A diuretic is any substance, whether it be food, herb, beverage or man-made medicine, which you take orally to help you eliminate liquids in the form of urine. This is great for people who want to detox, have high blood pressure or simply want to get rid of excess water weight.
Fluid retention may occur from sitting or standing for long periods of time, as a side effect from some medications, disease of the liver or thyroid, or a high-sodium diet.
Fruits that consists of mostly water are great combatants of fluid retention because they are high in potassium, which counteracts sodium, a culprit of fluid retention. Watermelon, cantaloupe, lemon, pineapple, currant, banana, pear, peach, fig, apple, grapefruit, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, mango, papaya, kiwi, grape and tomato all have high water content. Cranberries and juniper berries have the added benefits of fighting infections and are great at detoxifying your body.
Vegetables that are green and leafy tend to be great diuretics with the added bonus of having antioxidant properties. Lettuce, spinach, seaweed, kale and mustard greens fall under this category. Other vegetables that are effective diuretics are pumpkin, green beans, asparagus, artichokes, beets, Brussel sprouts, carrots, cucumber, watercress, celery and eggplant.
Herbs not only add healthy flavor to your meal, many are also diuretics! Choose from parsley, horseradish, ginger, dandelion leaf, stinging nettle, hawthorn herb, garlic, leeks, fennel, raw onion and celery seed and much more!
Consuming oats is great if you are feeling bloated from fluid retention. If you suffer from high cholesterol, adding oats to your diet will also help you lower it.
Vinegar is great for seasoning, adding potassium to your diet and, you guessed it, is a great diuretic!
Caffeinated beverages are diuretics in addition to energizing your body. The following drinks are great diuretics to add to your diet if you’re looking to detoxify, lower your blood pressure or lose that water weight: coconut water, coffee, green tea, carrot juice, cranberry juice, dandelion tea, soda, buttermilk, cranberry juice and water with lemon juice.
Tips for Incorporating Natural Diuretics to Your Daily Routine
- Squeeze half a lemon into a glass of water and drink that while you’re making your morning coffee or tea.
- Add some fresh ginger root to your tea.
- Eat some oatmeal for breakfast.
- Snack on some carrot and celery sticks.
- Snack on fruit.
- Instead of a slice of cake or brownie for dessert, eat a fruit salad instead.
- Make your own salad dressing with apple cider vinegar.
- Order a cold-pressed juice with parsley in it.
- Use herbs instead of salt to season your food.
- Eat kimchi or other pickled vegetables.
If you are too focused on adding diuretics to your diet, you may become dehydrated (losing too much fluids). Without water, your body is not as efficient at absorbing vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal functioning. To avoid this, make sure to drink plenty of water!