Have you ever woken up to swollen fingers or ankles? What about the feeling of a tire around your waist? When your body holds onto excess fluid, things can get really uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can beat fluid retention.
Along with cutting back on the iodized salt and working out more, your diet plays a large role in beating fluid retention. Below are 20 diuretic foods that work to stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine and relieve you of uncomfortable bloat. Along with helping you to un-puff, these foods will help you drop a few pounds and lower high blood pressure.
One of the best things you can do for your health is to start drinking lemon water in the morning. Lemons don’t just make your water taste better, they also help reduce high blood pressure, alkalize the body, flush out harmful toxins, and feed the body beneficial vitamins and minerals.
If you aren’t a huge fan of lemons, don’t worry. You don’t have to eat the actual lemon wedges to reap their amazing health benefits. Rather, the potency comes from the juice. So add some lemon juice to warm water, stir in a little organic honey, and drink up!
Once you begin drinking lemon water, you may notice yourself taking more trips to the bathroom. If you’re urinating more frequently that means it’s working! It’s no wonder lemons have been used to treat cases of urinary tract infection!
A lot of people link oats to heart health since they can lower high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. What a lot of people don’t know, though, is oats are also considered a natural diuretic. That’s because oats are rich in water-soluble B vitamins along with potassium, a mineral that regulates water levels in the body. It works by competing with sodium to make sure your body stays hydrated. So just in case you were looking for another reason to start your morning off with a warm bowl of oatmeal, you’re welcome!
This popular vegetable has an extremely high water content (about 95 percent). For that reason, munching on celery can help flush your system and get you to “go” more often.
According to the Institute of Medicine, about 80 percent of the water you consume comes from beverages, while the remaining 20 percent actually comes from food. Celery is one of many hydrating foods. If you don’t care for the taste of it or just don’t like the texture, try adding it to a diuretic smoothie with other fruits and vegetables found on this page. You’ll be giving your body a big boost of nutrition. Plus, fresh juice is extremely easy for your body to digest.
4. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts contain powerful nutrients that benefit the body in more ways than one. They help fight cancer, protect the heart, improve digestive health, alkalize the body, and work as a natural diuretic. Just a one-cup serving of brussels sprouts will help you meet your daily requirement of vitamins C and K. They’re also rich in beneficial minerals such as manganese, folate, B vitamins, and potassium. It’s thanks to those nutrients that this vegetable helps stimulate the kidneys and pancreas, remove excess fluids, and purify the body.
If you are someone who can’t stand the thought of a pile of brussels sprouts as your side dish, try mixing them with other vegetables or incorporate them into your main dish so you’re not just eating them straight.
Ginger is one of the healthiest spices you can eat. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have been proven to have powerful health benefits. One effect this popular spice has on the body is to rid it of excess fluid. Ginger has a powerful cleansing effect on the body, which is why it’s often used in detox programs to help flush out toxins. So next time you’re grocery shopping don’t forget to pick up some fresh ginger root. You’ll be surprised how often you use it when you have it handy. You can either use it to zest food or steep it in hot water to make ginger tea!
Beets are another popular vegetable that are rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps the body pass sodium through urine. Like I said earlier, too much sodium is a major cause of fluid retention. So it’s important to cut back on the iodized salt and eat diuretic foods like beets. Along with their many health benefits, beets also offer a pleasant flavor since they’re sweet.
When choosing what style of beet to eat, go for fresh beets that you can either grill, boil, or steam. While some beets are better for cooking, others are better for pickling. Unfortunately, most of the beets for sale in supermarkets are the pickled kind, so you may have to check out a farmer’s market or other vegetable stands to find fresh beets.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is like nature’s medicine. It has a number of uses for both health and beauty. Along with fighting cancer, balancing blood sugar, aiding weight loss, regulating the body’s pH levels, fighting acid reflux, and improving digestive health, apple cider vinegar can also be used as a natural diuretic. It encourages the body to purge itself of unneeded fluids, leading to better urinary function and overall health. To reap the diuretic benefits, add a little apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it down! The best part is you don’t need to use a lot of it to notice the benefits.
When it comes to cabbage you can buy either green or red (AKA purple). They both have powerful diuretic benefits since they have a high water content (green cabbage is 93 percent water and red cabbage is 92 percent) and are a good source of potassium. Along with its diuretic effects, cabbage has also been shown to fight cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease. One great way to eat cabbage is by adding it to soup. This entails chopping or shredding the cabbage and cooking it until it’s very tender. The key is not to use too much salt when you make your cabbage soup, as that would reduce the diuretic effect of helping the body release stored up sodium.
9. Cranberry Juice
Perhaps you’ve heard that cranberry juice is a powerful home remedy for urinary tract infections. Well, that’s mainly because of its antibacterial and diuretic properties! One noteworthy feature of cranberry juice is that it leaves your potassium levels intact and also provides extra antioxidants to help your body battle free radicals.
Before sipping down your cranberry juice, make sure to reach for a brand that isn’t loaded with sugar. Also, opt for organic cranberry juice so you can avoid conventional berries that were treated with chemicals during the growing and preservation process.
Eggplant contains few calories (only 35 calories per cup) and a lot of beneficial nutrients that help the body fight cancer, lower high cholesterol, improve digestion, boost energy, help build strong bones, and flush out excess water your body is retaining. Eggplant’s powerful diuretic effects are a result of its high water content and potassium levels. Plus, it’s extremely low in sodium.
Along with making regular eggplant dishes, some weight loss enthusiasts drink “eggplant water” as a way of blasting water retention and beating bloat. So what the heck is eggplant water? Well, it’s exactly like it sounds! Cut up an organic eggplant and boil it in three-to-four quarts of water. Then, strain the boiling water. Put the water in the fridge and drink it throughout the day. To boost eggplant water’s diuretic effects you can add a bit of lemon juice!
Many people view parsley as a pretty food garnish and ignore its amazing health benefits. However, the popular herb contains several types of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that have a major effect on the body. Some health benefits include: improves digestion, fights bad bacteria, boosts the immune system, protects heart health, balances hormones, helps build strong bones, protects eye health, and works as a natural diuretic.
According to a 2002 review study conducted by The American University of Beirut, parsley works to stimulate the kidneys, drawing out excess water from the abdomen and producing more urine. In their study, researchers gave rats parsley seed extract to drink. Within 24 hours of consumption, the rats showed a significant increase in the amount of urine they produced.
To add more parsley to your regular diet you can either cook with it or add it to your water. Infused water is delicious and extremely healthy!
12. Caffeinated Beverages
Have you ever noticed yourself running to the bathroom after drinking your morning caffeinated beverage? That’s because caffeinated beverages such as tea and/or coffee work as a mild natural diuretic. The key word here is “mild.” In one study, researchers took a closer look at how effective coffee works as a diuretic. They found people actually grow a tolerance to this effect. They wrote:
“… a profound tolerance to the diuretic and other effects of caffeine develops, however, and the actions are much diminished in individuals who regularly consume tea or coffee. Doses of caffeine equivalent to the amount normally found in standard servings of tea, coffee, and carbonated soft drinks appear to have no diuretic action.”
It’s important to note these findings don’t mean caffeine won’t increase your need to urinate. For people who do not drink coffee or tea on a regular basis, you will most likely notice a difference in urine production. That leads me to the next issue. Many people wonder if the diuretic effects of coffee or tea will leave them dehydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, despite popular belief, caffeinated beverages don’t appear to increase a person’s risk of dehydration.
Even though it might sound counterproductive, drinking more water actually helps your body rid itself of excess fluid. Here’s why — not drinking enough water leads the body to retain the water it has in order to keep hydrated. So how much water is enough water? The Institute of Medicine recommends women drink 9 cups (2.2 liters) of water daily. For men, they recommend drinking 13 cups (3 liters) a day. Many people are nowhere near that amount … so drink up!
If you want to increase water’s diuretic effects try squeezing some fresh lemon juice into it. You could also drink hot water with slices of ginger in it for a sort of ginger tea. These methods will amplify the diuretic effect because these add-ins are also on our list of diuretic foods!
First, let me start by saying that tomatoes are 94 percent water. Also, according to the Department of Food Sciences at North Carolina State University, “Tomatoes are the second most produced and consumed vegetable nationwide and are a rich source of lycopene, beta-carotene, folate, potassium, vitamin C, flavonoids, and vitamin E.” Those nutrients help give tomatoes their diuretic effect.
If you’re looking to reap the diuretic benefit from tomatoes, you’ll want to eat them raw. The best way to do this is to add tomatoes to a salad or blend them up to make fresh tomato juice. If you don’t like the taste of plain tomato juice consider adding carrots or watermelon to it to increase the effect and improve the flavor. Tomatoes are also one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Take another look at the list of nutrients found in a tomato. With large amounts of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes have been shown to help battle cancer and prevent heart disease of all types!
Cucumbers are another hydrating food. In fact, this popular summer vegetable is 96 percent water. That’s the highest water content of any solid food! Just because cucumbers are mostly water, though, don’t discount their nutritional value. Cucumbers are loaded with vitamin C, K, and B. They also contain minerals such as copper, potassium, and manganese. Combine water with these nutrients and you get a powerful diuretic food! It’s no wonder cucumbers are typically used in detoxing recipes. Along with helping to flush excess fluids and harmful toxins from the body, cucumbers can also help fight diabetes, fight cancer, and promote weight loss.
Think back to when you were a kid. During the summer months, did you run around your backyard in a bathing suit with watermelon juice running down your chin and arms? Watermelons are seriously one of the best parts about summer. While they’re delicious and enjoyable, they’re also extremely nutritious and benefit the body in more ways than one. Since the popular fruit made this list, you can probably guess that it’s a great natural diuretic. That’s because watermelons are 92 percent water and contain nutrients that stimulate urination. Don’t worry about getting dehydrated from all of the urination, though. A 2009 study from the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that the combination of minerals and natural sugars in watermelon (and some other fruits and vegetables) can actually hydrate people more effectively than water or sports drinks.
The only thing about watermelon is learning when to stop. You definitely want to be careful not to each too much watermelon in one sitting because its sweetness can cause your blood glucose levels to spike, which could counteract the healthy benefits of this antioxidant-rich fruit.
Carrots are often thought of for their benefit to eyesight since they’re rich in vitamin A. While they definitely do benefit eye health, carrots do have a host of other health benefits. Another big benefit of munching on carrots is they can help beat excess water weight and bloat.
Carrots are great because they come in a few different varieties and can be used in a wide array of dishes. Baby carrots are great for snacking or going on top of salads. Regular sized carrots can get sliced, chopped, and cooked for soups and/or side dishes. No matter how you go about eating them, you’ll still get all of the nutrients as well as the diuretic effect they provide.
Your friends may not like your breath after you eat garlic, but your body will surely love you for it! Garlic is a true superfood. Thanks to its powerful nutritional punch, garlic helps to fight cancer, fight diabetes, support heart health, and boost the immune system. What a lot of people don’t realize, though, is garlic also has powerful diuretic effects. Just a moderate amount of garlic has been shown effective at curing water retention and also contributing to the breakdown of fat.
While there is such a thing as garlic pills, you will notice more of an effect from fresh garlic cloves or garlic powder. You don’t have to eat clove after clove of garlic to reap the benefit and just using it as part of the cooking process should be enough to see results.
People have been eating artichokes for their medicinal purposes for centuries. Two of the main reasons artichokes were so popular among ancient herbalists was for their diuretic and digestive properties. Since artichokes are an excellent source of fiber they are great for digestive health. Additionally, they contain beneficial nutrients such as potassium, which are great for helping the body rid itself of excess fluid. While artichokes stimulate urine production, they also help to replenish the body itself with essential vitamins and minerals.
While artichokes are extremely healthy a lot of people are confused how to eat them! I mean, other than ordering a side of artichoke dip at a restaurant, do you know how to actually eat this vegetable? Check out this short video from the Food Network for some ideas:
As you can see, the artichoke is actually a very versatile vegetable that you can enjoy hot or cold!
When you think of asparagus, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Chances are you thought about stinky urine! While it’s not the most appealing side effect of eating asparagus, this is one way you can see the connection between the popular veggie and your urinary system. The odor is caused by an acid found in the asparagus. It’s not harmful to the body, and in fact, the antioxidants found in asparagus benefit health in many ways. Along with its diuretic properties, asparagus helps with nutrient absorption, aids digestion, fights cancer, and reduces chronic inflammation in the body.
Be Proactive (Not Reactive)
If you feel like your body is holding onto excess fluid then start introducing these foods into your diet. You should notice a change within a few days. However, don’t stop eating them once you feel relief. Rather, I recommend adding these diuretic foods to your regular meals. Eating them every day can prevent water retention on a lasting basis. When it comes to your health, it’s all about being proactive versus reactive! Of course, you should consult your doctor before adding these diuretic foods to your regular diet if you are using any type of diuretic or anti-diuretic medications.
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