If Chinese food makes your face and feet swell up like balloons, you might be experiencing edema or water retention. It’s not dangerous but UGLY! Don’t let swollen body parts make you feel uncomfortable. The body has a natural mechanism for storing water and salt. Learn how to control it!


Symptoms of water retention

–   swollen eyelids when one gets up in the morning

–   swollen or puffy face

–   bloated and uncomfortable feeling

–   swollen wrists, ankles, hands and feet

–   other swollen body parts even when weight is healthy


Causes of water retention

–   high sodium or sugar intake

–   poor circulation

–   lack of exercise

–   unbalanced diet (lack of potassium, calcium, vitamins or proteins)

–   reaction to some drugs can cause fluid retention too

–   dehydration: as the body tries to keep the extra water

–   hormonal change (due to estrogen-containing drugs like the pill)

–   allergies

–   menopause

–   stress

–   pregnancy

–   thyroid disease, arthritis and varicose veins

–   heart, liver and kidney disorders


What to do?

# Reduce salt intake

Salt contributes significantly to water retention because it clogs water tissue. Avoid intake of salt for 2-3 days and you will be surprised how well it cures water retention. During these days, replace salt with herbs and spices.


# Reduce sugar intake

Sugar itself doesn’t cause water retention, but an overindulgence can make your body overproduce the hormone insulin, which can cause the water retention.  Avoid sugary and sweet foods such as chocolate, candies, cookies, cakes, candies or soda.


# Natural diuretics

Foods like asparagus, pineapple, cucumber, garlic, apple cider vinegar, celery, celery seed, green tea, fennel and parsley are very effective natural diuretics. Also eat foods that contain lots of water (watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, asparagus, or cabbage).


# Dandelion and Nettle

Dandelion and nettle leaves have a natural diuretic effect. Therefore both are perfect for removing excess water from your body. Steep one teaspoon of dried dandelion or nettle in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink this tea up to three times a day.


# Exercise

Running, cycling or HIIT result in sweating. This turns your entire body into an effective outlet for getting rid of excess water, salt and other toxins.


# Sauna bath

Sauna bath is another way to sweat out excess water and toxins from the body. Sauna also helps in relaxing the body. Again, this should not become a regular practice as there are better ways to get rid of excess water from the body.


# Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Caffeine and alcohol though initial diuretics, turn into a potent cause of dehydration. This forces the body to retain even more water. Replace alcohol intake it herbal teas or green tea, which are known diuretics without negative side effects.


# Epsom Salt

An Epsom salt bath can help you get rid of water retention, because it draws out excess fluids and toxins from your body. Mix two cups of Epsom salt in warm bathwater. Soak in it for about 15 minutes. Repeat up to three times a week.