The human body is mostly made of fluid, chief among them is water. While the fluid is a good thing, as it helps the body remain hydrated, assists with blood flow, allows nutrients and other vital elements, including oxygen, to flow through the body, when it fluid builds up, in the body, it can have serious side effects. Certain medications, staying still for long periods of time – whether standing, sitting, or lying down – eating foods that are high in sodium, and certain disease, such as kidney and liver, are all things that can lead to fluid retention.
Diuretics are used to help the body expel excess fluid, as well as salt. When diuretics are taken, excess fluid passes out of the body as urine. Diuretics are often recommended to treat several conditions, including high blood pressure, as they help to minimize the amount of fluid in the blood vessels, which helps to lower blood pressure. Congestive heart failure is also treated with diuretics, as this condition prevents your heart from properly pumping blood through the body, which can lead to a buildup of fluid.
How do diuretics work? They stimulate the kidneys, helping them produce more urine and extract water from the blood, thus reducing pressure on the walls of the arteries. This is highly beneficial for people who suffer from high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and other types of conditions that affect the heart.
While diuretics are available in the form of pills, which you can either have prescribed by a doctor or you can purchase over the counter, there’s another way that you can reduce fluid retention: food. There are a lot of foods that are natural diuretics, and adding them to your diet will help to reduce the buildup of fluid, prevent swelling (edema) and prevent the development of adverse health conditions.
If you are interested in lowering fluid retention in your body, here’s a look at 18 different foods that are natural diuretics that you should consider adding to your diet.
1. Caffeinated Beverages
Drinks like coffee and tea, and any other beverage that contains caffeine, are diuretics. Not only does caffeine boost your energy levels, but it also encourages your body to produce more urine and urinate more frequently. Caffeine is found naturally in cocoa beans and tea leaves, and it is also made synthetically and added to sports drinks, sodas, and other beverages. If you are looking to reduce fluid retention, you should definitely consider upping the number of caffeinated beverages that you consume. Just be careful not to consume too much, as you don’t want to overdue the diuretic effect. It’s recommended that adults consume no more than 300 mg of caffeine each day.
Best known for their high potassium levels, bananas are a great natural diuretic. Potassium is a natural electrolyte mineral, which makes it a diuretic. It helps the body pass sodium throughout the urine, which helps to reduce the amount of fluid that you are retaining. Munch on a few bananas a day, add them to a fruit smoothie, or slice them up and put them on top of cereal to reduce your fluid retention.
This sweet, juicy, succulent fruit is also a natural diuretic. It helps the kidneys produce more urine, which helps to pass sodium out of the body, along with excess fluid. Pineapples also offer several vital nutrients, so you won’t only be reducing your fluid levels when you eat this fruit, but you’ll also increase the number of vital nutrients you consume. Slice up a pineapple and enjoy it for a snack, mix it in with low sodium cottage cheese, mix it in with yogurt, or add it to a fruit smoothie. You can also swap out the whole pineapple for pineapple juice and get the same diuretic effect.
Like watermelon, grapes are another fruit that has a high water content, which means that they are an excellent natural diuretic. Not only do they improve kidney function, which means that they help to increase the amount of urine the body produces and how much fluid and sodium it releases, but grapes are a great source of several vital nutrients. They contain vitamin C, vitamin K, and they are also a source of healthy carbs. Add to that the fact that grapes have no cholesterol, and you really have healthy food when you choose grapes.
This sweet fruit is another natural diuretic, as well as a laxative. They also have no sodium and no cholesterol. They improve the function of the kidneys, so they will help your body lower its fluid levels naturally, as they help produce more urine. Full of vital nutrients, including niacin, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and dietary fiber, peaches pack a powerful punch for your health. To get the most out of them, make sure you enjoy them in their natural state; right off the tree, and with their skin in-tact. Peaches also help to dissolve uric acid, which can help to reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Fruits aren’t the only food that is natural diuretics; veggies are, too. A great diuretic veggie is a cucumber. It has very high water content, so it gets your kidneys moving and helps to produce more urine. When your body produces higher amounts of urine, it also passes fluid and sodium out of it. Cucumbers are also packed with vital nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A and pantothenic acid, these satisfying and refreshing veggies are super healthy. Slice one up and it is as a snack, add it to a salad, or you can even mix it into a fruit and veggie smoothie.
Another veggie that acts as a natural diuretic. Eat a serving of asparagus and you will certainly feel the need to go to the bathroom. That’s because this veggie helps to jumpstart your kidneys, which means that you will produce more urine. With the increased production of urine, your body passes more fluid and more sodium. Asparagus is also a great source of valuable nutrients, such as fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, trace minerals, and chromium. Lastly, asparagus helps to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
You’ll increase your iron intake when you eat beets, and you’ll also up your folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, and protein levels. Vital nutrients aren’t all that beets provide; they also act as a natural diuretic. It may seem surprising, but this root vegetable gets the kidneys moving and transports more fluid out of the system, as well as sodium. Boil up some beets, slice them and put them on top of a salad, mix them into a smoothie, or you can even roast them! Beets are a magnificent veggie!
Kale is often seen on the side of plates as a garnish to other types of food; however, you should really consider eating that kale instead of tossing it to the side. It is a valuable source of tons of vitamins and minerals, such as protein, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, copper, and calcium. On top of all of that, kale is acts as a natural diuretic. You can chop up some raw kale and use it as a base for a salad, steam it and eat it as a side dish, add it to soups, or even roast or bake it to make tasty, yet healthy kale chips.
This is one powerhouse veggie! It is jam-packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin C, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, choline, potassium, phosphorus, and protein. It builds bones, increases the production of red blood cells, helps to improve heart health, and can even help to improve the health of your brain. On top of all of that, spinach is a natural diuretic, too! You can add spinach to your diet in so many different ways: put it into a salad; steam it and serve it with some garlic, lemon, or even cinnamon; roast it; cream it, or put it into a nutritious smoothie.