my staple. IMO, it is the most delicious yoghurt out there… and that’s why I’ve been sweeping them off the shelves since I discovered them.
Yoghurt is so good for getting rid of water retention because they have good bacteria which help promote intestinal health, thereby aiding digestion, flushing out toxins and excess water. The fact that each 170g pot of this contains only 100 calories puts it at the top of my list. I eat mine with blueberries… über yummy! It’s a great start to the day and an awesome way to end it.
3. Dandelion Tea
Another new-found favourite of mine is dandelion tea. I had been hunting all over for this! I finally found it at Holland & Barrett (yes I’m going there to stock up on this later!). Dandelion tea is a mild diuretic and as such, helps flush out excess water. It is also a rich source of potassium and aids in cleansing the liver and kidneys.
Since we are on this, did you know that your liver is a major fat-burning organ? It is therefore important that you keep your liver in top condition. If you like, I’ll write a post on the things you didn’t know about the relationship between your liver and weight loss.
Back to the tea; besides being a good natural diuretic, dandelion tea is also used for detoxing purposes. I adore its floral flavour and scent. Clipper’s dandelion tea is caffeine-free, which means you can consume this even in the evening! Just be sure to not drink this too close to bedtime – you could be running to the loo in the middle of the night. :) I can see this flying off the shelves. I’d better run out and grab more soon!
4. Green Tea
Before dandelion tea came into the picture, green tea was my go-to tea for getting rid of water retention. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and helps to stimulate the digestive system. It contains caffeine, which contributes to its diuretic properties thereby relieving water retention. You can probably tell by now that I’m not a coffee drinker! I would have suggested black coffee then. :)
Before I started my diet change, I used to feel really tired by mid-morning. To perk myself up, I would drink a cup of green tea. In about an hour, I would feel energised because of the caffeine. Now that I’m in better shape, I don’t have to rely caffeine to energise myself.
I prefer the taste and scent of dandelion tea over green tea, but it’s really up to individual preference.
Baked almonds (unsalted and unsugared) are also an important part of my diet as they are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, fibre and protein. They are also rich in potassium and magnesium. It is interesting to note that women suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome appear to have lower levels of magnesium, which leads to emotional stress and food cravings. To beat that, eat almonds!
Magnesium is important for calcium metabolism and maintaining normal muscle and nerve function. Basically, it keeps your heart beating! You need a good balance of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium in your body to maintain fluid balance.
Of course almonds made my snack list! :) A handful of almonds (around 24) costs 175 calories, so eat in moderation.
Finally, go bananas! Bananas are a quick fix for water retention due to their potassium content. These are convenient to tote around, make a good snack in between meals and give you fibre.
Slice them and add them to your cereal, eat them whole, mash them up… however you like! Don’t over do it though, you’re getting around 105 calories per banana. :)
I hope you enjoyed 6 foods to get rid of water retention! The next time you consume too much salt (hopefully never!), or if the time of the month comes around, you’ll be ready for combat. ;)
Got any water retention remedies yourself? Share!