Diuretics are cleansing agents that flush excess fluid from your body. They accomplish this by fielding more sodium into your urine, which attracts water away from tissues and cells and into the bladder. While modern medicine offers up pharmaceutical diuretics, there are plenty of delicious fruits, vegetables and other foods that can reverse water retention as well.
48 Foods that Pack a Diuretic Punch
Be sure to let your physician know if you are experiencing problems with water retention; while the following foods can help reduce water retention, you want to make sure there is no underlying medical reason for excess fluid in your body.
Green, watery vegetables are among the most potently diuretic, because of their water, fiber and mineral content. Many are high in potassium and magnesium, both of which counteract sodium. Artichokes, cucumbers, garlic and onion are rich in sulfur which stimulates the kidneys.
These vegetables are all great choices for a diuretic effect:
- Asparagus (This delicate, classic stalk vegetable makes urine fragrant and more plentiful.)
- Tomatoes (actually a fruit)
- Onions and garlic
- Pumpkin (These nutritional powerhouses fight both constipation and water bloat.)
- Eggplant (Some people have trouble digesting them, so start sparingly.)
Also rich in sulfur, cruciferous veggies act as diuretics, but may produce gas in some people. Take it slow and experiment with:
- Brussel sprouts
Add these condiments for double the diuretic effect:
In addition to providing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the water, fiber and enzymes in many fruits expedite digestion and flush out excess fluids. Currants and bananas contain potassium, which balances out sodium, the "anti-diuretic."
Your best bets include:
- Watermelon (one of the very best diuretic fruits)
- Pineapple (aids digestion as well)
- Cranberries (also promotes bladder health and fight urinary infections)
- Grapefruit (Often touted as a calorie burning booster too)
- Honeydew melon
- Juniper berries
- Black currants
Other foods, beverages
Other water-flushing choices include:
- Coconuts, coconut milk and coconut water (also excellent source of electrolytes)
- Oats (which contain the natural diuretic, silica)
- Green tea
- Herbal teas
- Cranberry and other juices of diuretic fruits and veggies
Avoid Water Retention
Too much salt and sugar, along with too little protein, can cause water retention. Eating plenty of diuretic foods can counteract these effects. As with all medicinal foods, you should never overdo it. Excessive elimination of water from your body can make you lose valuable vitamins and minerals. Balance is key.
Because dehydration can paradoxically cause you to hold onto water, always drink lots of fluids to stay well hydrated as you enjoy this wide variety of cleansing foods. All have countless benefits for overall health, vitality and immunity. If you're also looking to shed some water weight, rid your body of toxins or control blood pressure, they are especially good choices for you.