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 proteinĀ 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

Name

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

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
Look for other healthy recipes here.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: December 18, 2012. Disclaimer
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