Whether you’re looking to flush out water weight or keep kidney stones at bay, including a few servings of natural diuretics in your diet may be just what you need. These healthy foods boast a long list of benefits, from reducing blood pressure to beating bloat, and can help sidestep many of the troublesome symptoms that often accompany over the counter medications.
So what are natural diuretics, what do they do and why should you consider adding them into your daily routine? Let’s dig in.
19 Natural Diuretics
Natural Diuretic Herbs and Supplements
- Green Tea
- Black Tea
- Hawthorn Berry
- Juniper Berry
Natural Diuretic Foods
- Bell Peppers
6 Benefits of Diuretics
Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a condition caused when blood pushes against the artery walls with too much force, putting extra strain on the heart muscle and causing it to weaken over time. Diuretics are one of the first lines of defense used against high blood pressure and can help excrete extra sodium through the urine to lower blood pressure.
Using natural diuretics for high blood pressure can also be an effective treatment option. In fact, several natural diuretics have been linked to lower blood pressure levels. One massive analysis of 13 studies, for example, found that green tea was able to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Another review found that several herbs have been shown to have powerful blood pressure-lowering properties, including hibiscus and ginger.
Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a common condition characterized by the buildup of fluid in the tissues, leading to symptoms like swelling, puffiness and bloating. Incorporating a few servings of natural diuretic foods for water retention is an easy and effective way to lose water weight and prevent bloating.
Watermelon, for example, is an excellent natural diuretic for edema thanks to its high water content. Eating plenty of hydrating foods and natural diuretics like fruits and veggies can flush out excess water and prevent fluid from accumulating in the body.
Promotes Proper Filtration
Your kidneys play a vital role in your health; they are responsible for filtering the blood and excreting toxins and waste products through the urine to keep your body healthy. Natural diuretics can help promote proper filtration to optimize the function of the kidneys and maximize overall health.
For people with impaired kidney function, in particular, this can be especially beneficial. When your kidneys aren’t working properly, certain minerals like potassium and magnesium can start to build up in the blood and cause health problems. High levels of potassium, for example, can cause symptoms like weakness, chest pain and irregular heartbeats. Excess fluid can also build up in the body with impaired kidney function, leading to swelling and water weight gain. Diuretics are commonly used to flush out excess water and prevent electrolyte imbalances to enhance kidney function.
May Prevent Kidney Stones
If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you are likely all too familiar with just how painful it can be. Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that form in the kidneys, causing symptoms like pain, nausea, vomiting and blood in the urine. Increasing your fluid intake is often recommended to flush out the kidneys and aid in kidney stone excretion. Similarly, diuretics are also sometimes used to help prevent kidney stone formation.
Certain natural diuretic foods can also do double duty to help prevent kidney stone symptoms. Lemons, for example, can help promote hydration and also supply a burst of citric acid, which increases urine volume to block kidney stone formation. One study conducted by Duke University Medical Center even found that treating patients with lemonade therapy for four years was able to decrease stone formation from an average of one kidney stone per year down to 0.13 per year.
Similar to edema, ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, which is the layer of tissues that lines the abdomen and helps protect the body’s internal organs. This condition is usually caused by liver disease or cirrhosis, which is a scarring of the liver. Diuretics are typically used to help manage and treat this condition by flushing extra water and removing excess fluid in the abdomen.
When used in conjunction with traditional treatment, including a few natural diuretics in your routine may also be beneficial. Plus, many also boast liver-protecting properties as well to enhance liver health even more. Dandelion, hawthorn leaf and asparagus, for instance, have all been shown to reduce the risk of liver injury in both in vitro studies and animal models.
Decrease PCOS Symptoms
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a disorder caused when women produce high levels of male hormones, leading to symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain, depression and acne. Diuretic pills are often used as a conventional treatment for PCOS, which works by removing excess water and androgen hormones from the body to reduce symptoms.