Eat to Beat: Water Retention
In our cookbook Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook, we talk about hormone-related water retention that many women experience during pregnancy. But it’s not just during pregnancy that we experience water retention. Water retention can cause puffiness, discomfort, and even elevated blood pressure. Hormones are sometimes the cause (PMS or pregnancy are two examples) and salt intake can also cause our bodies to hold onto extra water. No matter the cause, we’ve got some tips to help alleviate water retention and prevent it from rearing its puffy head.
1. Load up on potassium-rich foods. Getting enough potassium can help decrease your sodium levels and can also help you pee a bit more. Two key factors in getting rid of extra fluid. Potassium is delicious…or it’s found in delicious foods. Potatoes are a key source (they contain more potassium than bananas!) along with sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, winter squash, beans, avocado, mushrooms, yogurt, nuts, citrus, apricots, kiwi, banana, cantaloupe, and plums.
2. Watch your salt intake. An alternative title for this could be “Cook more at home.” Our excesses in the salt department aren’t typically from our salt shakers at home but rather the salt that’s added to processed food and food we eat at restaurants. So, making more of your food at home is a powerful way to reduce your sodium intake. When dining out, ask for sauces/dressings on the side and use just enough to add flavor. You can even the chef to go “light on the salt”.
3. Drink more water. It sounds counter-intuitive that if you’re retaining water, you should drink more of it…but it’s true. Drinking more water, and being adequately hydrated, can help you flush excess sodium and the fluid it’s holding onto. Though, we wouldn’t recommend trying to counter too much sodium with more water on a regular basis — it’s better to get that sodium intake under control.
4. Eat hydrating foods. Foods like fresh fruits and veggies, smoothies, and soups contain water, along with a variety of nutrients (often including potassium). This means you’re giving your body a double whammy when it comes to decreasing retained fluid. And bonus points go to foods that hold onto water, like chia seeds (they can hold up to 10 times their size in water!). If you soak chia seeds in liquid before eating them, they’ll slowly release that liquid for sustained hydration. Http://cjnutrition.com/book