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Don't add salt to cooked meals at the table. Avoid foods like potato chips and salted nuts.
Prepare meals using fresh (not canned) vegetables and fruits, grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Watch how much salt you use while cooking; don't add more salt than a recipe calls for. Or, use specifically low-sodium cookbooks and internet recipes.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes a lot of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and other high-fiber foods.
Six servings of grains (at least half of which are whole grains - check the labels) are recommended per day. One serving is one slice of bread, or 1/2 cup (about the size of a baseball) of cooked rice, pasta, or cereal.
Four servings of vegetables are recommended per day. Eat a variety of colors and types (if you find that you eat mostly potatoes and corn as your vegetables, you should change this). One serving is one cup of raw leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, lettuce - the size of a small fist), 1/2 cup of cut up raw or cooked vegetables, or 1/2 cup of vegetable juice. Be careful of added sodium in some vegetable juices.
Four servings of fruit are recommended per day. Again, eat a variety of colors and types. One serving is one medium sized fruit (about the size of a baseball), 1/4 dried fruit, or 1/2 cup frozen, canned, or fruit juice. Be careful of added sugars in canned fruit or fruit juices and try to avoid these
Herbs and spices to get rid of water retention
Buchu is another gentle diuretic herb that relieves premenstrual water retention. (Caution: Avoid buchu if you're pregnant.)
The spice turmeric, an ingredient in curry powder, has anti-inflammatory properties, and may inhibit water retention, according to research in China. Use it freely in your cooking.
Parsley is a traditional remedy for water retention. Parsley has been shown to work as a weak diuretic. To make parsley tea, add 2 teaspoons of dried parsley to a cup of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. You can drink up to 3 cups of parsley tea a day to relieve water retention.
Drink 2-4 cups of dandelion tea a day. Dandelion leaf is a natural diuretic, allowing your kidneys to drain away more water. The herb is also a rich source of potassium. To make the tea, add one and a half tablespoons dried dandelion root (available from health food shops) to a litre of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and allow to cool before drinking.
Try drinking nettle tea made from common stinging nettles, since nettle is a natural diuretic. To make the tea, place a heaped teaspoon of powdered root in a cup of cold water. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup 4 times a day.
Corn silk is mildly diuretic, possibly because of its high potassium content. Put a teaspoon of dried corn silk (available from some health food shops and online) in cold water. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, then strain. Drink 1 cup several times a day.
If you have fluid retention before you menstruate, for the 5 days before your period take a daily dose of 100mg of vitamin B6. The vitamin is a diuretic, which means it helps you to excrete more urine, thus reducing your body's water content. It also helps to balance a woman's oestrogen and progesterone levels. You can increase your intake of vitamin B6 throughout the month by eating more spinach, fish, poultry, chickpeas, avocados and bananas. (Caution: Don't take any of the B vitamins in isolation–take a B complex. And if you have tingling in your fingers or toes, stop taking B6 immediately.)
Get more magnesium. Studies show that women with PMS-related water retention experience relief from this and other symptoms when they take supplemental magnesium. Magnesium also relieves menstrual abdominal bloating. A suggested dose would be 200-400mg daily.
get more potassium from your diet. Potassium is a mineral that does not work directly as a diuretic, but the right balance of potassium and sodium in your body is crucial for regulating fluid levels. Most people get too little potassium and too much sodium. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium, such as bananas, avocados, potatoes, oranges and orange juice. Potassium is also present in high levels in meat, poultry, milk and yogurt.
While eating fruit and vegetables for their potassium content, save some room for celery, watermelon, asparagus and cucumber. All contain chemicals that work as natural diuretics.
It may sound strange but drinking more water could solve the problem of fluid retention. If you're dehydrated, your body stores water to cope with what it sees as a dry spell. Also, when you drink more water, you'll urinate more and pass more salt from your body.
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