What Food Works as a Diuretic: 16 Natural Diuretics

Diuretics or water pills are drugs that enhance urine production to encourage the body’s disposal of excess salt, water, metabolic waste, and toxins. They are used medically to treat fluid retention. They are prescribed to treat high blood pressure, swollen feet, ankles, and lower legs, fluid buildup in the belly as a result of liver damage or certain malignancies, fluid buildup in the lungs as a result of heart failure, and eye diseases like glaucoma.

This article will give you a brief idea about What Food Works as a Diuretic.

How do Diuretics Work

Diuretics cause frequent urination, helping your body get rid of extra water. This aids in lowering blood pressure, which relieves strain on your heart and kidneys. They generally increase osmolarity and promote water excretion by inhibiting electrolyte reabsorption from the nephron lumen.

Types of Diuretic Medications

Diuretics come in three primary categories: thiazide diuretics, potassium-sparing diuretics, and loop diuretics. Each acts by having an impact on a certain kidney region.

  1. Thiazide Diuretics

They are often employed to treat high blood pressure. These medications not only promote a reduction in fluids but also a relaxation of your blood vessels.

Some examples of thiazide diuretics are chlorthalidone, hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), metolazone, and indapamide.

  1. Potassium-Sparing Diuretics

They lessen the amount of fluid in your body without making you lose potassium, a crucial nutrient. The other kinds of diuretics cause potassium loss, which can result in health issues like arrhythmia.

These are usually weak when used alone, hence they are most frequently used in combination therapy with thiazide and loop diuretics. Some examples are amiloride hydrochloride, spironolactone (Aldactone), and triamterene (Dyrenium).

  1. Loop Diuretics

These diuretic drugs are the most effective because, by primarily limiting the reabsorption of salt and chloride, they increase the elimination of sodium and chloride. The loop of Henle, a section of the renal tubule of the kidneys, is a unique site of action for loop diuretics, which accounts for their great efficacy.

Some examples are bumetanide (Bumex), ethacrynate (Edecrin), and torsemide (Demadex).

Diuretics are typically taken by eating pills, but while you’re in the hospital, your doctor may administer some of them through an IV in your arm. Most people can use diuretics without experiencing any major side effects.

Side Effects of Diuretics

Prescription diuretics may cause some side effects such as-

  1. Cramps
  2. Lethargy
  3. Restlessness
  4. Confusion
  5. Headaches
  6. Frequent urination
  7. Bowel changes

Natural Diuretics

Some herbs and nutritional supplements may act as natural diuretics and assist with sodium and water retention. Precautions should be taken, however, before using any products that have a diuretic effect. Water-based fruits and vegetables can act as effective natural diuretics in addition to being an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Foods That Work as Diuretics

  1. Caffeine

If you are seeking diuretic beverages, black and green teas are well-known diuretics.

Traditional practitioners in Sri Lanka have employed Sri Lankan black tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) to encourage urination. A study was conducted using rats to examine the diuretic effect of black tea infusion (BTI) from major agroclimatic elevations using the Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings (BOPF) grade.

The study concluded that Sri Lankan BOPF-grade black tea has modest oral diuretic activity, with varying efficacy depending on the manufacturing location’s agro climate. Additionally, it validates that black tea has diuretic properties.

It is also known that high quantities of caffeine—between 250 and 300 mg, or around two to three cups of coffee—have a diuretic effect.

  1. Parsley

Parsley has traditionally been used as a diuretic. Historically, it was made into tea and consumed several times daily to lessen water retention.

It can enhance urine flow and have a modest diuretic effect, according to studies done on rats.

However, no studies on humans have looked at the effectiveness of parsley as a diuretic. It is therefore uncertain at this time if it has the same effect on people and if so, what dosages are most beneficial.

  1. Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the most effective diuretic foods. The diuretic properties of the vegetable are attributed to the amino acid asparagine, which has been used to treat edema, rheumatism, and water retention before periods.

Asparagusic acid, which is metabolized into a substance containing sulfur, is the source of the distinct smell of urine after eating asparagus.

Additionally, asparagus contains a lot of fiber, which is associated with weight loss.

  1. Celery

Celery’s phthalides have been linked by researchers to its diuretic properties.

Because it aids in lowering the amount of uric acid that gathers in gout sufferers’ joints, celery is especially beneficial for reducing the swelling associated with gout.

  1. Watermelon

Watermelon has diuretic qualities due to its high potassium concentration and 92% water content. Citrulline, an amino acid found in it, relaxes blood vessels and prevents fluid from escaping into surrounding tissue, hence lowering water retention.

  1. Cucumber

Cucumbers are a good source of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium. They include caffeic acid and vitamin C, both of which aid in reducing skin irritation and inflammation. Additionally, that caffeic acid aids in the removal of water from our bodies.

  1. Garlic

Garlic’s allicin acts as a diuretic. It has a purifying effect too. When cooking, try to use garlic whenever possible. If at all feasible, try to eat more raw garlic by including it in other dishes.

  1. Ginger

Ginger as a dietary supplement can help control salt levels and eliminate water from the body.

A component of ginger called gingerol has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. According to a study, gingerol helps lower oxidative stress and therefore inflammation in the body.

  1. Hibiscus Flower

According to a study, a substance quercetin found in Hibiscus sabdariffa flowers had an impact on the vascular endothelium, producing the release of oxide nitric oxide and a rise in renal vasorelaxation by way of an increase in kidney filtration. In light of this, nitric oxide release may act as a mediator for Hibiscus sabdariffa’s diuretic action. The most popular way to drink hibiscus is as a tea.

  1. Hawthorn Berries

The nutrients in Hawthorn plants are what cause a rise in urine excretion. Hawthorn berries have been used for years to heal ailments like kidney issues. The most popular way to take hawthorn is as tea.

  1. Lemons

Vitamin C, potassium, folate, citric acid, and flavonoids, which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation, are all rich in lemons.

As a natural diuretic, citric acid helps to reduce edema (fluid retention) and avoid kidney stones.

  1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are proven to have a diuretic impact because they are high in potassium and water. Potassium, a vasodilator that lowers blood vessels and artery pressure, is found in tomatoes. Reduced heart stress and improved blood circulation lower the risk of developing hypertension.

  1. Cranberry juice

Urinary tract infections are routinely treated with it. This is a result of its diuretic and antimicrobial characteristics. Cranberries’ diuretic impact has the remarkable advantage of not depleting the body of potassium.

Cranberries include a variety of phytochemicals, including catechins, triterpenoids, quinic acid, hippuric acid, and anthocyanins.

  1. Grapes

Grapes are abundant in potassium and have high water content. These two characteristics make them potent diuretic food.

  1. Dandelion

Dandelion root has a natural diuretic effect that helps your liver get rid of toxins more quickly.

It also supports a stronger immune system, normalizes blood sugar levels, eases heartburn, and calms digestive problems.

Dandelion is useful for treating bacterial infections in the digestive tract and reproductive organs because it lowers uric acid and increases urine output.

  1. Nettle

Nettle reduces water retention and aids in renal cleansing, both of which help to improve muscle definition.

Other Ways to Reduce Excess Fluids

  1. Exercise regularly.
  2. Drink water.
  3. Eat foods high in potassium.
  4. Avoid too much salt.
  5. Healthy dietary supplements.

Who Should Take Diuretics

Diuretics are used to treat or prevent the symptoms in patients who have-

  • Heart failure
  • A liver problem
  • Tissue enlargement (edema)
  • Some kidney conditions, including kidney stones


Inform your doctor if you have diabetes, kidney illness, liver disease, or gout before receiving a prescription for a diuretic. Have regular blood pressure and renal function checks while you are taking them. Your blood potassium and magnesium levels may fluctuate if you take diuretics.

Follow the directions on the packaging before taking a diuretic drug. If you only need to take one dose per day, take it with breakfast or immediately after. Take your final dose of the day no later than 4 p.m., if you are taking more than one.

It’s common advice for those with high blood pressure or heart failure to consume less sodium and salt. Salt substitutes are one way to achieve this, but they are heavy in potassium; a quarter teaspoon of one type has roughly 800 mg of potassium in them. Consequently, these items should not be used by anyone who uses potassium-sparing diuretics.

Diuretics are frequently administered alongside other medications. Contact your doctor if you experience more negative effects after taking them together. You may need to alter when you take each one.

Final Note

Before beginning diuretics or any new medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist as many other medications and herbal supplements can interact with diuretics.

Drug-induced side effects from using diuretics include fatigue, dehydration, headaches, and weakness. Natural diuretics not only assist in flushing out extra fluid from the body, but they also include a wealth of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential minerals that support the maintenance of a fit and healthy body.


Apeksha Soni

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