Author: Sherry L. Granader, Nutritionist
Women know all too well about water retention during that time of the month. Hormone fluctuations can cause bellies, and even extremities, to bloat the week before a cycle begins. While female cycles can create all sorts of symptoms, water retention can also be caused by a poor diet. Too many salty chips and other processed foods can create that bloated look and feel. Here is a list of foods that can help fight water retention naturally:
Water, Water, Water – many people think that reducing water intake will help reduce the bloat. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A lack of water or dehydration will make the body hold onto water. It is important to drink a glass of water upon waking up first thing in the morning, before that cup of java. Coffee dehydrates the body rather quickly so if you start your day with coffee and no water, you are automatically at a deficit. Add some lemon to the water to give your liver a boost, plus citrus fruits are high in potassium that can help relieve bloating.
Eat Citrus Fruit and Melons – both are rich in potassium that helps reduce water retention and balance sodium levels in the body. Add some melon, Greek yogurt and protein to a blender for a morning smoothie, or toss some citrus fruit in a salad. Enjoy a ruby red grapefruit for a snack.
Enjoy Your Vegetables – celery, leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, onions and peppers all contain flavonoids that can help alleviate water retention. One of the most over-looked leafy green vegetables is watercress, which is also high in potassium. Toss vegetables into a hot skillet at dinner or create a delicious salad for lunch.
Get Your Omega 3s – foods rich in Omega 3s, like salmon, are good for the brain, joints and heart; they can also help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Other good sources of Omega 3s include mackerel, herring and tuna fish.
Ground Flaxseed – is also full of Omega 3s and contains lignans. Lignans attach themselves to excess estrogen receptor sites and help eliminate the effects of being estrogen dominant during menopause changes. These should be added to the diet daily to help alleviate the symptoms that often include unexplained weight gain and bloat, growing hair where we don’t want it, losing hair where we do want it and the feelings of wanting to crawl out of your own skin. Add ground flaxseeds to your morning oatmeal, smoothie or sprinkle on a salad.
Whole Grain Food and Nuts – both contain excellent sources of B vitamins including Vitamin B6, a nutrient that helps alleviate the symptoms of PMS. Plus, they are a great source of fiber and good fats. Avoid salted nuts and whole grains that are high in sodium.
Herbal Remedies – herbs and supplements like evening primrose oil, dandelion root and celery seed have bloat-relieving properties. Do not take celery seed if you are pregnant. An herbalist or naturopath can help you determine the best herb for you if you need a diuretic.
One habit to avoid while trying to alleviate water retention is the use of the salt shaker. Also, stay away from processed foods that are typically loaded with sodium. If you are relying on processed food for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks, replace it with fresh, whole food from the produce section. You will reduce any water retention and boost your health.