Fluid retention isn’t considered to be a very serious condition, but it can still be unpleasant. Doctors believe it’s a symptom that can “reveal” a more severe condition or imbalance, which makes it something that we need to pay attention to.
What to know about fluid retention
Fluid retention is characterized by the accumulation of water and other liquids in the body. It occurs when blood vessels allow too much fluid to flow into the surrounding tissues, and it’s difficult to reverse. Fluid retention is more common in women and we need to know the causes to be able to treat it accordingly.
It’s important to understand that the body is constantly balancing your levels and percentages of fluids and hormones. When you drink more water than you need to, the body eliminates the “surplus” through sweat or urine. Problems arise when the body is unable to eliminate the surplus and the balance is lost. This is what’s known as “retention.”
Some of the most common causes of fluid retention are:
- Poor diet
- Hormonal imbalance
- Unbalanced diet
- High salt intake or food with excessive seasoning
- Liver disorders or other problems
- Poor heart or kidney function
- Certain medications or chemicals
- Deficiencies in proteins or other nutrients
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Some stages of the menstrual cycle
The most common symptoms of fluid retention are:
- Weight gain for no apparent reason
- Swollen legs or hands
- Heart palpitations
- General fatigue
- Weakness or tiredness
- Low volume of urine
Foods to avoid if fluid is being retained
- Salt: Salt must be eliminated from the diet, or replaced with sea salt. You can also add flavor to food using seaweed, herbs or cardamom. And also remember that sausages, smoked meats, canned goods, processed foods, dressings, mayonnaise, cheese, frozen foods, instant soups or broths, soy sauce, seasonings, and many more items can contain a lot of “hidden” salt.
- Saturated fat and red meat
- Cow’s milk: This is due to its high fat content. Also avoid skim or lactose-free milk because they’ve been chemically altered, which only makes the body work harder to process them. In addition, milk “sticks” to the walls of the intestines, which prevents them from properly removing waste. Instead, substitute vegetable-based milks like almond milk, rice milk, millet, etc.
Natural remedies for fluid retention
- Dandelion: This is one of the plants with the greatest benefits, allowing the release of excess water from the body. You should boil a handful of dried leaves and roots in a liter and a half of water. Cover and let it cool. Drink a cup before each meal.
- Corn: Boil a few tablespoons of corn silk in water for 20 minutes. Drink the liquid once a day to stimulate the kidneys to remove fluid, when it’s a case of insufficient renal function (you should also consult your doctor).
- Tea: Any type of tea can help counteract the effects of fluid retention. The correct proportion is 1 teaspoon of dried herb leaves per cup of water.
- Mead wort: Mead wort has diuretic properties and relieves edema, or excess fluid in the body. Make a tea using four grams of the dried flowers and leaves of this plant and drink it twice daily.
- Sundew (drosera): Sundew is an excellent diuretic because it contains a lot of flavonoids. Drink a tea made with 1 or 2 grams of sundew per cup, three times a day.
- Cherry: Cherries stimulate the elimination of urine, and are a very good natural remedy for people who are trying to “help” the kidneys work better. They are also used in cases of obesity, edema, and inflammation or low function of the kidneys.
- Chicory: Chicory works by improving the function of the liver. It also stimulates kidney function and is recommended for patients with gout or arthritis. Make a concoction of 30 grams of dried, crushed chicory root in a liter of water and drink up to two cups a day.
Juice recipes for fluid retention
- Grapefruit, apple and fennel juice: For this recipe you’ll need 1 grapefruit, 1 apple and ¼ of a bulb of fennel. Wash and slice the grapefruit, reserving the juice. Peel and chop the apple and the fennel. Place all in a blender and blend for a few minutes. Strain the liquid into a glass and drink in the morning every three days.
- Asparagus and cucumber juice: You need 1 bunch of asparagus and 2 cucumbers. Wash, peel and chop the ingredients. Combine all in a blender, strain the juice and drink one glass a day.
- Parsley and carrot juice: Use 1 bunch of parsley, 2 large carrots and 1 cup of water. Wash, chop and peel the carrots. Place all ingredients in a blender, and strain the juice into a glass once a day.
- Carrot, cucumber, parsley, apple and pineapple juice: To make this juice that relieves fluid retention you need 2 carrots, 1 cucumber, 5 sprigs of parsley, 1 apple and 2 slices of pineapple. Wash and chop all ingredients and place in a blender with a cup of water. Drink one glass a day, always on an empty stomach.