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Seven of the best water retention remedies

As the weather warms up, Patricia Gallagher shares the best water retention remedies to help you feel comfortable in your favourite summer dresses and strappy sandals without worrying about puffy ankles or a bloated tummy.

Water retention, also known as oedema, occurs when fluid that would usually pass out of your body through sweat or urine, builds up in your body’s tissues. It can cause swelling and puffiness, particularly in your hands, feet, ankles, and legs.

Many women find they are more prone to water retention before their period.

While occasional mild water retention is not usually a cause for concern, you should see a medical professional to make sure it’s not a sign of something else if it’s persistent.

Everyday water retention isn’t harmful, but can be uncomfortable and affect your self-confidence!

Fortunately, there are several natural water retention remedies you can try that can help reduce oedema.

1. Exercise regularly to reduce water retention

Especially in the short term, exercise is one of the best – and quickest – ways to reduce water retention. Of course, when we exercise, we sweat – expelling water from the body. Added to this, during exercise your body directs water into your muscles, rather than into the tissues in your hands and feet or tummy.

If you’d like to find out more, read our article on the best exercise to do to alleviate fluid retention.

2. Stay hydrated to flush out fluid

Staying hydrated is essential for preventing water retention. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out excess sodium and other waste products that can contribute to water retention.

Plus, when the body is dehydrated, it tends to hold onto water to prevent further fluid loss. The NHS Eatwell Guide says we should aim to drink six to eight glasses of water per day.

3. Elevate your arms and legs to alleviate water retention

Lifting your arms and legs so they’re above your heart is also a good way to reduce water retention as it improves circulation and lymphatic flow around your body.

To reduce water retention in your legs, lie down on your back and prop your legs up on a pillow or chair.

If the problem is fluid retention in your hands or fingers, try raising each hand in turn above your head while you open and close your fist to effectively ‘pump’ unwanted fluid away from your extremities.

4. Reduce your salt intake

One of the leading causes of fluid retention is too much salt in your diet as it contains sodium which attracts water and can cause the body to retain extra fluids.

If you want to get rid of water retention naturally, aim to reduce your sodium intake by avoiding salty, processed foods and reducing the amount of salt you add to food.

5. Eat more potassium-rich foods

Potassium is an essential mineral that helps us maintain normal levels of fluid inside our cells. If you’re getting less than the NHS-recommended 3,500mg of potassium a day, this deficiency could be a contributory factor to your water retention.

Eating more potassium-rich foods can help reduce water retention, so stock up on foods such as bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, chicken and fish.

6. Avoid tight clothing

Wearing tight clothing can restrict circulation and lymphatic flow. If you struggle with water retention, ditch the spray-on jeans or tight shoes and opt for loose-fitting clothing and footwear in natural, breathable fabrics that allow your body to move freely to aid circulation.

7. Try herbal medicine for water retention

We’ve been producing HRI Water Balance™ here in the UK for almost 30 years. It’s a fully-licensed herbal medicine in tablet form which combines three powerful active extracts to offer fast relief from bloating and the discomfort of water retention. It’s the only licensed herbal remedy for water retention available on the UK market.

Suitable for vegetarians, it contains extracts of the diuretic herb dandelion root and leaf, plus uva-ursi leaf and buchu leaf, which both have anti-inflammatory properties. Just one tablet twice a day can have dramatic results.

Dr Cristina Conchinha Marcão gave HRI Water Balance a 5-star review on Amazon and told us, “It seems to help with water retention during the menstruation and when I eat salty foods (I’m guilty of loving cassava chips that have too much sodium).”

If you’d like to give our herbal medicine a go, you can order your pack from our shop on Amazon.


Photo by Auskteez Tran on Unsplash

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