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Feeling Water Logged? Tips to Beat Bloating!

Heavy surf action near Kapaa (5 of 6)photo © 2010 Frank Kovalchek | more info (via: Wylio)We all go through it at one point or another–we gain five pounds in a day, our fingers swell, and we feel PUFFY. To make matters worse, the number on the scale goes up even though we’ve been busting our butts working out and eating healthy. For women, water retention is even more noticeable for several days, or for even a week or two, before menstruation.

These 4 diet and lifestyle tweaks can help us minimize bloat and help our bodies get rid of excess water weight in no time flat.

Pump Up Potassium

Many fruits and vegetables boast potassium, a mineral that helps maintain the body’s water balance. Potassium-rich fruits include canned pumpkin, papaya, bananas, plantains, and dried fruit including dates, raisins, and prunes. Choose fresh, dried or canned fruit made without added sugar and aim for 1.5 to 2 cups a day.

Potassium-rich vegetables include spinach, sweet or white potatoes, beet greens, mushrooms, bok choy, parsnips, and tomato products (paste, sauce, or pureed). Choose fresh or canned products made without sodium or added sugar, and aim for 2 to 2.5 cups a day.

Cut Down on Sodium

Current dietary guidelines recommend capping sodium at no more than 2,300 milligrams per day; those with high blood pressure (or a family history of the condition), diabetes, or kidney disease, adults over the age of 40, and African Americans are encouraged to consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day. After consuming a salty meal or snack , the sodium causes the body to hold more water in an effort to bring the sodium and water ratio back into proper balance.

When grocery shopping, look for foods and beverages labels that boast “sodium free,” “very low sodium,” “low sodium,” “unsalted,” “no salt added,” and “without added salt on labels;” choose fresh meats and poultry over “deli meats;” and choose fresh fish and shellfish over processed, canned options (though you can rinse canned fish to remove about half the sodium).

Float Your Bloat

While sodium contributes to bloating, water does not. In fact, good old H20 can make us eliminate excess fluid and sodium. That’s right, drink water to get rid of water. It’s okay to have sparkling water or club soda, but be sure to read the fine print on labels since many of them have added sodium. While it sounds counterintuitive to drink more water when you are bloated, it actually signals to your body that you are hydrating yourself and it is ok to release the water it is retaining.

Work up a Sweat

Even though being bloated may make you want to do nothing but drown yourself in comfort foods while sprawled out on the sofa, taking time to go on a brisk walk, a bike ride, or to do some other vigorous activity to help you sweat out even more sodium and feel lighter on your toes.

Natural Diuretics

While some people suggest ginger, juniper and dandelion as a natural diuretic; there is no proof that they actually have diuretic effects. They, may, however, simply make you urinate more. Take caution with any natural or non prescription diuretic. Your best options are to follow the tried and true the list above!

Sources: http://www.caloriecount.about.com

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