Diuretics are substances that help your body expel excess fluids like water and sodium by increasing urine production. Most diuretics stimulate the kidneys to flush out sodium to the urine. When diuretics rinse away sodium, water is also moving out of the body. Diuretics are for people who experience too much water retention. Water retention can leave a person feeling puffy and have swollen hands, legs, and feet. Fluid retention is common among older adults.
While water retention can be mild for some people, it can indicate severe health conditions. Mild water retention can be caused by inactivity, menstruation, and hormonal changes. Health conditions that may manifest through water retention include heart failure and kidney disease. If a person has water retention from a health condition or experiences sudden and extreme water retention, they should consult their doctor. For mild water retention, some diuretic foods and drinks can be of help.
This article lists down diuretic drinks and foods you may consider for water retention relief.
Coffee contains caffeine, which has natural diuretic properties. A single cup of coffee does not have enough caffeine to increase the production of urine. Drinking two to three cups of coffee (250 to 300 milligrams) is noted to produce the diuretic effect. One should keep in mind that frequent drinking of coffee promotes caffeine tolerance. Being caffeine-tolerant also means that people will not experience its diuretic effects.
2. Dandelion Extract
If you love hot beverages, you will have no problem-consuming diuretic drinks. You can include dandelion extract in your tea and benefit from its diuretic effects. Dandelion’s plant compounds improve kidney activity and shoot up the recurrence of urination. Dandelion is known as an herbal supplement that is high in potassium. Consuming foods high in potassium prompts the kidneys to expel more water and sodium. This effect is excellent for people who eat high-sodium foods as too much sodium causes fluid retention.
Horsetail is a plant and an herbal remedy that has a long history of medicinal use. Horsetail is known for its diuretic effect that is as good as prescription drugs. Horsetail may even be better than drugs because it has fewer side effects. For someone who has experienced side effects from prescription diuretics, horsetail can be a good alternative. Horsetail is widely available in the form of a capsule or tea. A study compared horsetail to a medicine called hydrochlorothiazide and found that they have the same diuretic effect.
Horsetail is deemed safe, but it should not be consumed over a long time. It is also not recommended for individuals who have certain conditions like diabetes and kidney disease. Besides, one should take note that the amount of active ingredients present in every herbal remedy is different; therefore, they might have varying effects.
Parsley is an herb and vegetable that is common among diuretic foods. In folk medicine, parsley served as a diuretic for a long time. The conventional way of consuming parsley to reduce water retention is by brewing it as a tea and drinking it several times per day. In present times, parsley is good for its diuretic properties, which help with increasing urinary volume.
5. Black and Green Tea
Enjoying a hot cup of tea can benefit your health. Tea, just like coffee, contains caffeine. Black and green tea can act as natural diuretics that flush away excess fluids from the body. However, it is essential to note that tea, like in the case of coffee, may not be useful for some people. Due to caffeine tolerance, people who often drink tea or coffee may not experience its diuretic effect.
Watermelon has high potassium and water content, which makes it a good remedy for fluid retention. Watermelon diuretic may even be better than coffee or tea because its natural diuretic properties do not strain the kidneys. While expelling excess fluids, the kidneys may be strained. Watermelon eases this strain by assisting the liver in processing ammonia. Watermelon diuretic also helps increase urine flow through its citrulline content. Citrulline is an amino acid that slackens the blood vessels, and lets fluids leak into nearby tissue.