Beat The Bloat
With Food

Due to hormonal fluctuations, women are often plagued with bloated bellies and puffy extremities the week before their periods, but water retention can also be the result of a poor diet. Whether it’s PMS-related or simply too many dips into the salty chip bag, here's a list of foods that fight water retention.

Woman eating fruit salad

1Water

You may think restricting your water intake will reduce your bloat, but dehydration will actually make your body hold on to water. When it comes to water, drink, drink, and drink some more. Drink a glass as soon as you wake up and keep sipping all day, aiming for eight (8-ounce) glasses total. Slip in a few slices of lemon, lime, or orange as citrus is high in potassium and can relieve bloating.

2Melons

Melons, citrus, and other potassium-rich fruits will help reduce water retention because they are high in the mineral potassium that balances sodium levels. Start your day with a fruit salad or a fruit smoothie.

3Watercress

Watercress, an often overlooked leafy green, is a natural diuretic that is also high in potassium. Other bloat-fighting foods include other leafy greens, celery, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and peppers. The flavonoids in vegetables (and fruit) can alleviate water retention. Get your fill by tossing veggies into a salad at lunch and dinner.

4Salmon

Loaded with omega-3s, salmon is a super food that is not only food for the heart, brain, and joints, it can also fend off PMS. Other rich sources of omega-3s include tuna, mackerel, herring, and flax. Include salmon and other fatty fish in your diet at least twice per week.

5Whole grains and nuts

Tasty sources of vitamin B6, a nutrient associated with PMS relief, whole grain products and nuts are a good nosh when you're feeling bloated. Make sure the whole grains you choose are low in sodium and avoid salted nuts. Bonus: Whole grains are a great source of fiber and nuts are packed with good for you fats.

6Herbs

Some herbs are also believed to help reduce water retention. Celery seed (do not take if you are pregnant), evening primrose oil, and dandelion root are just a few bloat-fighting options. Talk to a naturopath or herbalist about these herbs and others that are natural diuretics.

Foods to avoidAttention

Eschewing the salt shaker is only one way to avoid water retention. More importantly, limit your intake of processed, packaged foods, which are nearly always loaded with sodium. Instead, comprise your diet of fresh, wholesome foods, which in addition to reducing your risk of bloating, are a boon to your health.


More foods that help you feel better

The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC, or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance, or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Tags: water retention

Recommended for you

Comments

Comments on "Foods that fight water retention"

Mike COdy August 01, 2013 | 3:21 PM

Processed meat is bad in every way, shape, and form. There is no redeeming quality. Do not eat it unless you absolutely must. Of course everything is ok in moderation, gotta be realistic, but avoid it the best you can.

Mark Johnson June 14, 2013 | 7:40 PM

How bad is processed meat?

+ Add Comment


(required - not published)