The human body is mostly made of fluid, chief among them is water. While fluid is a good thing, as it helps the body remain hydrated, assists with blood flow, allows nutrients and other vital elements, including oxygen, to flow through the body, when it fluid builds up, in the body, it can have serious side effects. Certain medications, staying still for long periods of time – whether standing, sitting or lying down – eating foods that are high in sodium, and certain disease, such as kidney and liver, are all things that can lead to fluid retention.
Diuretics are used to help the body expel excess fluid, as well as salt. When diuretics are taken, excess fluid passes out of the body as urine. Diuretics are often recommended to treat several conditions, including high blood pressure, as they help to minimize the amount of fluid in the blood vessels, which helps to lower blood pressure. Congestive heart failure is also treated with diuretics, as this condition prevents your heart from properly pumping blood through the body, which can lead to a buildup of fluid.
How do diuretics work? They stimulate the kidneys, helping them produce more urine and extract water from the blood, thus reducing pressure on the walls of the arteries. This is highly beneficial for people who suffer from high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and other types of conditions that affect the heart.
While diuretics are available in the form of pills, which you can either have prescribed by a doctor or you can purchase over the counter, there’s another way that you can reduce fluid retention: food. There are a lot of foods that are natural diuretics, and adding them to your diet will help to reduce the buildup of fluid, prevent swelling (edema) and prevent the development of adverse health conditions.
If you are interested in lowering fluid retention in your body, here’s a look at 18 different foods that are natural diuretics that you should consider adding to your diet.
1. Caffeinated Beverages
Drinks like coffee and tea, and any other beverage that contains caffeine, are diuretics. Not only does caffeine boost your energy levels, but it also encourages your body to produce more urine and urinate more frequently. Caffeine is found naturally in cocoa beans and tea leaves, and it is also made synthetically and added to sports drinks, sodas and other beverages. If you are looking to reduce fluid retention, you should definitely consider upping the amount of caffeinated beverages that you consume. Just be careful not to consume too much, as you don’t want to overdue the diuretic effect. It’s recommended hat adults consume no more than 300 mg of caffeine each day.