Salt (sodium) performs several important functions in the body. A body like Tesla: runs on electricity. Every moment, billions of tiny outbreaks – impulses – occur in it. To make this possible, we need a medium that conducts current well, and salt is just a conductor. She and potassium are responsible for the balance of electrolytes.
In addition, salt regulates blood pressure. Hypotension – low blood pressure – occurs when the blood is too thick. To prevent this from happening, it should have a lot of water. And salt is just responsible for this, because it binds the liquid. Enough salt – enough water – normal pressure.
Why is fluid retained?
Salt is necessary for the body, but in a strictly defined amount. He knows for sure what concentration is enough, and to equalize the balance he does the same thing that we do when we add salt to the soup – it dilutes it with water. Therefore, after salt, you want to drink it in liters.
But excess fluid does not only arise – there are two possible reasons.
- There is too much salt. To balance, the brain gives an order to search for water, and a feeling of thirst. A person begins to drink, the kidneys can’t cope with the sudden “tsunami”, the fluid is delayed – and here it is, swelling.
- There is too little salt. Sodium enters the body not only from the salt shaker, but also from foods that are naturally found. Since the body needs this substance, it will tend to retain salt obtained, for example, from vegetables. And with it, and water. It turns out, regardless of whether you exclude salt from the diet, it can cause swelling.
What to do to get rid of edema
Eat less salt
The most common edema elimination tip is to reduce your sodium intake. However, the evidence for this is mixed. Several studies have shown that an increase in sodium intake does lead to an increase in fluid retention in the body.
On the other hand, one study on healthy men did not find the same effect, so the results may depend on each person.
Increase your magnesium intake
Magnesium is a very important mineral. In fact, he is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions that support the functioning of the body. In addition, increasing magnesium intake can reduce water retention.
One study found that 200 mg of magnesium per day reduces water retention in women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Other studies involving women with PMS have shown similar results.
Good sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate, and leafy green vegetables.
Increase Vitamin B6 Intake
Vitamin B6 is a group of several related vitamins. They are necessary for the formation of red blood cells and perform many other functions in the body. Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce water retention in women with premenstrual syndrome.
Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bananas, potatoes, walnuts, and meat.
Eat More Potassium Rich Foods
Potassium is a mineral that performs several important functions. For example, it helps to send electrical signals that support the body. It can also benefit heart health.
Experts say potassium helps retain water in two ways, lowering sodium levels and increasing urine output. Bananas, avocados, and tomatoes are some examples of foods that are high in potassium.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a herb that has long been used as a natural diuretic in folk medicine. Natural diuretics can reduce water retention.
In one study, 17 volunteers took three doses of dandelion leaf extract for 24 hours. They monitored fluid intake and fluid over the following days and reported a significant increase in urine output.
Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrate intake leads to spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. High insulin levels cause your body to retain more sodium by increasing sodium reabsorption in the kidneys. This leads to an increase in the volume of fluid inside the body.
Examples of refined carbohydrates include processed sugars and grains (table sugar and white flour).
Other ways to reduce water retention
- Physical activity. Simple walking and light exercise can be effective in reducing fluid accumulation in certain areas, such as the lower limbs. Raising your legs above heart level can also help.
- Horsetail. One study found that horsetail herb has a diuretic effect.
- Parsley. This herb also has a reputation as a diuretic in folk medicine.
- Hibiscus. Roselle, a type of hibiscus, is often used in folk medicine as a diuretic. A recent study has confirmed its effectiveness.
- Garlic. Well known for its effects on colds, garlic has historically been used as a diuretic.
- Fennel. This plant may also have a diuretic effect.
- Nettle. This is another folk remedy used to reduce water retention.
- Cranberry juice. It is claimed that cranberry juice can have a diuretic effect.
It is important to remember that swelling can accompany serious illnesses. And moreover, to help identify them in the early stages, when more characteristic signs of the disease have not yet had time to manifest. If the above methods do not solve the problem, sign up to a therapist.