Water retention, commonly known as edema, refers to a common symptom of several conditions such as constipation, dehydration, hormonal changes, heart conditions, kidney problems, and excess sodium. There are several symptoms of water retention and they include swellings in the legs, feet, and other body parts, weight increase and a feeling of bloating, etc. But in cases where the swelling is mild and there is no underlying health condition, a few simple ways on how to reduce water retention may help you a lot.

Reduce Water Retention with Diet


Stay Hydrated

The human body relies on water to play several roles. If you are retaining water, consider whether you are keeping hydrated. 

  • Drink plenty of water, fruit juices, non-caffeinated beverages and tea, which can help your kidneys flush out the excess fluids.

  • Avoid the drinks with sugar or drinks with high fructose syrup, as they are unhealthy and cause you to gain a weight.

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can lead to dehydration easily.


Reduce Sodium in Your Diet

Diets that have too much sodium are considered as one of the main causes of too much water weight in the body. Reducing sodium in the diet is a major way on how to reduce water retention. Here are several suggestions:

  • Firstly, you should avoid the consumption of processed foods, salty snacks, deli meats, and others with high salt levels.

  • Secondly, avoid adding salt to meals that have already been prepared.

  • Lastly, use fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and low-fat dairy products to prepare your meals. Do not add too much salt while cooking. 


Check the Ingredients List First

It is necessary to look at the ingredients used in processed foods and drinks. Some of the ingredients that you should avoid include:

  • Sodium nitrites and nitrates,

  • Sodium and potassium benzoates

  • Palm oil

  • Food colorings

  • Corn syrup

  • Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame

  • Monosodium glutamate

  • Butylated hydroxy-anisole.

Despite it is difficult to avoid these ingredients, ensure that you do not consume foods with them, such as frozen foods, children’s cereals, popular drinks, boxed foods, and canned foods.


Increase the Intake of Magnesium

Magnesium plays an important role in the human body as it contains over 300 enzymatic reactions that keep the body functioning. Increasing your intake of magnesium is one of the effective ways on how to reduce water retention in the body. Its effectiveness has been proved by a study that 200 mg of this mineral per day was effective in the reduction of water retention among women with premenstrual signs and symptoms. You can increase your consumption of nuts, leafy green vegetables, dark chocolate, whole grains and supplements to increase the intake of magnesium.


Increase the Intake of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a term that refers to several related vitamins which play an important role in the human body, for instance, the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin B6 has been proven effective to reduce water retention. Several foods that contain vitamin B6 include potatoes, bananas, meat, and walnuts.


Eat Foods Rich in Potassium

As an important mineral, potassium also serves many functions in the body. It is responsible for sending electrical signals that ensure that the body runs normally. It is also good for the heart’s health. Potassium has been proven effective to reduce water retention through decreasing sodium levels and increasing the production of urine. Foods rich in potassium include avocados, tomatoes, and bananas.


Avoid the Consumption of Refined Carbohydrates

The consumption of refined carbs has an effect on insulin levels and blood sugar. When the levels of insulin are high in the body, more sodium is retained in the body and this brings about an increase in fluid in the body. Refined carbs include processed sugars and grains like table sugar and white flour.

Reduce Water Retention with Home Remedies

Besides of taking care of your diet, some home remedies are also very useful to help you solve your problem – how to reduce water retention:


Dandelion is perfect for the removal of excess water from the body because it has a diuretic effect. Its additional advantage is the presence of potassium that helps in the reduction of sodium. 

  • Steep 1 tsp. of dried dandelion herb in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. 

  • Let it cool and drink this tea. Three times a day is the best.

  • You can also take dandelion supplement and tincture.

Before taking any herbal remedy, consult your doctor first.



Parsley is also excellent just as dandelion because of its diuretic properties.

  • Steep 2 tsp. of dried parsley leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.

  • Drink this tea at least 3 times a day.

  • Alternatively, you can drink a mixture of lemon juice and fresh parsley juice.


Epsom Salt

Epsom salt bath is helpful in reducing water retention by reverse osmosis. It helps in the removal of toxins and excess fluids from the body. 

  • Mix 2 cups of Epsom salt in warm bathing water.

  • Soak in it for 15 minutes.

  • Do this 3 times per day.


Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is also effective in flushing out toxins and excess fluids from the human body.

  • You can mix the juice with warm water. Add some honey if you like.

  • Drink the solution.

  • Drink this once a day until you feel better.


Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are also diuretic in nature and are effective in the reduction of water retention.

  • Steep 1 tsp. of fennel seeds in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes.

  • Drink this tea 3 times a day until there is an improvement.



Nettle, just as the others, is diuretic and works well in reducing water retention. 

  • Steep 1 tsp. of powdered nettle root in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.

  • Drink this tea at least three times a day.

Reduce Water Retention with Doing Exercises


Doing an Exercise for 20 Minutes Daily

Doing exercise is good for healthy living and helps in the control of water retention. You can do several exercises. They include swimming, riding a bike, jogging, playing basketball, taking a walk, dancing, playing baseball, and hiking, etc.


Elevation of Feet and Legs

When you stay in a still position for a long time, particularly standing, fluids can drain into your legs and feet. 

  • Sit or lie down with your feet and legs elevated.

  • Keep your feet at least 12 inches higher than your heart level when you are lying down.

Reduce Water Retention by Seeking Medical Options


Follow Doctor’s Advice

In case you have been diagnosed with any health problem associated with water retention, follow your doctor’s advice for the prescriptions provided. Be sure to report subsequent changes in your health right away if you have serious conditions that require medical treatment.


Take Nutritional Supplements

Consult with the doctor in case you are required to take nutritional supplements if your diet lacks some nutrients that are key in the reduction of water retention. Some of these nutrients include calcium, protein, magnesium and vitamins B1, B5 and B6.


Take Chemical Diuretic

You should consult with your doctor or any other specialist about the consumption of chemical diuretic sold over the counter.


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