Nutrition: foods against fluid retention |

food for water retention

Fruits and vegetables with high water content help against water retention.

Fruits and vegetables with high water content help against fluid retention.

© Billion Photos/

Swollen legs and hands indicate water retention. These foods can help dehydrate the body.

If the body retains more water and the extremities swell, this can have different causes. Behind it can be hormones, diseases, medications, lack of exercise or even the weather. Poor nutrition can also promote painful water retention. Certain foods can help dehydrate the body.

What is water retention?

Fluid retention, also known as edema, is swelling of the body’s tissues that occurs when pressure increases in the blood vessels or lymphatic system. Here, the water is pressed into the surrounding tissue, where it collects and causes swelling. Parts of the body such as the thighs, ankles, upper arms or buttocks are particularly often affected. Water retention can also become visible on the face.

This test can help clarify: if you press your thumb against the swollen skin and immediately release it, the tissue should normally return to its original shape immediately. If a dent remains visible for a short time, it is water retention.

A quick trick for pain relief: Elevate your legs so they’re at least above your heart, ideally at a 90-degree angle. This works well if you lie on the floor with a pillow and put your feet up on the wall.

Poor diet can contribute to water retention

If there’s one particularly bad culprit among foods that promote water retention, it’s salt. Just eight grams can retain about a liter of water in the body. It is clear that fast food and prepared products are not among the healthiest foods, but they also promote water retention on a large scale.

Industrial sugar is also harmful to the body and has been linked to fluid retention. Those who want to prevent water retention in the body should also avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol.

These foods help with dehydration

If you want to regulate water balance, you must rely on a diet rich in potassium. The electrolyte supports the kidneys and thus helps with drainage. Potassium-rich foods include tomato paste, bananas, carrots and asparagus. Potassium absorption can also be enhanced by olive oil.

Foods that contain magnesium such as spinach, bananas, blackberries or sauerkraut also help the body regulate its water balance. By the way, one of the best sources of magnesium is hemp seeds. Flax and coriander seeds also help reduce swelling. They help the digestive tract to eliminate liquids and toxins.

By the way: it sounds paradoxical, but if you want to get rid of fluid retention, you should drink enough water or tea. Fruits and vegetables with a high water content also have a diuretic effect and thus fight water retention. Cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, celery, pineapple, and grapefruit in particular contain a lot of water.


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