Diuretic Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

diuretic-dietA diuretic diet has nothing to do with lowering body fat, but can help the body to release excess fluid.

There are certain herbs and foods that are natural diuretics. Including these foods in your diet can assist in alleviating fluid retention.

These foods can be incorporated into the diet to produce an overall diuretic effect, while eliminating foods that cause water retention.

Diuretic Diet Plans

A diuretic diet plan can help to alleviate symptoms of PMS – such as bloating and headaches.

Those with kidney issues should also look at the low protein kidney diet as it also addresses kidney health.

  • Aim to eat small amounts of starchy carbohydrates (such as breads, rice, etc).
  • Avoid salt and salty food products.
  • Drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
  • See herbs above.
  • Avoid sugary foods.
  • Eat fruit and vegetables.

Diuretic Foods and Drugs (Water Pills)

Diuretic Foods

The following foods and herbs are know to have diuretic properties:

  • Celery seed (and plant)
  • Parsley
  • Dandelion
  • Juniper berries
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Melon
  • Watercress

coffee-diureticOther foods (common in the Western diet) also have a diuretic effect:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Coke (caffeinated soda)
  • Energy Drinks
  • Excessive animal-based protein

New research has noted that coffee and tea only dehydrate to the point of having an “even effect”. For example: If you drink a 16oz coffee, the caffeine will cause about the same amount of water to be eliminated from the body, thus not producing a dehydrating effect.

However, drinking nothing but caffeinated beverages would eventually lead to dehydration since the body loses water through normal metabolic activities.
People who suffer from kidney or liver disorders, heart disease, or hypertension are sometimes prescribed diuretic drugs. Note that this is prescription-only.

Diuretic Prescriptions

  • Caffeine Pills- These often have potassium and other minerals added to prevent loss.
  • Pamabrom
  • Mannitol
  • Torsemide
  • Furosemide

Over-the-Counter Water Pills


Active Ingredient

DiurexPamabrom (non-prescription strength)
Water OutHerbal blend
XpelCaffeine and herbs

NOTE: Diuretic supplements should not be taken for more than a few days. Important minerals and nutrients can also be flushed out with the fluids. A better answer is to maintain good diet and plenty of exercise.

Sample Meal Plan

Low fat natural yogurt with fresh fruit
Asparagus soup
Slice of whole grain bread
Serving of baked chicken (with garlic and lemon juice)
Steamed broccoli and carrot
Small Banana and slice of melon

Are Water Eliminating Diets Safe?

Following a diuretic diet to relieve PMS symptoms like swelling and bloating is generally safe if only used a few days each month.

However, those with kidney disorders, liver problems, and with fluid retention disorders should consult their doctors before beginning any diuretic diet or before taking any over the counter medication to be sure the herbs or ingredients don’t negatively interact with their other medications.

See Also:

Low Protein Diets
Look for other healthy recipes here.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Pingback: Healthy Lunch Foods Natural Diuretics « Recipes for Health

  • Erin

    Um…. that sample menu doesn’t add up to any where NEAR enough calories or protein for even a small sedentary female over 25. So basically, you suggest starving yourself.

    • aunt agony

      I agree!!

  • rey

    Good info…

  • Sheena

    Mike, my boyfriend was a highschool wrestler and helped coach JV and V guys… I got into the wrestling mind of drink when your hungry instead of eat… I have 3 kids and now only weigh 103lbs and it worked… putting this stuff in your diet would be great for now and after your season :)

    • Muti

      It’s a great book filled with lots of uesufl info on health, nutrition and the meat industry. And the recipes are inspiring my favorite is one of the simplest steamed collards with garlic, pine nuts, raisins and balsamic vinegar. Delicious! ~ Melissa

  • david

    to mike,
    i know wrestling seems like an advantage if you can cut weight to fight smaller guys, ive done it before. i did just that for the first two years of my highschool wrestling career. the truth of it is that when you starve yourself and push all of that power from your body by practicing and allowing your body to digest itself, you only become weaker, not only in the short term but in following years as well. the greatest success i had in wrestling was in my junior and senior years when i was told to cut weight and i told the coaches to go to hell. i competed at a healthy 171 and practiced in between at about 178 and it was the smartest training i had ever done. i was strong, fit, healthy, and when i matched guys that had cut weight, i kicked ass. so dont cut weight, its not worth it because its smarter to gain weight, especially when your growing at such a young age.

  • dave

    Don’t you idiots know that diuretics can cause atrial fibrillation and stroke if taken too much

    • Jean

      However if too much fluid builds up in the body, it can cause congestive heart failure.

    • Andrea

      Wanna tell my doctor that? He’s put me on two – Lasix and spironolactone. I live the first six hours I’m up every morning running to the bathroom every 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I just take a book and read!

    • Kerri

      Are you referring to actual supplements or foods with diuretic-like properties, which can lead to AF/stroke??
      Please respond!

      Thanks :)

  • john

    DO NOT triple up on diuretics etc if they arent working!! This is NOT safe. Diuretics are NOT benign drugs. They principally work by trading electrolytes and fluid. Most importantly sodium and potassium. Depending on the type of diuretic you are taking, you may end up with severely unbalanced electrolyte levels, which is something NO ONE can afford, ESPECIALLY if you’re going in for a defibrillator. I encourage you to speak with your physician if you are experiencing fluid overload. I speak from experience in the health field with 14 years experience. If you disagree with me, thats fine! But at the VERY LEAST, seek other professionals opinion before randomly increasing your doses of diuretics. Best of luck on your procedure.

  • Grace

    Watermelon is great is great during summer.

    Somehow in my experience Tuna also a helpt.

  • Ron

    I am scheduled for a defilurator pacemker Thursday 2012. I have taken 3 times my usuall dose of dyuretics but they do not seem to be working very good, should I take another dose what eo recommemd?

  • mike

    i am wrestler looking to loose 15 pounds. is the ssample menu good for me? or should i do something else? i am 134 and looking to get to 119. any suggestions?

    • Garret Ireland

      I agree…I did it for 3 years after my freshmen year weighing in at 99 lbs. (competed at 103 lb.). I would suggest use the menu as a base but add protein,carb source for breakfast. Have the dinner at lunch time and use the lunch menu for dinner. Try not to eat after 8pm. Keep up your conditioning and weights. You will thank all of us ex wrestlers later.

    • ted

      Don’t do it, You’ll regret it as an adult. starving yourself during your teen years can actually stunt your growth. Eat healthy and exercise but don’t sacrifice your body and health for any sport. It’s just a game and it isn’t worth it for the long term. Just my two cents, take it or leave it bro .

  • jen

    I’ve been dieting for 4 months. I’ve lost over 50 pounds, from 237 to now 185. I’ve been successful from eating small meals, loading up on fruits and vegetables, and walking briskly 30 minutes every day. I’ve found that eating asparagus has been the best diuretic.
    I’m curious to find out if I can get off toprol. I take only 50 mg daily, and it has always worked for me. My doctor tells me i shouldn’t get off it. Any thoughts?

    • Jean

      Your doctor should be monitoring your blood pressure. If it gets on the low side, he should reduce your toprol to a lower dose and maybe in the future even eliminate it.

  • Anonymous

    In my own experience, young coconut juice, apple juice and pineapple juice and water are diuretics

  • Martin Nontolwane

    Kindly pls help me to join your programme. I am a 48year-old man,1,75meter in height and weigh a wopping 89,87kg and my blood-pressure is 136/65mmg and I don’t like my belly/tummy , it is big and my wife asked me to do something about it. Pls Help me.

    • Sn

      Martin, if you still need help, email.

  • anonymous

    so throughout the day ive had coffee, chai tea and asparagus, is this why i cant stop peeing within the last hour? how can i stop it?

  • aura

    Hi people,

    My symtoms, extreme high bood pressure/hypertention, head aches, 7 years ago.

    Two years later, I went to a doctor, started taking Toprol, seems to work, but I was not serious about my condition so I stopped. Finally I understood what kind of desease this is, a silent killer. I started again after a few months of hiaitus.

    I also changed my diet and exercise regularly, I cut my meds in half and I was find with 50mg.

    Tragedy happenned, the meds don’t work, increase meds to 100 to 150mg a day, worked for awhile. Seven monthes ago another sadness, so now I have to incooperate it with the blue pill. Doctor said I have to drink orange juice and eat banana everyday, so I did, not a big problem. Now my blood pressure is under control again.

    Two months ago, my meds is about to be replenish. I decided to find an alternative way with natural products to replace the prescription drugs.

    I went to Wholefoods and ask the sales associate who is knowledgible of the natural pills. I was told Hawthorne Berries is the one, helps to regulate heart/cardio vasicular. So I stared taking it, I see the same result in one week, it worked. Second week, my feet started to swell in the evenings. Didn’t know why. Two weeks later ask the associate at another Wholefoods. I explain my situation and my symtoms, he said you are probably retaining water, the blue pill is probably a diuretic pill, I was like oh yeah, the O.J. and bananas that explains it, it’s potassium. So he recommended the Water Factor herbs. I took it, twice a day for a few days, it worked then my feet got swollen again but not as bad, so I take 3 times a day, then it’s all good, but I also learn that my body has to adjust to the new herbs and listen to my body, now I take the water factor 1 to 2 pills a day with Hawthone berries 3 times a day. Still eat healthy, regular exercise.

    It’s like OMG! I finally understand something about my body. Listen and understand what I need, and go natural.

    Then I wanted to understand more about diuretics, I found your site. I never want to take precription drugs again. It’s a good thing I only took the blue pill for 7 monthes, hopefully I won’t have side effects later.

    I have always known that, you have to help yourself first before anyone else can help you including your doctor.

    p.s. Blood pressure at this moment 120/77. Comments please :)

  • Chazzzer

    @Kim W: If you’re taking a diuretic solely for the purpose of reducing your blood pressure, you should know that they’re really not very effective at that. However, they are dirt cheap and so manufacturers like to add HCTZ to their other blood pressure meds in order to tie up the patent for another seven years once the original has expired.

    If you are taking HCTZ only for your blood pressure, tell your doctor that you’re experiencing unacceptable side-effects and that you want to be put on a different kind of blood pressure med. There are much more effective types of drugs for treating high blood pressure.

    For that matter, Toprol is a beta blocker which should be one of the last drugs a doctor should prescribe for high blood pressure. Unless you need to be on a beta blocker for cardiac arrhythmia (like me), other heart issues or migraines, you probably shouldn’t be taking a beta blocker. They used to be the first drug that most doctors tried, but now they’ve fallen out of favor due to many adverse effects that can develop with long-term use. One of the big adverse effects is diabetes. ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor antagonists, two newer types of blood pressure medicines, actually decrease your risk of developing diabetes.

  • Kim W.

    I also take HCTZ and Toprol. Six months ago I started the HCTZ, and within a few days started having finger pain and swelling (not in the joint) in my right hand. Uric acid levels were checked (fine) and the amount was cut in half a month ago. Not better, maybe a little worse. I have a call in to my naturopathic doctor to find something as an alternative to HCTZ (have one kidney). Any ideas?

  • Damiano

    To my mind’s mind, this website deserves 70%.
    BITTER KOLA, an indegenous seed of South-East Nigeria is a good diuretic. It also works as a mild anti poison. It is also good for treating bronchitis. It is best used by nibbling one seed for about 30 minutes. 1 to 2 seeds daily is all you need for a duration of 2 to 4 days. Fresh or dry seed, the result is the same. But dry seeds taste better (tastes like beer). Naturally, it is a bit tough because it is dry.

  • chris

    @Need your opinion: Slimming coffee contains a laxative herb called senna. That’s why it tastes a li’l bit grassy.It’s pretty safe, but after a while you body gets used to it (like most laxatives do) and the usual dosage won’t work, constipation sets in (Yep! the system will backfire) so people tend to drink more than what is recommended.

  • Need your opinion about this

    Well, have you heard of slimming coffee??
    I’m actually researching on it. making sure that it is safe because it is very famous in some Asian countries.

    Many slimming products have claimed results. But the latest in that line of fad is the slimming coffee. There are a lot of brands available and so far, i have seen or heard little difference of them among each other.

    Of course we know of the drugs and how they function. Some solely increase the metabolism rate of a person. Others inhibit the absorption of fat resulting to fat excretion in feces and urine. This kind of product does not do that. I think that was why a lot of people have joined their growing fan-base.

    It is said to absorb little amount of the fat you take in and eventually suppress your appetite. It also has effects such a whitening and smoothening of the skin. Health effects such as good heart circulation, cure for Low BP, and it serves as anti-aging and anti-cancer.

    However one effect of it is that you’ll feel somewhat dehydrated most of the time. So, sellers best recommend that whoever takes this drink, also incorporate water in their diet. Aside from that, light-headedness is felt especially during the start of the treatment.

    It tells people that they can lose pounds and even inches off your waist. Results are seen in as early as three days to one week.(of course, results vary depending on existing weight and other factors) The drink should be taken 30 minutes before the first meal of the day and eating should follow thereafter. If not, you’ll vomit.

    The dehydrating factor kind of led me to the thinking that this drink will affect the kidney in some way. People always tell that regular intakes of water should be taken so that the toxins in the body can easily be removed.

    Although I sounded like I was advertising this product, well, I’m not. I’m just curious and I wanted to know if this is just to good to be true especially if numerous accounts of users have flaunted staggering results. I’,m also concerned that the long term effect will eventually catch up to the body and what sounded like good news is actually just a hoax.

  • betty greiber

    I may have a start of gout. I take an HCTZ medication and may cause gout. I was told to eat more diuretic foods and drink water. I have been told they might have to change my medication.

  • joashe

    This is all good to somebody like me… a few people i know are planning on me to be clean for an upcomming pee test.

  • Sandy

    Max, try having some honey at night before going to sleep. It will give you such deep sleep that you will not need to get up to urinate.

  • Janet

    What does a diuretic do exactly medically speaking….if I drink this UTI formulated drink, with Juniper berries extract and marshmallow root and dandelion as well, I am forever having to urinate, I mean like every hour it seems, is because of the medicinal effect these herbs have, and they are flushing my system out, I take it……However, sometimes I feel irritated down there, because of the urinating factor, however, I have no infection in urine??? Possibly am I over doing it and causing irritation to my system?




  • Jillyo

    Keep in mind that anytime you eat fruits AFTER a meal, they can cause bloating and gas. Fruit is best and most quickly digested on an empty stomach. If it sits in the stomach with other foods, it delays getting into the digestive tract and can rot and release gases.

  • Gail

    I have the opposite problem of most people. I need a list of diaretic foods, so that I can avoid them. If I eat Spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, watermelon,(all of which, I LOVE) etc I am up all night going to the bathroom or suffering with terrible muscle cramps.

  • sel

    i apmed up my coffe intake and for some reason i feel less bloted in tha abdoman area, coz i keep going to the toilet.

  • maggie

    Caffeine is no longer thought to be diuretic. Recent science suggests it is just the liquid intake, not the caffeine. Also, DMDM’s advice to see a doctor is well taken! Swollen ankles are not a minor issue here.

  • anonymous

    If you have elephant ankles you should be checked for Elephantitis – it is caused by a insect bite usually in a tropical country.

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