Diuretics aren’t only drugs; they can also be herbs and foods. This treatment can help people experiencing swelling or edema.
Edema is manifested by swelling in any parts of the body. It is caused by abnormal accumulation of fluid of the body or water retention. Edema is common during pregnancy, but it’s also associated with other health conditions like diabetes and heart failure.
Diuretics are the best treatment for edema as it helps in releasing the excess fluid through urination. It also aids in removing salt or sodium from your body, thus prevents absorption of sodium into your kidneys.
There are foods that have diuretic properties. Foods that contain phytochemicals also have diuretic properties. Likewise, foods having high water content increase the rate of detoxification and urination.
Aside from preventing water retention, diuretics also helps in losing weight and lowering blood pressure.
Best Natural Diuretics Foods
Asparagus is a natural diuretic food that has the higher level of asparagine, an amino acid. It doesn’t only increase urination but also helps eliminate excess salts from your body. This food is beneficial for those who suffer from swelling or edema and experiencing high blood pressure. (1)
Watermelon contains about 92% of water (2). It also has carotenoids and lycopene, phytochemicals that protect tissues, cells and proteins inside your body from free radicals. It also contains several antioxidant flavonoids and amino acid.
Overall, this food works well as a diuretic and also in cleansing, mineralizing and alkalinizing.
Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidant like beta-carotene, lycopene, selenium and Vitamin C. These antioxidants prevent chronic degenerative diseases and premature aging. They also have higher water content making them effective as diuretics.
The high water content of cucumber makes it a natural diuretic. It also contains ascorbic acid and caffeic that give diuretic effect. It’s also efficient in removing wastes from your body.
Cucumber isn’t only good in treating swelling but also for arthritis relief. The antioxidants content of cucumber like beta carotene and lutein reduces the signs of aging. This food is also good for losing weight, brain health and reducing the level of blood pressure.(6, 7, 8)
This vegetable offers excellent diuretic effect because it contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as phytochemicals. They’re also good in maintaining the normal blood pressure level.
The phytochemicals help in promoting detoxification and eliminating of wastes from the body. Likewise, they also reduce swelling and the alkaline content of carrots promotes the proper balance of pH and invigorates the blood. (9, 10, 11)
Another vegetable that has high water content making it perfect for treating edema. Aside from being an effective diuretic, eggplants also improve the blood circulation, thus it is useful for treating hypertension (12).
Eggplants are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. They’re also helpful in losing weight.
This is an excellent diuretic food that also supports kidney functions. Artichoke has a rich source of vitamins, minerals and several nutrients that improves normal bodily functions.
This vegetable contains phytochemicals called cynarin that reduces the excess fluids in your body, thus reduces swelling. Artichoke also improves bile release and it also addresses liver problems (13).
The celery seed stimulates uric acid excretion and urine production. Buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint can lead to gout edema and be consuming celery seed can be helpful.
People experiencing kidney problems, cystitis and bladder disorders should eat celery and enjoy its diuretic actions. Celery contains coumarins, a phytochemical that improves the vascular system and reduces blood pressure (14, 15).
Grapes are rich in potassium and have high water content. These properties make grape a unique and effective diuretic food.
There are various phytochemicals present in this fruit that work best in eliminating toxins from your body through urination. It also stimulates bile secretion and liver function. Grapes also decrease the risk of several diseases, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and eye disorders (16, 17, 18, 19, 20).
The fiber present in the seeds and skin of grapes has detoxifying effect making it useful in losing weight.
Ginger is commonly used in many detox programs because of its powerful cleansing effect. It’s also a good diuretic as it helps in getting rid any retained fluid in your body. You can enjoy the diuretic effect of ginger by adding it to your meal or the water you drink (21).
Aside from being rich in antioxidants, beets are also a great diuretic. Fresh beets have more antioxidants as compared to the processed ones.
12. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts aren’t only low in calories, they are also rich in antioxidants and offers many diuretic effects. You should include this cruciferous vegetable in your meal as it can help in preventing water retention. They’re also beneficial for those who want to lose weight and lower blood pressure.
This vegetable offers diuretic property that is beneficial for people experiencing edema. It is also a health supplement that is known to lower the risks of developing heart disease and cancer. This is the reason why doctors recommend cabbage to their patients (22, 23, 24).
Another diuretic food that provides positive effects on human’s health is parsley. It is commonly used as a garnish, but many people don’t know that it contains antioxidants.
Garlic offers many health benefits that’s why it should be included when cooking your favorite meal. Patients with edema are advised to consume garlic to eliminate excess water retained in their body.
Oats are ideal for those who want to lose weight and eliminating bad cholesterol. The oats work in soaking the retained water and cholesterol accumulated by your body.
If you’re experiencing urinary tract infection, consuming lemon will do wonders for you. It also contains diuretic properties and different types of antioxidants. Lemon helps alleviate the symptoms of edema such as water retention.
18. Cranberry juice
Cranberry juice is an effective home remedy for treating urinary tract infections. It contains diuretic and antibacterial properties to treat the infection and edema. The good thing about cranberry juice is that it drains the retained water in your body but not the potassium.
19. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar stimulates the body to flush out the excess fluids through its diuretic property. It’s also beneficial in losing weight as it can speed up the metabolism of an individual. Additionally, the antioxidants present in apple cider vinegar can lower the blood pressure, thus prevents hypertension (29, 30).
Bananas have higher Manganese and Potassium content. They also have high levels of vitamins B2, B6 and niacin that reduce blood pressure level.
The best way to release the excess fluid out of your body is by drinking water. Preparing a mixture of ginger and hot water will make it the best diuretic. You can also combine water with other supplements having great diuretic properties (35).
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How to Eat Natural Diuretic Foods
Diuretics are not only used to treat swelling or edema. They’re also used to other medical conditions related to abnormal water retention in your body.
Patients with renal dysfunction such as chronic renal failure, acute glomerulonephritis and nephrotic syndrome are advised to take diuretics.
Aside from edema or water retention, diuretics are also used to treat hypertension. It works well when combined with antihypertensive medications.
However, you must be careful when taking diuretics because there are instances in which diuretics can deplete the potassium in your body. This may result in hypokalemia. Therefore, if you’re taking diuretics you should also consume foods high in potassium.
The good thing about consuming natural diuretics is that you’re unlikely to experience an adverse effect. It’s because diuretic foods also contain other nutrients and phytochemicals essential to support good health.
is a registered dietitian with over 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She has a Master’s degree in Nutritional Science from Dhaka University and has worked with various clients to help them achieve their health goals through personalized diet plans. Mounota is passionate about educating people on the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle and has written extensively on the subject for various publications.