List Of Foods That Cause Water Retention: Avoid 6 Foods

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Have you ever considered why our joints sometimes feel stiff, especially as we age? Our daily habits might be causing it. We sometimes see swelling in our legs, feet, and joints because of fluid buildup, edema or swelling.

Edema or water retention is when our body absorbs too much water, making certain parts swell. It can happen in our legs, feet, joints, and even under our eyes. There are different reasons why this water buildup occurs, like eating too much salt or drinking too much alcohol. Not having enough fiber and healthy foods in our meals, not moving around much, or taking certain medicines can also make it happen.

It’s not just about feeling uncomfortable; when our feet are swollen, red, or bloated, it could mean our body is trying to tell us something. It might be a sign of infection, injury, or lack of healthy stuff like fiber in our food. Ignoring these signs could let bad stuff build up in our bodies. Certain foods can make our bodies hold onto water and cause swelling. In this blog, we’ll talk about a list of foods that cause water retention and body swelling.

List of Foods Linked to Water Retention

What causes water retention? Following are the Foods that may make you retain water or swell up.

1. Fruits mixed with grains and vegetables

Fruits mixed with grains or vegetables can cause water retention in the body. We should wait two hours after eating fruit before we eat something else. Traditional Indian treatment, such as Ayurveda, says you shouldn’t eat a fruit after a meal. 

Fruits break down faster than grains and veggies. If we don’t watch what we eat and eat all of these simultaneously, our bodies swell and bloat. When we eat poorly, we can also get inflation and swelling.

2. Sugary Foods

Sugary foods can cause water retention because they can lead to an increase in the level of insulin in the body. Insulin plays a role in regulating sodium, and excess insulin can lead to sodium retention in the kidneys. This, in turn, water retention causes the body to hold onto more water, leading to water retention. Additionally, sugary foods can contribute to inflammation, and the body may respond by retaining water as part of the inflammatory response. 

3. White flour

Foods made with white flour, such as white bread and pastries, have a high glycemic index, meaning they can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This spike in blood sugar prompts the release of insulin, which can lead to increased sodium retention in the kidneys, resulting in water retention. Additionally, refined carbohydrates like white flour may contribute to inflammation, further influencing fluid balance in the body. Choosing whole grains over refined white flour products is advisable to help maintain a healthier fluid balance.

4. Meat

Meat, especially red meat, is often high in sodium and saturated fats. Excessive intake of sodium can contribute to water retention in the body. Additionally, the saturated fats in meat can lead to inflammation, which may also contribute to water retention. Consuming a diet high in processed and salty meats may worsen these effects, leading to increased water retention. However, you can reduce inflammation by many remedies.

5. Refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This spike triggers the release of insulin, which, in turn, can lead to increased sodium retention by the kidneys, resulting in water retention. Additionally, refined carbohydrates may contribute to inflammation in the body, exacerbating fluid retention and swelling. Opting for whole, unprocessed foods and incorporating a balanced diet can help maintain better fluid balance and reduce the risk of swelling.

6. Alcohol

Even though alcohol increases urine production, excessive consumption can lead to water weight gain and retention. This is particularly true over time, as prolonged alcohol intake can harm the liver. Since alcohol contains sodium, consuming salty drinks like Bloody Marys with salty tomato juice, tequila shots with lime and salt, or salted margaritas can further contribute to water retention after drinking.

How To Get Rid Of Water Retention?

The answer of this question “how to lose water retention” is mentioned down below.

1. Sunlight exposure

Bad germs that make you sick can be killed by sitting in the sun. If we have an infection, there are many benefits of sunlight, might be the best way to get rid of it, stopping the swelling that comes with it.

2. Food timings

We should eat before sunset and wait at least 12 hours before our next meal so that our bodies have time to heal and recover from the last meal. That’s why fasting is considered one of the best ways to heal inflammation, swelling, or bloating.

3. Stay hydrated

More than 60% of our bodies are water. When our bodies don’t have enough water, they tend to hold on to whatever water they have. Moving inside our bodies helps the water leave when we walk or work out.

As long as you drink enough water, your body won’t have to hold on to its water stores, which can cause water retention.

4. Foods high in fiber

Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber helps our bodies break down food and move it through our bowels more easily. It also keeps our bodies from holding on to water. By following these tips and staying away from processed foods, meat, and milk, as well as any other foods mixed with fruits, we can get rid of the swelling and pain that come from holding on to water.

5. Put on compression socks

Compression socks can help treat water retention by reducing swelling in the legs and feet by keeping blood from pooling. This means blood can return to the heart more quickly, promoting circulation. 

One of the most popular ways to treat edema in the feet and ankles is with compression socks, which you can easily find at any drugstore. Most of the time, people wear them all day and then take them off before bed. A study says they are temporary, they can help relieve pain immediately, but they are not a long-term solution.

6. Getting more protein

Eating more proteins, like meat, beans, fresh greens, and other foods, can help treat water retention. People who have liver disease often don’t get enough protein, which can make their swelling symptoms worse, especially in their legs.

7. Taking supplements with vitamin B6

Taking vitamin B6 pills can help with water retention because they give the body the tools it needs to make red blood cells. In 2021, the National Institutes of Health said that men and women ages 19 to 50 should get about 1.3 mg of Vitamin B6 daily, and people over 50 should get about 1.5 mg daily.


Foods that contribute to water retention often contain high levels of salt, disrupting the body’s fluid balance. Processed foods, canned soups, fast food, salty snacks, and condiments with high salt content come under the list of foods that cause water retention. Consuming excessive amounts of these foods can lead to temporary water retention, resulting in bloating and swelling. Maintaining a healthy diet and monitoring sodium intake is the answer to how to reduce water retention.

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