The foods we eat can have a big impact on how our bodies retain water, and when we consume foods that are high in properties that can cause bloating, discomfort and puffiness, we might notice that we feel sluggish, weighed down and perhaps a bit insecure. Thus, it is important to eat foods that reduce water retention and can keep us feeling tight, confident and comfortable.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding foods that keep them feeling nourished and energized. It's important to avoid foods that can make us feel bloated and low in energy, and such examples include salt, high-fat and greasy foods, processed foods, and sugar. I always advise clients to limit the salt shaker and opt for herbs and spices instead, as they naturally enhance flavor without enlarging the gut. Plus, cooking more at home is a great way to avoid excess salts, sugars, oils, butters and additives, as many restaurants include those to boost taste and appetite amongst diners. Eating foods that are high in water content is a great way to banish bloat, as water will help keep us hydrated throughout our bodies. Consume these thirteen foods to beat water retention and feel healthier overall.
While this might seem like a "diet" food, it shouldn't receive that negative connotation. When paired with a protein, such as all-natural, unprocessed and unsalted nut butter, or tossed in a salad or green smoothie, it makes for a great retention fighter due to its high water content. "Some foods, like cucumbers and celery, can even help naturally push out excess water while still providing nutrients for the body," adds Reebok expert Tyson Chartier, with SITYODTONG over email with Bustle.
High in electrolytes and water, watermelon helps balance out the body and flush out excess water and sodium. It also has diuretic qualities, meaning they make you urinate often, which can also eliminate excess water. "The most popular ones include cucumbers, celery, cabbage, dandelion greens, and watermelon," says Chartier. "These foods are high in water, electrolytes and fiber and have the added benefit of inducing diuresis (they make your urinate)," he explains.
3. Bone Broth
As it's mostly water (hence "broth"), this soup is a great way to add liquids to your diet and to reduce inflammation in the gut, which is where much water retention can reside. "Bone Broth contains many amino acids, two notable ones being proline and glycine. Glycine supports detoxification in the body and helps the body assimilate collagen. Proline is essential to cell structures by strengthening their walls," says Sharon Brown, certified Clinical Nutritionist, GAPS Practitioner (Gut and Psychological Syndrome), and co-founder of Bonafide Provisions over email with Bustle.
Foods high in potassium can help flush the body of water and help keep the belly slim. While limiting sodium is the best way to complement these benefits, simply adding more potassium-rich foods during the day can banish discomfort and puffiness. Other great options include lean meats, kiwi, broccoli, sweet potato and tomato. Pair with protein to keep you full longer.
Apart from being delicious and versatile, berries are packed with fiber. Fiber keeps the bowels regular and helps move things throughout the body to eliminate waste and water. If you don't eat enough fiber, you might become constipated, which can lead to enlargement and bloat (especially in the belly!). Pair with a Greek yogurt for some extra benefits, as it in high in potassium and protein, or oatmeal for additional fiber.
High in potassium and water, melons make for a great way to beat water weight. Pair with some low-fat cottage cheese for a breakfast or snack. Other great options include citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, as they can also help flush the body of toxins and encourage urination. It can also fill you up due to high water volume and properties that may suppress appetite.
7. Dark Chocolate
Almost too good to be true, right? Well, experts say that dark chocolate can reduce water weight due to its high antioxidant and magnesium content. Sticking with a square or two a day to keep things in moderation and purchasing a brand that is at least 70 percent or higher will be optimal, as the darker and purer it is, the greater the benefits.
8. Leafy Greens
I always recommend leafy greens to clients and often suggest creating a green juice or smoothie for a breakfast on the go or an afternoon pick-me-up. However, I encourage making your own to avoid excess sugar that can be found in fruity green juice blends. Leafy greens can detoxify the body and beat water retention. Great options include kale, spinach, Swiss chard and Collard greens.
But, we thought potatoes would make us heavy and weighed down, right? Not so much. Potatoes, when cooked without the sour cream, bacon, melted cheese and butter, of course, can be a great source of potassium, fiber (if you eat the skin!), vitamin B6, which has been shown to reduce bloat. So, enjoy a baked potato free of unhealthy accoutrements, and instead season with perhaps a dab of butter and fresh herbs instead.
Experts suggest that foods high in omega 3 fatty acids can banish bloat and fight water retention, and walnuts are a great source of this healthy fats. Walnuts are also a great source of other nutrients, such as magnesium and potassium. Pair with a Greek yogurt or oatmeal for major benefits. Other sources of omega 3's include oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, leafy greens and eggs.
11. Dandelion Root
Dandelion root has been shown to have diuretic properties, so it could be a good source of a natural healer to fight bloat in a safe and effective way. Other herbs and seeds, such as celery seed and fennel, also have these fluid-fighting properties, as well as watercress. Plus, fennel can aid in digestion, which will keep the tummy tame and promote healthy bowel regulation and elimination of waste.
12. Brown Rice
Nutritious whole grains can banish water retention and promote healthy digestion. Due to the high concentration of fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, which has been shown to reduce water retention, whole grains can be a great way to flush excess water from the body. Other terrific options include quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth. Eat as an oatmeal or as a side with fresh salmon and beans for dinner.
13. Low Fat Dairy
Low fat dairy products, such as Greek yogurt, low-fat ricotta, cottage cheese and string cheeses, can be a great source of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, to flush out excess water. Low fat dairy is also a great source of vitamin D and vitamins B5 and B1, which are found to play a part in water elimination, as well. Plus, Greek yogurt has probiotic properties, which can reduce inflammation in the gut and promote proper balance within the body.
By avoiding excess sodium and including foods with key vitamins and minerals, as well as a few diuretic properties, it's easy to flush the body of excess water and help promote proper balance of hormones, sodium and electrolytes within the body. Staying hydrated beyond food is also very important, so make sure to drink fluids throughout the day and use the bathroom frequently.
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