Are you searching for ways to manage your high blood pressure? Maybe you’re looking for ways to reduce bloating during PMS or before a big day? Perhaps you’ve been feeling sluggish lately and want to give a detox a try? You may have heard of the buzz around water pills claiming to do all that.
How Diuretics Work for Your Health
Water pills is the polite word for diuretics, which are basically substances that cause a person to urinate more often. They cause a change in your body’s digestive system, leading to that effect.
Due to this feature, which redirects a lot of the fluid in the body, the blood vessels are under less pressure, which lessens high blood pressure. The body lets go of water weight, which reduces bloating. As for detoxing, the body is getting more chances to release any waste.
The Issue with Conventional Diuretics & Benefits of Natural Alternatives
The issue with conventional water pills, though, is that they come with genuine side-effects, and can negatively interact with any other medicine we may be taking. Unless they’ve been prescribed by a doctor for medical reasons, it’s better to avoid them. Even with the ones being sold as herbal water pills, they can be dangerous because we can’t be sure of what’s in them.
Luckily, nature has given us nutritious food that also has diuretic properties. We can incorporate these into our diets in a holistic way. Below are 20 diuretic food choices that are natural and easy to find. Check out the lowdown on why they work, their additional benefits, and hearty ways to include them in your diet!
Natural Diuretic Food Items
Water is the simplest option on our list. Though it may sound counter intuitive, drinking more water will help the body release more water. On the other hand, not drinking enough water causes our bodies to become possessive about the water it does have! It won’t want to let go of it because it wants to manage its water levels.
As a side note, drinking too much water can also be dangerous; find out more about that here. A lot of people believe we need 8 glasses of water a day, which isn’t necessarily true! Experts recommend drinking enough fluid to keep yourself hydrated. Signs of dehydration include:
- Dry lips and dry mouth
- Dizziness and fainting
- Low blood pressure and increased heart rate
How much fluid we need is influenced by factors such as age, level of physical activity, and sex. According to Eat Right Ontario, men above the age of 19 need around 12 cups (250 ml) of fluid, and women above 19 need around 9 cups. To benefit from the diuretic effects of water, drink more of it!
While not a natural diuretic, you can use lemon juice to flavor your water! Adding lemon to your water doesn’t just make it taste better, it can help you if you have high blood pressure.
It also contains a fiber known as Pectin, which makes us feel full and has fewer cravings throughout the day. It’s an ultimate detoxifier, purifying the liver and helping it work better.
It’s the juice that does the trick, so thankfully you don’t actually have to eat lemon slices or wedges. Just add the juice to water or other food and you’ll get the benefits. Here is an amazing recipe for a 3-juice colon cleanse including lemon and garlic!
3) Cranberry Juice
You may find it a bit tart, but this food is an excellent diuretic and really helps get those toxins out. This juice is also appreciated for its specific compounds which get in the way of harmful bacteria trying to stick to onto your urinary tract. This is why cranberry juice is classified as the juice to drink in order to prevent urinary tract infections.
This food filled with vitamin C and antioxidants, which is awesome for detoxing. Other conventional diuretics often lessen the body’s potassium levels, which is a real problem for people. Unlike other diuretics, cranberry juice doesn’t lessen the body’s potassium levels, and so it deserves (cacao) brownie points!
Thanks to celery having a lot of water, they are also diuretics. Celery has a lot of antioxidants and helpful enzymes, excellent for our detoxing goals. Plus, the loads of vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium folic acid and of course, vitamin C, make it an excellent all-rounder for our health needs.
As for blood pressure, they lower it by soothing the muscles and helping the cells better manage their potassium and calcium levels. Celery is easy to include in salads, soups, and can even be eaten alone.
Like celery, tomatoes are also diuretic due to high water content. They are also high in vitamin C, which is such an important nutrient with so many different functions. For example, our dear vitamin C helps make collagen, which our body needs to make skin, tendons, vessels and more! It also helps with iron absorption.
Tomatoes also contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is known for its anti-cancerous effects. Many people use it to prevent colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and more. While the diuretic effects of tomatoes are found in raw tomatoes, the body can get more out of the lycopene when the tomato is cooked; choose between them as you wish!
Can you guess what allows cucumbers to fall into this list? You guessed it! It’s the high water content!
This vegetable is 96% water and 100% awesome. It is loaded with goodness like copper, potassium, and manganese. It packs along important vitamins we all need like vitamin C, K, B. This is a crispy and refreshing taste to throw into your salad or smoothies, or even munch down with some organic homemade dressing. It also contains ascorbic acid, which aids in relieving water retention, for example when you put cucumber slices to relieve puffy eyes.
As I write this, it is the first day of summer. When you pack up for your sunny picnics, I bet you’ll want to pack along slices of this sweetness! Rest assured, this goodness goes beyond being just good for your taste buds. As the name politely suggests, this fruit has a ton of water in it.
Watermelons have high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Due to its water content, it prevents constipation, which also helps with detox and reduces bloating. Alongside vitamin C, it also has choline, which serves a lot of functions. It helps everything from memory to maintenance of cell structures, to transmitting nerve impulses.
It reduces inflammation as well, which lessens bloating. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and this is sadly the case with watermelons. It’s best to eat a limited amount, so that our blood sugar levels stay in balance.
Artichokes have not only diuretic properties but also protects the liver. This is because it helps eliminate toxins through being a diuretic, and also because it has an acid called cynarin. Cynarin eases digestion, adds protection to the body, and lowers blood sugar levels. It helps the body produce bile, which it needs to break down fats and decreases hypertension.
Asparagus is an excellent choice as a diuretic. It is high in fiber and protein, which helps our bodies with digestion. It has so many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, which is sure to get us excited. It is low in calories and low in sodium, which is a plus especially when trying to reduce bloating.
Asparagus has glutathione, an excellent detoxifier that also battles cancer-causing agents. As a bonus for our skin’s health needs, it protects it from sun damage and pollution. It lessens the risk for heart disease as it regulates homocysteine. Asparagus also battles the chances of colon cancer due to having insulin.
These are some foods that are easy to include in our meals. We do want to make sure that the food doesn’t interfere with any medications we are taking and are safe for our individual conditions. If pregnant or breastfeeding, we want to double-check that the food is okay for us and our babies at the time.
Alongside these foods, other food options also work as diuretics. The list includes oats, brussels sprouts, ginger, beets, apple cider vinegar, cabbage, eggplants, parsley, caffeinated beverages, and garlic. See, plenty of natural alternatives to try with yummy benefits included!
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