PUFFY FACE? SWOLLEN EYES? BANISH WATER RETENTION FAST WITH THESE TOP TIPS

PHOTO: ALICIA BOCK/STOCKSY

Puffy eyes, swollen fingers, face, ankles, stomach, arms - you name it, you’ve probably retained water there at some point in time. Fluid retention is a form of bloating that mostly involves the circulatory system and the lymphatic system, and can range from mildly annoying to severely upsetting.

What it's from:

There are a whole host of things that can cause you to retain water, from full on medical conditions & medication side effects to lifestyle factors. The common lifestyle factors include stress, traditional allergies, food allergies, too much sodium (salt), electrolyte imbalances and vitamin deficiencies and lack of exercise. Alcohol is a big fluid disruptor, as are MSG and nitrates.

The quick fixes:
  1. Skin brushing: this will move your lymph and help get rid of excess water retention. 5 minutes in the morning makes a huge difference, and you can often see the difference right away.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar & cayenne: try 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar, water and a pinch of cayenne first thing and throughout the day. The cayenne is a circulatory stimulant and ACV is rich in potassium, which helps fluid balance. You can do this a few times per day (make sure your ACV is raw and organic).
  3. Celery juice flush: fresh celery juice & lemon on an empty stomach is a traditional healing tonic in naturopathic medicine. The celery is rich in potassium, a natural diuretic, and rich in magnesium, folate, B vitamins and vitamin C. Lemon stimulates the liver and digestion, is rich in flavonoids & vitamin C and its polyphenols support insulin balance and weight control. If you’re really suffering, take celery juice with the juice of ½ a lemon on an empty stomach in the morning. Don’t eat afterwards until 10am and see how you feel. The break from food from the night before will also give your body the chance to clean your system a bit and help work through anything residual.
The long-term game:

If you’re constantly retaining water, it’s important to look at diet and lifestyle factors. Food allergies, too many food additives (preservatives, sweeteners, processed meats etc) can contribute to water retention. If you’re chronically stressed, you can also consider supporting your kidney & adrenals with herbal adaptogens. You can read more about how to test yourself for food allergies here. Insulin is one to watch, so if you’re a refined carb or sugar bunny – this is one of the first things you’ll need to address.

When it’s more of a problem:

Chronic water retention can also be a sign of hormone imbalances, so if it’s something that you can’t seem to shift with diet and exercise, then it’s worth a trip to your GP. Thyroid issues can cause swelling & puffiness, but it could also be a result of vitamin D deficiency or a cortisol imbalance.

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