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:
coffee-diuretic

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

Other 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

Name

Active Ingredient

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

Breakfast
Low fat natural yogurt with fresh fruit
Lunch
Asparagus soup
Slice of whole grain bread
Orange
Dinner
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

    References:

  • 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
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: January 6, 2015. Disclaimer
  • Anonymous

    thank you that was a very helpful article for me.

  • audbobmp

    i always thought that apples were a diuretic food.

  • Anonymous

    Mango and lemon and ginger are also diuretics.

  • Bev. Mosley

    2 kgs increase in weight overnight, plus “elephants ankles” with aches, have become the norm, so I feel I MUST help myself. I am asing for input. Please help. sincerely bamosley@kol.co.nz

  • Anonymous

    I will definetly try eating/avoiding some of the listed foods.

  • Melinda

    I have struggled with water retention on my ankles forever…yet I eat extremely healthy,am slim and muscular.I find that SUGAR…..DAIRY PRODUCTS…….BREAD……..MEATS……..ALL BAD!BECOME A VEGAN,WHO EATS RAW PLANT FOODS 90% OF YOUR DIET,AND DRINK 6-8 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY……WALK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE,DO A MINI WORK-OUT 3 TIMES PER WEEK,USE STEVIA INSTEAD OF SUGAR,AVOID ANY ACID FOODS..THINK POSITIVE 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Courgettes, boiled or fried but still firm, are a powerful diuretic – I know, many times a night!

  • Silvia

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Coffee a diuretic?

  • karen fishgold

    I retain water in my abdomen, a condition named ascities due to breast caner. Any suggestions?

  • susan

    Leek is good too.

  • Xntrk

    Are avacados a natural diuretic? I live in Hawaii and have been od’ing on a great crop. The water is pouring out of me, and the only difference in my diet is the avacados. I also eat lots of lilikoi [passion fruit] and pineapple, but this is my first big avacado crop…

  • Judy

    Hope this detox doet works, ’cause I’m freakin’ out with my belly like a balloon!

  • jessica

    I am eating 3 kiwi fruits every morning on an empty stomach and for me this is the best diuretics.
    Good luck to y’all

  • Nicolette

    Coffee? not sure either..But all together very helpful info, green tea’s great to. Good comments girls and boys?, thanks to all.

  • Russ

    Are common Green teas Diuretic.

  • Anonymous

    caffiene is a diuretic, so anything that has caffiene is a diuretic, alcohol is also a diuretic, hope this helps

  • DMDM

    If you find yourself with lots of water retention all the time, very heavy ankles, swollen hands, puffy eyes, please get yourself to a doctor. You may have congestive heart failure or kidney disease. You need to rule out any health problems before trying to self-medicate.

  • anonymous

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Jillyo

    FYI~
    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.

  • MAX SCHINDLER

    I SUFFER FROM WHAT IS REFERRED AS “BASHFULL BLADDER SYNDRUME”. I LIKE TO TRAVEL BUT CANNOT URINATE IN AIRPLANE BATHROOMS. LONG FLIGHTS ARE IMPOSSIBLE. I AVOID DRINKING BEFORE FLIGHTS. ANY OTHER FOODS OR DRINKS TO AVOID?
    LATELY I TAKE SLEEPING PILLS TO AVOID THE NEED TO URINATE.

    ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
    MAX

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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 🙂

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Anonymous

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

  • 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?