What are diuretics?
They help your body get rid of excess fluid, which is usually water and sodium.
Diuretics stimulate the kidneys to excrete more sodium into the urine 1. And when your body flushes away sodium due to diuretics, you also flush away water.
Natural diuretics, and diuretics, in general, help you get rid of that nagging belly bloat 2.
In some cases, even though you do all the right things like following a healthy diet and working out, you might have a bloated abdomen.
With that in mind, ask yourself, are you prone to bloating belly, swollen ankles, and bulging AM eye bags?
Well, chances are your body is holding onto excess water and salt, and you need some diuretics to flush away water 3.
What is fluid retention?
Before we get to the natural diuretic foods you can use, let’s talk a little what is fluid retention in the first place.
Fluid retention can be caused by medical conditions, medications, or some lifestyle choices 4.
It is important to talk with your physician and consult him/her before trying to treat it yourself. In some cases, diuretics can worsen a medical problem you might have.
Fluid retention is not a condition, rather a symptom for another condition.
Diuretics can help relieve fluid retention by making you urinate more, both in frequency and volume. Water is found both inside and outside the body’s cells.
When there is an abnormal accumulation of clear and watery fluid in the tissues or cavities of the body, a physician will diagnose fluid retention.
A complex system of hormones and hormone-like substances are used by the human body to regulate water levels. A big mistake people make is taking diuretics to lose weight.
Now, getting rid of excess water will show lower number on the scale. But that is not the long-term solution.
There are also other ways to reduce water retention, including following a low-salt diet, consuming more potassium rich foods, consuming more magnesium rich foods, consuming lean protein, and much more.
When you need a diuretic
A certified healthcare expert can prescribe you diuretics if you really need it.
If you want to take a diuretic only for losing weight, a physician will not likely prescribe one to you.
Fluid retention is more common in older adults. As mentioned previously, fluid or water retention is a symptom of a more severe condition 5.
Here are some conditions in which doctors prescribe diuretics.
- High blood pressure
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Kidney dysfunction
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney stones
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
The reason why some people opt for natural diuretic is because prescription diuretics can cause side effects like muscle cramps, rash, fatigue, headaches, and lightheadedness.
How can nature help you?
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You might think of dandelion as just a plant, or just a flower.
But this flowering plant is more than just that.
Treat yourself with dandelion tea to enhance kidneys activity and increase urination frequency and volume 6.
Another natural diuretic that is just a plant for some people.
In addition to improving kidneys function, hawthorn reduces fluid buildup and improves symptoms of congestive heart failure 7.
You can consume the hawthorn berries for its diuretic properties.
A study in 2014 showed that horsetail extract can act as a diuretic 8.
It has the same properties as a prescription diuretic and no side effects.
For those experiencing side effects when consuming prescription diuretics, horsetail extract is a great alternative.
Green and black tea
Almost any type of tea you prepare can act as a diuretic.
But black and green tea are even better, as they provide a number of other health benefits as well.
For example, green tea is rich in antioxidants that improve your overall health.
Speaking of teas, hibiscus has the best diuretic effects among them.
Hibiscus tea improves urination, but also increases kidney filtration 9.
Most people use parsley as a garnish.
But if you are having troubles with diuretic drugs, parsley is your answer.
The plant used as a spice can improve both volume and frequency of urinating 10.
Few things are as refreshing as ice cold watermelon.
There is a simple reason behind that.
Watermelon is made of 92% water.
And while it has a lot of natural sugar, watermelon is a healthy choice because it stimulates urination and provides healthy nutrients for your body.
Make sure to consume fresh and natural watermelon, not those watermelon juices and popsicles that usually come with added sugar content.
The downside of consuming asparagus as a natural diuretic is your urine will have a distinct smell.
But that will happen only the first few times after urinating.
It does not last for always.
The reason is asparagus helps your digestive system break down odorous byproducts.
You’ll notice the different urine smell after 30 minutes within consuming the vegetable.
A lot of nutrition experts recommend starting the day with a glass of water and some lemon squeezed in it.
Lemons are great for starting the day.
They provide you with energy, vitamins, minerals, and more importantly, help you flush the system of excess water.
All while removing toxins as well.
Nettle leaves support the detoxification process, same as lemon.
They also provide a lot of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients for your body.
You can brew a tea of nettle leaves, or add them to your salad.
We mentioned previously that some people opt for diuretics, be it natural or prescription ones in order to lose weight.
While that should not be your primary reason, celery helps greatly.
Low in calories, celery is recommended by nutritionists.
In addition, celery is high in fiber, and has a high water content, making it great for people trying to shed some pounds.
Cucumbers are some of the best natural diuretics, because they are naturally hydrating.
Similar as watermelon, cucumbers are made mostly of water.
Consuming cucumbers help your body shed the excess water and toxins.
A potent anti-inflammatory food, ginger helps by flushing out toxins and excess fluids.
You can easily prepare a tea with ginger.
Another option is to add it to soups, salads, and even smoothies.