A 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)
The following foods and herbs are know to have diuretic properties:
- Celery seed (and plant)
- Juniper berries
Other foods (common in the Western diet) also have a diuretic effect:
- 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.
- Caffeine Pills- These often have potassium and other minerals added to prevent loss.
Over-the-Counter Water Pills
|Diurex||Pamabrom (non-prescription strength)|
|Water Out||Herbal blend|
|Xpel||Caffeine 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
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
- Murphy, M. B., Kohner, E., Lewis, P. J., Schumer, B., & Dollery, C. T. (1982). Glucose intolerance in hypertensive patients treated with diuretics; a fourteen-year follow-up. The Lancet, 320(8311), 1293-1295. link
- Wilhelmsen, L., Berglund, G., Elmfeldt, D., Fitzsimons, T., Holzgreve, H., Hosie, J., … & Wedel, H. (1987). Beta-blockers versus diuretics in hypertensive men: main results from the HAPPHY trial. Journal of hypertension, 5(5), 561-572. link
- Lipschitz, W. L., HADIDIAN, Z., & KERPCSAR, A. (1943). Bioassay of diuretics. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 79(2), 97-110. link