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Nature Cures natural health advice


Let food be your medicine



 A-Z of health issues

A-Z of natural remedies

A-Z of nutrients

 A-Z of hazards




Hawaiian Waterfall by Nat H Hawes

Water is the most abundant molecule on Earth. Approximately 70% of this planets surface is covered with water and it is the only substance that occurs naturally in a gas, liquid and solid (ice) form. Each water molecule is made of two hydrogen (H) atoms and one (O) oxygen atom and this is where its chemical symbol comes from H2O.

The Celsius temperature scale is based on waters' freezing point (0 degrees) and boiling point (100 degrees). Unlike most substances, water's solid form is less dense than its liquid form which is why ice cubes float. Water is also capable of absorbing a lot of heat before its temperature increases.

Water is the major vital component necessary for life to exist. The human body is made up of 50 to 75 percent water and it forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, lymph, semen, tears, urine and perspiration and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bones.

Protoplasm, the basic material of living cells, is made of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, salts, and similar elements combined with water. Water acts as a solvent, transporting, combining, and chemically breaking down these substances. A cell exchanges elements with the rest of the body by electrolysis, and in a normal case, minerals and microelements pass through the cell membrane to the nucleus by electro-osmosis. The body needs electrolytes (minerals like sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate) for its basic functions.

The purposes of water in the human body

  • Aids digestion and prevents constipation.

  • Enables the flushing out of waste by-products of the body’s metabolism, for example excess electrolytes such as sodium and potassium and urea, which is formed through the processing of dietary protein. It does this through bowel movements, mucous production, perspiration, respiration and urination.

  • Enables transport of components such as oxygen and nutrients in the blood.

  • Helps to dissolve minerals and other nutrients to make them accessible to the body.

  • Lubricates and cushions the joints.

  • Moistens and protects mucous membranes  in the eyes, nose and throat.

  • Moisturises the skin to maintain its texture and appearance.

  • Provides fluid to enable reproduction and protection against pathogenic bacteria and viruses.

  • Provides transportation of antibodies for the immune and lymph systems.

  • Protects and helps to flush toxins from the brain and other sensitive tissues.

  • Regulates the body’s temperature through perspiration.

  • Serves as a shock absorber inside the eyes, spinal cord and in the amniotic sac surrounding the foetus in pregnancy.

Blood transports oxygen to the muscles for activities such as exercise.  If there is not enough oxygen in the blood, the muscles create lactic acid which causes painful cramps. The consumption of water helps to keep blood pumped with oxygen. The body cannot store water and must have fresh supplies every day to perform virtually every metabolic process. The amount required depends upon body size, metabolism, the weather, the food consumed and the level of physical activity.

When magnesium is present in water, life and health are enhanced. One of the main benefits of drinking plenty of magnesium-rich water is to prevent heart disease and stroke. Full hydration is essential to help prevent clogging of arteries in the heart and brain and full hydration with water and magnesium is crucial for treating high blood pressure without using diuretics or other pharmaceutical medications.

Water is one of the cheapest and healthiest fuels to consume and it's 100% fat free. The human body needs H2O because it is made up of 70% water, just like the planet Earth, and human beings should drink enough to keep the urine pale during the day.

Many believe that drinking tea and coffee is providing them with the water they need but they are both diuretics and thus the body is losing extra water rather than topping up supplies and drinking alcohol has the same effect. Central heating also makes the body lose more water.

Blood transports oxygen to the muscles for activities such as exercise. If there is not enough oxygen in the blood, the muscles create lactic acid which causes painful cramps. Drinking more water helps to keep blood pumped with oxygen.

Signs of water deficiency

Bad breath is a classic sign that water intake needs to be increased.  Saliva helps cleanse  the teeth of bacteria and keeps the tongue hydrated. Lack of water dries the mouth, leads to furry tongue and prevents bacteria from being washed away, all of which can cause bad breath (halitosis).

Constipation Without water the contents of the colon (lower intestine) can dry out and get stuck, eventually causing diverticulitis.  Constipation can also be a problem, because water is needed to bulk out faeces.  Drinking water, along with taking in water from fruit and vegetables, helps to rehydrate this waste.

Headache Three quarters of the brain is water so if there is insufficient water intake the brain will feel it first. Try drinking a couple glasses of water, put your feet in a bowl of comfortably-hot water and place a cool cloth on your head. If a headache is caused by alcohol, then drinking a large glass of water, particularly before bed, will help get rid of a headache by flushing out  toxins and re-hydrating the brain.

Kidneys A healthy hydrated body removes waste with light yellow virtually odourless urine.  Darker urine is more highly concentrated and waste products linger in the bladder and may lead to cystitis and kidney infections.

The lymphatic system is the body's waste disposal system, breaking down toxins like caffeine before passing them into the blood stream.  Dehydration weakens the flow of lymph in the system and makes the body less resistant to infection. With water, lymph flows properly again, fighting infection and lowering feverish temperatures.

Skin needs water for elasticity, so too little water leaves it looking dry, llined and feeling delicate. The body needs water to help flush out poisons from things like junk food and additives. When dehydrated, toxins linger in the liver, causing fatigue and an inability to concentrate. Water swills the poisons out and gets the system moving again.

Sunken eyes and under eye circles are signs that the body needs water. Eyes sink because there is not enough water to keep them suspended in the eye socket and under-eye circles are due to thin skin being bruised as fluid drains away.

Water retention When feeling puffy as women often do before a period, drinking water is the best treatment for reducing fluid retention. If the body does not get enough water, it senses there is a shortage and begins to retain every drop it needs for vital daily processes.

Mineral water

Mineral water is a healthy alternative to tap water as it usually contains trace elements that are essential to human health. Depending upon it's source it can naturally contain minerals such as bicarbonate, calcium, fluoride, lithium, magnesium, potassium, silica, sodium and strontium. Water from natural springs, wells and mountain lakes contains minerals which are in the rocks through which it flows and these minerals all have a purpose within the human body. Modern day farming techniques have leeched many minerals from the soil so non organic farmed food often is lacking in them, especially magnesium. The best way to ingest the some of the minerals needed daily is through drinking mineral water, whether carbonated or still, everyday.

Drinking mineral water is especially important for the elderly and those on medications which can force the body to expel essential minerals in the urine such as diuretics.

Tap water has little mineral content except fluoride and chlorine which are added artificially and, in many developed countries, also contains traces of medications administered to humans such as hormone replacement drugs and the contraceptive pill.

Warm water

When very hot and thirsty, people tend to drink a large amount of cold water. Although this does help to instantly reduce the temperature it may be beneficial to reduce the amount of cold water and consume some warm water or hot tea afterwards due to the adverse effects of ice cold water on the body and brain. Practitioners in traditional Chinese and Hindu medicine have been prescribing the consumption of warm water for many centuries believing it has healthy effects on both the body and the mind. Scientific studies have now shown that consuming warm water, as apposed to cold water, has many health benefits for the human body and psychological benefits for the brain.

The ideal  temperature of warm water should be between 80° to 106° F (26° to 41° C).

How drinking warm or hot water benefits the body and brain:

Blood purification

Ayurvedic medicine maintains that drinking warm water that is stored in a copper container can help to purify the blood and avoid infection as copper kills pathogens.

Constipation and bloating

The bloating felt during constipation may be due to dehydration. Drinking small amounts of warm water consistently throughout the day on an empty stomach can help keep bowel movements regular, rehydrate the body and reduce bloating.

Diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity

Warm water with the freshly squeezed juice of one lemon or lime can be especially beneficial for individuals who have diabetes. It can also help break down the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries which increases blood circulation. It can also help regulate blood sugar levels and lower weight. The Institute for Traditional Medicine recommends that the best time to consume water this way is after any food consumed has been digested or before food upon waking.


Drinking warm or hot water after a meal can  improve digestion by helping to breaking down the fats and nutrients in foods. Drinking warm water before breakfast can also help to cleanse the stomach and improve digestion.


Drinking a warm glass of water before food upon waking, can kick start the metabolism and speed up the metabolic rate. Added the freshly squeezed juice of one lemon, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey will also help to flush toxins from the liver.

Mucus accumulation, bacteria and viruses

Consuming warm or hot water can help to reduce the accumulation of mucus in the nose, sinuses, throat, and gastrointestinal tract. This lowers the ability of a virus to invade these areas. It also helps to keep mucous flowing which will stop bacteria remaining in these areas and multiplying there. Whereas, cold water consumption has the opposite effect.

Cold water consumption

According to a review paper in European Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research, drinking cold water (45° to 70°F  or 7° to 21° C) has the following effects upon the body:

  • Blood vessels become smaller and restrict digestive abilities.

  • Excess mucus is created and increases the likelihood of infection.

  • Fats are solidified in the intestines and make it harder for the body to digest these fats.

  • The body has to work harder trying to regulate new, colder temperatures instead of working to create energy from the food consumed.

The danger of boiled water

If water is boiled for a long time, or re-boiled, it can concentrate elements such as nitrates, arsenic and fluoride which then become toxic. This fact is not unfounded. While the boiled water is fine, increasing the concentration of toxic substances may put people at risk for certain illnesses, including cancer. For example:

  • Arsenic exposure may produce symptoms of arsenic toxicity, plus it has been associated with some forms of cancer.

  • Nitrates excess has been linked to certain types of cancer and methemoglobinaemia which is an abnormally high level of red blood cells. Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include a blue colouring of the skin, fatigue, headache, lack of energy and shortness of breath.

  • Fluoride excess can cause dental fluorosis (that characterise itself as spots on the tooth enamel), a loss of the appetite and finally calcification of the back bone. Fluorosis occurs when more than 10 mg per day is taken. Fluoride builds-up in the brain, thyroid and bones and can cause hypothyroidism which can lead to weight gain and depression.

Because fluoride is added to drinking water in some countries and nitrates are used to colour processed red meats the concentration of these two elements is more likely in people that drink this tap water or consume red processed meats.

Even healthy minerals may become concentrated to dangerous levels when water is re-boiled. For example, excessive intake of calcium salt, commonly found in drinking water and mineral water, can lead to arthritis, bladder and kidney stones, gall stones and hardening of the arteries. This toxicity of certain minerals will also directly affect the balance of other essential minerals in the body as they all depend upon each other to be utilised.

It is therefore recommended that a kettle of water is completed emptied, rinsed and refilled with fresh water each time it is boiled and used for tea or coffee. The rise in coffee and tea drinking may have contributed to the rise in cancer and other ailments in persons that constantly drink re-boiled tap water and consume processed red meats such as bacon, ham, pâte, salami and sausages etc.

Carbon filters can remove some heavy metals and chlorine from tap water but do not remove fluoride. Carbon filters also need to be changed very often as they are a perfect environment for bacteria and other harmful microbes.

The danger of distilled water

Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated and the vapour condensed. Distilled water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them. There are benefits to drinking distilled water when seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks) but longer than this can cause the body to be come mineral deficient and acidic.

Fasting using distilled water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure.

Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.

Distilled water is an active absorber and when it comes into contact with air, it absorbs carbon dioxide, making it acidic. The more distilled water a person drinks, the higher the body acidity becomes.

Distilled water, being mineral-free, is very aggressive, in that it tends to dissolve substances with which it is in contact. Carbon dioxide from the air is rapidly absorbed, making the water acidic and even more aggressive. Many metals are also dissolved by distilled water.

The most toxic commercial beverages that people consume (cola beverages and other soft drinks) are made from distilled water. Heavy consumers of soft drinks (with or without sugar) expel huge amounts of calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals through the urine.

The more minerals lost, the greater the risk for osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and a long list of degenerative diseases generally associated with premature aging.

Aging and disease is the direct result of the accumulation of acid waste products in the body. A poor diet may be partially to blame for the waste accumulation.

Consuming the following can cause the body to become more acidic:

  • Alcohol

  • Coffee

  • Dairy products

  • Fried foods

  • Meats

  • Processed foods

  • Soft and fizzy drinks

  • Sugar

  • White flour products

Stress, whether mental or physical can lead to acid deposits in the body.

There is a correlation between the consumption of soft water (distilled water is extremely soft) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cells, tissues and organs do not like to be dipped in acid and will do anything to buffer this acidity including the removal of minerals from the skeleton and the manufacture of bicarbonate in the blood.

The longer one drinks distilled water, the more likely the development of mineral deficiencies and an acid state. People who consume distilled water always eventually develop multiple mineral deficiencies. The ideal water for the human body should be slightly alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Bottled mineral water is the wisest choice.

Distilled water tends to be acidic and can only be recommended as a way of drawing poisons out of the body. Once this is accomplished, the continued drinking of distilled water is not recommended.

Water filtered through a solid charcoal filter is slightly alkaline. Ozonation of this charcoal filtered water is ideal for daily drinking. Longevity is associated with the regular consumption of hard water (high in minerals). Disease and early death is more likely to be seen with the long term drinking of distilled water.

Water and heart attacks

Many people say they don't drink anything before going to bed because they'll have to get up during the night.

Why do people urinate so much at night? Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When a person lays down and the lower body (legs and etc) is level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier. Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body s follows.

  • Two glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs.

  • One glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion.

  • One glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure.

  • One glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack. Water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps.

Most heart attacks occur in the day, generally between 6 A.M. and noon. Having one during the night, when the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Sleep apnea could be to blame.

If an aspirin or a baby aspirin are taken once a day, always take it at night. Aspirin has a 24-hour "half-life"; therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the small hours of the morning, the Aspirin would be strongest in the system.

Always keep Aspirin by the bedside. Aspirin lasts for years and when it gets past its sell by date, it smells like vinegar.

There are other symptoms of a heart attack, besides the pain on the left arm. One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots of sweating; however, these symptoms may also occur less frequently.

NOTE: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart attack.

The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep did not wake up. However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep.

If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a some water.
Afterwards: Call emergency services (999 UK).

Take a seat on a chair near the front door and wait for their arrival and ...DO NOT LIE DOWN!

Consuming ginger and turmeric (which has the same effects as aspirin) with a snack in the evening can help protect against strokes and heart attack but should never be administered during a heart attack or stroke.

Water retention

Water retention, also known as fluid retention or oedema, refers to an excessive build-up of fluid in the circulatory system, body tissues or cavities in the body. A complex system of hormones and prostaglandins (hormone-like substances) is used by the body to regulate water levels and excess water intake is resolved by the kidneys quickly excreting the excess fluid in the form of urine. Fluid (liquid) rich in nutrients, vitamins and oxygen,  known as interstitial fluid, continuously passes from tiny blood vessels (capillaries) into surrounding tissues and nourishes the body's cells before passing back into the capillaries.

Causes of water retention

Albumin is a protein made by the liver that helps move many small molecules through the blood, including bilirubin, calcium, progesterone and medicines. It plays an important role in keeping the fluid from the blood from leaking out into the tissues and if levels of this protein are low it can cause water retention. Low albumin levels could be cause by liver or kidney disease or if the body is not absorbing enough protein. Decreased blood albumin may occur when the body does not get or absorb enough nutrients due to factors such as the following

  • After weight-loss surgery (gastric band)

  • Crohn's disease (inflammation of the digestive system, also called inflammatory bowel disease if it affects the colon)

  • Low-protein diets (may be due to treating gout or other for weight loss)

  • Celiac disease (an immune disease in where any consumption of gluten damages the small intestine)

  • Whipple disease (a rare condition that prevents the small intestines from allowing nutrients to pass into the rest of the body caused by infection with a form of bacteria called Tropheryma whippelii)

Allergies: Certain foods and insect bites can cause oedema in susceptible people.

Capillary dysfunction: Water retention may occur if pressure inside the capillaries changes or if something occurs that makes the capillary walls too leaky. This will cause excess fluid to be released into the tissue spaces between cells and. rather than returning to the capillaries, this fluid causes swelling and water logging (water retention).

Heart disorders can cause respiratory problems leading to fluid on the lungs. Normal pressure within blood vessels is partly maintained by the pumping force of the heart. If the heart starts to fail (congestive heart failure), there will be a change in blood pressure, which often results in serious water retention causing swellings in the ankles, feet and/or legs. Fluid can also build-up in the lungs causing a chronic (long-term) cough. Congestive heart failure may eventually cause breathing problems and even more stress on the heart.

Histamine: When an inflammation is present in the body, histamine is released and causes the gaps between the cells of the capillary walls to widen, making them more leaky. The aim is to make it easier for infection-fighting white cells to quickly get to the site of an inflammation (infection). However, if the inflammation persists for a long time, water retention can become chronic (long-term). To find natural anti-histamine remedies see Allergies

Hyponatraemia is caused by water intoxication (drinking so much water that it dilutes the sodium in the blood and overwhelms the kidney's compensation mechanism) or by a syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone secretion which can be associated with illnesses like brain diseases, cancer, pneumonia, thyroid problems and some medications.

Kidney disorders: The kidneys remove excess waste and fluid from the blood and excrete it as urine. The blood and oxygen supply comes from the renal arteries, which are branches of the abdominal aorta. These branches of blood vessels decrease in size until they become the glomeruli in the kidneys. Here the blood is filtered is filtered so that the waste, fluids and other substances can be extracted passed into miniscule tubules, from which the bloodstream reabsorbs what the body is able to reuse then the waste is excreted in the urine. Usually the kidneys are able to eliminate all waste materials that the body produces unless the blood flow to the kidneys is affected, the tubules or glomeruli are not working properly because of damage or disease, if the urine outflow is obstructed or the kidneys are failing. Then because fluids and waste material is not being excreted it builds up and causes water retention.

Lymph system is a network of tubes or vessels much like the blood vessels that cover all the tissues of the body. Lymph is a clear fluid that travels via the lymphatic channels and carries bacteria, chemicals, debris, fluid, lymphocytes, toxins and viruses back from the tissues and then empties it into the bloodstream at the lymph node points through out the body. If the lymphatic system becomes overwhelmed by fluids, congested or the lymph nodes become infected fluid can build-up in various tissues around the body including the abdomen (ascites) or ankles, feet and legs. Lack of physical activity can also cause a malfunction of the lymph system.

Medications: Some medications can cause water or fluid retention such as:

  • Beta-blockers (used to treat abnormal heart rhythms and prevent tachycardia)

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - medications with analgesic (pain reducing), antipyretic (fever reducing) effects. In high doses they are actually effective in reducing inflammation. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.

  • Oestrogen-containing drugs, such as the combined oral contraceptive pill, or HRT (hormone replacement therapy).

Physical inactivity causes the blood to pool in the legs resulting in high pressure in the capillaries. If an individual remains inactive for too long the capillaries may split; leaving small blood marks under the skin, and the veins may become swollen (varicose veins). Exercising the legs makes the muscles help the leg veins return blood to the heart as it is travelling upwards against gravity. During prolonged periods of physical inactivity, such as on a long-haul flight, even small movements, such as standing up on tiptoes and down a few times, rotating the ankles and wiggling the toes can help to avoid fluid retention.

Pregnancy can cause fluid retention due to the weight of the uterus on the veins in the pelvis but generally this is nothing to be concerned about and will rectify itself after child birth.

Pre-menstrual water retention can cause bloating and tender breasts and is probably due to hormone imbalances and also some nutritional factors. Premenstrual refers to the second half of the woman's menstrual cycle during the days or the week or so before her period begins.

Protein deficiency: The body requires a certain level of proteins for effective water balance and an individual with severe protein deficiency may find it harder to get the water from the tissue spaces back into the capillaries. The enlarged abdomens of seriously malnourished starving people are mainly caused by a lack of protein in their diet. leading to water retention in the abdomen.

Highest sources of protein in grams per 100 grams

  • Whelks 48 g

  • Cheese (Parmesan) 38 g

  • Soya beans 36 g

  • Watermelon seeds 34 g

  • Octopus 32 g

  • Squid 32 g

  • Chicken (breast) 31 g

  • Cheese (Gruyere) 30 g

  • Tuna (blue fin) 30 g

  • Venison 30 g

  • Duck (breast) 30 g

  • Turkey (breast) 29 g

  • Pork (chops) 29 g

  • Cheese (Mozzarella) 28 g

  • Rabbit 28 g

  • Turkey (leg) 28 g

  • Beef (rump steak) 28 g

  • Trout 27 g

  • Peanuts 26 g

  • Clams 26 g

  • Beef (liver) 26 g

  • Cheese (Cheddar) 25 g

  • Cheese (Edam) 25 g

  • Cheese (Gouda) 25 g

  • Lamb (chop) 25 g

  • Sardines 25 g

  • Perch 25 g

  • Lamb (kidney) 24 g

  • Tuna (yellow fin) 24 g

  • Beef (fillet steak) 24 g

  • Mussels 24 g

  • Veal 24 g

  • Prawns 24 g

  • Hemp seeds 23 g

  • Beef (mince) 23 g

  • Tuna (tinned) 23 g

  • Sea bass 23 g

  • Pork (shoulder) 23 g

  • Tuna (skipjack) 22 g

  • Black beans 21 g

  • Cheese (goat) 21 g

  • Almonds 21 g

  • Sunflower seeds 21 g

  • Chicken (leg) 21 g

  • Scallops 21 g

  • Cheese (blue) 21 g

  • Lamb's liver 20 g

  • Anchovies 20 g

  • Salmon 20 g

  • Haddock 20 g

  • Cheese (Camembert) 20 g

  • Pumpkin seeds 19 g

  • Crab 19 g

  • Lobster 19 g

  • Mackerel 19 g

  • Chicken (liver) 19 g

  • Poppy seeds 18 g

  • Cashew nuts 18 g

  • Carp 18 g

  • Cod 18 g

  • Oats 17 g

  • Rice bran 17 g

  • Lamb (shoulder) 17 g

  • Chia seeds 17 g

  • Walnuts 15 g

  • Halibut 14 g

  • Cheese (feta) 14 g

  • Cockles 14 g

  • Wheat 14 g

  • Eggs 13 g

  • Quinoa 13 g

  • Barley 12 g

  • Cheese (cottage) 11 g

  • Cheese (Ricotta) 11 g

  • Lentils 9 g

  • Oysters 9 g

  • Peas 5 g

  • Amaranth 4 g

  • Couscous 4 g



Sodium-rich (salt) foods may cause water retention so it may be a good idea to cut them down to see if there is improvement.

Highest sources of sodium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Table salt 38758 mg

  • Bicarbonate of soda 27360 mg

  • Stock cubes 24000 mg

  • Soya sauce 5586 mg

  • Chilli powder 4000 mg

  • Miso 3728 mg

  • Anchovies 3668 mg

  • Yeast extract 2962 mg

  • Capers 2769 mg

  • Processed meats (salami etc) 2260 mg

  • Processed cheese 1798 mg

  • Caviar 1500 mg

  • Crab 1072 mg

  • Algae, chlorella, kelp, seaweed, spirulina 1048 mg

  • Whey 1079 mg

  • Margarine 943 mg

  • Olives 735 mg

  • Salted peanuts 667 mg

Thyroid disorder: Water retention is a common symptom of a thyroid disorder.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency can cause water retention and ironically, diuretic medications causes a deficiency of this vitamin.

Highest sources of vitamin B1 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Yeast extract 23.38 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast 11 mg

  • Rice bran 2.75 mg

  • Wheat germ 1.88 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1.48 mg

  • Coriander leaves 1.25 mg

  • Pine nuts 1.24 mg

  • Sesame seeds 1.21 mg

  • Pork 1.12 mg

  • Peanuts 0.85 mg

  • Soya beans0.83 mg

  • Macadamia nuts 0.71 mg

  • Trout 0.43 mg

  • Chicken livers 0.38 mg

  • Peas 0.28 mg

  • Salmon 0.26 mg

  • Navy beans 0.24 mg

  • Squash 0.17 mg

  • Brown rice 0.16 mg

  • Asparagus 0.16 mg

  • Nori seaweed 0.5 mg

  • Sprouted beans 0.4 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 0.3 mg

  • Asparagus, globe artichoke 0.2 mg

  • Beetroot greens, okra, spinach, watercress 0.1 mg

NOTE: Vitamin B1 levels in foods are radically reduced by heat. Check labels of Brewer's yeast as some products do not contain vitamin B1.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) deficiency can cause water retention.

Highest sources of vitamin B5 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Brewer’s yeast 13.5 mg

  • Chicken livers 8.32 mg

  • Rice bran 7.39 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 7.06 mg

  • Whey 5.62mg

  • Yeast extract 4.60 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 3.59 mg

  • Fish roe 3.50 mg

  • Spirulina 3.48 mg

  • Paprika 2.51 mg

  • Wheat germ 2.26 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 2.09 mg

  • Goose 1.83 mg

  • Lobster 1.67 mg

  • Duck 1.50 mg

  • Peanuts 1.40 mg

  • Buckwheat 1.23 mg

NOTE: Check labels of Brewer's yeast as some products do not contain vitamin B1.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can cause water retention and diuretic medications also cause a deficiency of vitamin B6. Alcohol promotes the loss and destruction of vitamin B6 from the body and the medicine theophylline, often prescribed to asthmatic children, decreases levels of vitamin B6 in the body.

Highest sources of vitamin B6 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Rice bran 4.07 mg

  • Sage 2.69 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast 1.50 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1.35 mg

  • Wheat germ 1.30 mg

  • Garlic 1.24mg

  • Pistachio nuts 1.12 mg

  • Tuna fish 1.04 mg

  • Beef or calf’s liver 1.03 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 0.97 mg

  • Salmon 0.94 mg

  • Turkey 0.81 mg

  • Venison 0.76 mg

NOTE: Wild salmon (0.94 mg) contains far more vitamin B6 than farmed salmon (0.56 mg) and fresh salmon and tuna are far richer in vitamin B6 than tinned.

Remedies for water retention

Eating the correct foods to gain a natural diuretic and water balancing affect in the body will benefit the whole system as they also contain many other essential nutrients and no side effects.

  • Alfalfa seed sprouts - once a day - highly nutritional, assists in weight loss, purifies and thins the blood see how to grow and use alfalfa.

  • Apple cider vinegar cleanses the liver, kidneys and bladder and prevent infections of this area. Take one tablespoon per day.

  • Artichokes (globe) are a natural diuretic.

    Asparagus contains asparigine - a chemical alkaloid that boosts kidney performance improving waste removal from the body

  • Banana one a day to balances sodium and potassium in the blood – tablet diuretics reduce potassium levels

  • Beetroot nourishes kidneys, lowers blood pressure, a natural diuretic, attacks floating body fats and fatty deposits

  • Berries possess powerful antioxidants which cleanse the blood

  • Black currants are a diuretic with a high potassium level

  • Black Pepper corns grind onto everything, transports the nutrients to different parts of body, reduces congestion in the lungs

  • Blueberries nourish the kidneys and stop bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.

    Brussel Sprouts help in stimulating the kidneys and pancreas and results in better cleansing of cells

  • Carrots provide nourishment for the kidneys and bladder and reduce inflammation of the urethra.

  • Celery nourishes the kidneys and reduces blood pressure

  • Chives are valuable as a blood cleanser and exercise a very strong diuretic action

  • Cranberries nourish the kidneys and stop bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.

  • Cucumbers are rich in sulphur and silicon that stimulate the kidneys into better removal of uric acid

  • Dandelion four cups a day with one teaspoon of honey - pour hot but not boiling water from the kettle on a teaspoon of the leaves in a cup and drink - a natural diuretic. It stimulates the removal of waste/toxins via the bile and the urine, and spares the potassium that is otherwise lost with conventional diuretics

  • Fig is oxidant, laxative, diuretic, digestible and a blood cleanser

  • Flaxseeds and Flaxseed oil improves blood flow

  • Garlic is a natural diuretic food that aids breakage of fat

  • Ginger lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood

  • Green tea 4 cups a day, natural diuretic, aids in weight loss and contains amazing number of nutrients

  • Horseradish speeds up the metabolism

  • Hydrangea strengthen the urinary tract and help regulate its function.

  • Lemon is a natural diuretic which can also regulate heart pressure and dissolve certain types of kidney stones.

  • Mango is detoxifying and diuretic

  • Melon is alkalising, mineralising, oxidant and diuretic and helps control heart rate and blood pressure offering protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

    Oats contain silica - a natural diuretic.

  • Onions (raw) speed up the metabolism.

  • Papayas are diuretic and laxative.

  • Parsley nourishes the kidneys, bladder and urethra and purifies the blood.

  • Peaches are diuretic, depurative and detoxifying.

  • Psyllium Husks helps to expel water and waste, stops constipation, aids digestion of nutrients.

  • Pumpkin diuretic properties that does not irritate the kidneys.

  • Pumpkin seeds good for bladder and urinary problems, increases good cholesterol, nourishes the eyes.

  • Radish (raw) especially daikon speeds up the metabolism, increases removal of waste and protects against high blood pressure and heart disease.

  • Rye bread, crackers, flour and flakes aids digestion, high fibre, reduces water and highly nutritional.

  • Strawberries are a traditional diuretic, thin the blood, improve blood flow - does not cause intestinal bleeding like aspirin.

  • Tea four cups a day acts as a natural diuretic

  • Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C that aid the metabolism and release of water from the kidney to flush out waste.

  • Turmeric  1/2 teaspoon in warm water or sauces or on meals everyday - lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood.

  • Uva Ursi natural diuretic - strengthens the urinary system and eliminates excess fluids.

  • Watercress is a natural diuretic.

  • Watermelon seeds help the body eliminate excess water.

Naturally diuretic herbs

Diuretic drugs

Drugs prescribed to treat water retention such as anti-hypertensives, thiazide-type diuretics deplete magnesium, sodium, potassium and zinc. Loop diuretics deplete potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and vitamins B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine) and C (ascorbic acid). Furosemide causes vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency in 98 percent of patients with congestive heart failure and increases excretion of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).

If taking any of these diuretic medications a selection of foods rich in each of these nutrients must be consumed daily.

See also The A-Z of minerals


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