We’ve all been there … we wake up in the morning after too many salty chips or double gin and tonics and stare in the mirror, only to see a puffy face staring back. Unlike gas, which builds up in the stomach and intestines and causes abdominal bloating, water can swell every part of the body. Most of us don’t know the difference between gas related bloating or water retention; so here’s the breakdown, if you feel inflated like an air mattress, this is very likely gas; and when you feel like a water filled sponge, well, that is fluid retention- they are very different and should be treated differently.
Today we are going to focus on water retention; and although it’s often considered normal; and is, very likely, temporary, water retention can be annoying and uncomfortable while it lasts.
Bloated, and otherwise healthy bodies, can eliminate excess fluids with healthy food solutions.
1. Water In, Water Out
Although it may seem counterintuitive, drinking more water helps relieve bloating. When the body is deprived of water, it releases a hormone that reduces the amount of urine produced. If you are feeling puffy, try upping your water intake.
2. Ditch the Salt Shaker
While some are more sensitive to sodium than others and thus retain more fluid; many people experience temporary fluid retention after consuming large amounts of salt. If this is the case, cut back on salt and increase water consumption. A healthy amount of salt daily is 2,300 milligrams or 1,500 if you are over 40, African American or have high blood pressure.
3. Urine Boosting Foods
Eat a vast array of anti-bloat vegetables, including cucumbers, asparagus, celery, eggplant and fennel, as well as herbs such as coriander, parsley and cardamom; as these all act as diuretics. Foods that have high water content and contain minerals such as potassium and magnesium, along with phytochemicals that promote proper water balance help the body expel excess fluid.
4. Down Your Diuretics
Cranberry juice and several varieties of tea, including black, green, chamomile and alfalfa are safe and well know as effective diuretics.
5. Cut Carbohydrates
Eat fewer high carbohydrate foods like bread, pasta and pastries in favor of more lean proteins and vegetables. Excess carbs are broken down and stored in the body as glycogen, which have high water content and contributes to excess water retention. In stark contrast, protein has lower water content and body fluids are used to break them down; resulting in minimal water retention.
5. Put A Cork In It
Heavy consumption of alcohol leads to water retention; always has, always will.
6. Be Consistent
False logic would suggest that starving yourself in order to compensate for excess water retention would prove beneficial; but this is a big mistake. The body holds on to water in order to stay hydrated. Maintain a consistent eating pattern to help stave off fluid retention.
7. Spice It Up
Traditional Chinese medicine suggests that cooked, warm foods are easier for the body to digest. Cold or raw foods create dampness in the body, resulting in water retention. If you experience chronic bloating, try eliminating cold salad and fruit in favor of warm, easy to digest meals.