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What Are Different Types of Diuretic Foods?

Diane Goettel
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Diuretic foods are foods that have a high water content and, therefore, promote increased urination. Sometimes diuretic foods also have a high fiber content which can help to create more frequent bowel movements. These foods are often consumed by people looking to increase urination or bowel movements or flush toxins out of their systems. Because of their cleansing properties, diuretic foods are also often consumed by people looking to cleanse their kidneys and therefore improve the function of the organs.

Most diuretic foods are vegetables. Cucumbers and asparagus, for example, are especially good for both promoting urination and improving kidney function. Cucumbers are a good source of silicon and sulfur which help to improve the kidney's ability to flush out uric acid. Asparagus contains asparigine which helps to improve the function of the kidneys in general.

Other vegetables that fall under the category of diuretic foods include beets, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, carrots, artichokes, watercress, and cabbage. In fact, people looking to flush out toxins and lose weight often diet using cabbage soup. The recipes used for the cabbage soup diet vary, but often include other vegetables listed above. Tomatoes, which are often considered to be vegetables but are technically a fruit, also have diuretic properties.

Those looking for a grain with diuretic properties can turn to oats. Oats contain silica, a natural diuretic. Consuming oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to get this natural diuretic into one's diet. Oats can also be mixed into cookies and granola mixes.

Beets, mentioned above, are root vegetables which can aid in the cleansing of the body and are also believed to help attack fatty deposits in the body. They are not the only root that can be classified as a diuretic food. Other diuretic roots include garlic, onions, radishes, and horseradish. Garlic, like the beet, is believed to help break up and flush away fat. Horseradish, raw onions, and radishes, are believed to boost the metabolism while also promoting urination and bowel movements.

To get the most out of these diuretic foods, it is recommended to consume them raw. A watercress salad with tomatoes, asparagus, cucumber, raw onions, and a garlic dressing, for example, can be a delicious meal that is made up entirely of diuretic foods. While garlic, onions, and horseradish may be difficult to consume raw, even small quantities of these roots, diced or chopped, can improve one's health and overall wellness.

What Foods Are Diuretics?

Diuretics are foods that are high in water content and, as a result, aid in excreting water and reducing fluid retention. Foods considered natural diuretics might help reduce fluid retention by increasing urination frequency. However, an increase in urination does not always equal a one-to-one evacuation of water weight, so consulting a doctor before increasing consumption of foods considered natural diuretics is ideal.

Foods that are natural diuretics are often also high in natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Fiber is also a desired property of foods since it aids in evacuating waste. High-fiber diets are known for more frequent and less distressing bowel movements. Combined, natural diuretics with high fiber content can help people achieve regularity or routinely remove toxins from their systems.

What Foods Are Natural Diuretics?

Both food and drink can be natural diuretics. Depending on which food and drink you choose, you might also luck out with a high fiber content that keeps bowel movements regular and healthy too. Remember, it is essential to consult with your care team to ensure that no conflicting side effects from diuretics or a high fiber diet will hinder your progress.


You may be surprised to learn that there are a variety of different foods that are considered diuretics or have diuretics properties. Many of the foods that are regarded as diuretics are likely already a part of your regular diet.


A good rule of thumb for vegetables and fiber content is the darker the color of the vegetable, the higher the fiber content will be. Interestingly, artichokes seem to be the exception to the color rule as they are one of the highest-fiber vegetables with a medium green color.

  • Cucumber 
  • Carrot
  • Green beans 
  • Eggplant 
  • Onion
  • Garlic 


Figs and tomatoes are the highest-fiber natural diuretic fruit offerings. Other diuretic fruits include:

  • Pineapple 
  • Lemon 
  • Watermelon
  • Grapes
  • Quince
  • Cherry
  • Pomegranate 


If you use dried spices and herbs, the fiber content is next to nothing. However, fresh herbs with stems and leaves still attached provide an excellent amount of fiber in addition to being a natural diuretic.

  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Chicory 
  • Nettle root 
  • Laurel 
  • Marigold 
  • Dandelion 

Nuts, Grains, & Seeds

High fiber, moderate protein, and natural diuretics, these foods are ideal for snacks or breakfast items to get the day started right.

  • Oats 
  • Barley
  • Alfalfa 
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pistachio


It may seem counterintuitive to drink a beverage to decrease your water weight, but it makes sense. Diuretics aren’t just foods. Certain diuretics can be used as beverages to increase urination and decrease water weight and bloating. In some cases, the herbs are used from the natural diuretics and steeped into teas. In other instances, caffeine is a component of the beverages that act as natural diuretics. Caffeine is, in and of itself, a diuretic.

  • Coffee
  • Chicory
  • Teas
  • Pennyroyal 
  • Nettle leaf 
  • Lemon verbena 

Should Diuretics Be Taken With Food?

Some diuretics are not strictly natural, meaning simply that they come in pill or supplement form. While there is nothing wrong with diuretic pills to reduce water weight or bloating, lower your blood pressure, or improve cardiovascular components of your health, excess water evacuation also can be dangerous if not carefully monitored.

There is no one answer to the correct dosage of diuretics unless your doctor prescribes it. Since diuretics are different and the purpose for being prescribed is often unique between two patients, it is vital to follow instructions carefully. Food and drink requirements may vary according to your prescription.

Side Effects of Improper Dosage 

It is imperative to follow the directions closely for best results. While each diuretic is different, dehydration is a common concern with any measure that causes frequent urination. Other symptoms that you should report to your doctor include but are not limited to:

  • Muscle cramps 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Gastrointestinal issues 
  • Fatigue
  • Breast enlargement 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Confusion 
  • Menstrual irregularities 

Which Diuretics With What Foods

There are three different types of prescribed diuretics. Thiazide, loop, and potassium-sparing diuretics are all used to treat various causes of excess fluid in your body. Depending on which diuretic you take, what you can eat and drink will vary. Your doctor will advise changes in your diet as necessary, along with your diuretic prescription.

Thiazide and Loop Diuretics 

When taking either of these two diuretics, increasing your intake of high potassium foods is necessary to replace what is lost through evacuation.

Potassium-Sparing Diuretics 

This diuretic requires avoiding potassium-rich foods since it leaves deposits in the body when evacuating excess water.

What Is a Fast Acting Natural Diuretic?

Many people trying to lose weight quickly will shift their focus to excess water. If your goal is to look a little less puffy for a big night out, some natural diuretics can help shed pounds fast. However, it is necessary to note that these outcomes are often short-lived. Fluids will eventually return and continue to cause puffiness, so it is crucial to address the root cause of swelling issues. That said, a couple of home remedies will produce rapid results.

If you're a coffee-lover, no doubt you've felt the after-effects of caffeine. A cup of joe can make you do a potty dance at any age. Caffeine is one of the fastest-acting diuretics around. Many people also swear by dandelion or caraway extract. These herbs are available at health food stores and come in capsules, powders and teas.

What Vitamin Works as a Diuretic?

The wellness industry has exploded over the years as consumers become more health-conscious. Though they are not as effective as prescription medication, over-the-counter diuretic products may assist the body in discarding water.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

When consumed, Vitamins A, D, E, and K reside in fat cells throughout the body. This storage system is great for ensuring you have enough of each essential nutrient. But, these can stay in your system for months and lead to toxicity. Before changing your health and wellness routine, always talk with your doctor. Some people may experience severe side effects from dietary supplements. The most efficient way to fuel your body is through a varied diet of colorful, healthy foods.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins B1, B6, B12 and C are all water-soluble. The good news about these vitamins is that they do not build up. The body will automatically throw out anything you don't need at the time of consumption. If you've ever taken a multivitamin, you may have noticed bright yellow urine. The bright color indicates you had an excess of water-soluble vitamins. This process makes it nearly impossible to overdo it. But with the high price of supplements, it does make for some pretty expensive pee.

What Medical Conditions Benefit From Diuretics?

Swollen passageways make it difficult for blood to get where it needs to go. The pressure on your cardiovascular system could lead to heart attacks, kidney failure or stroke. It is important to treat diseases that cause swelling with diuretics to prevent these catastrophes. Any of the following ailments may benefit from diuretics:

  • Heart disease
  • Leaking valves in the heart
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma

What Is ADH (Antidiuretic Hormone)?

Hormones control many functions, including water absorption. Your brain's hypothalamus makes antidiuretic hormones. It then receives communications from all over the body about changes in blood volume. Your hypothalamus determines the appropriate course of action. Then, it tells the pituitary gland to release the proper amount of antidiuretic hormones. These hormones travel through the bloodstream to deliver their message to the kidneys. Kidneys, nature's filter, will recognize the tip while disposing of waste in the blood. These signals tell the kidneys how much H2O to absorb or expel.

What Happens When Antidiuretic Hormones Aren't Balanced?

Some ailments benefit from holding liquid rather than passing it out of the body through urine. Fluids can help blood dilution, add volume and increase blood pressure. Diminished water levels may cause problems in these instances. Symptoms associated with low antidiuretic hormone include:

  • Repeated urination
  • Dehydration
  • Extreme thirst
  • High levels of blood sodium

Too much water in your body can also cause problems. Signs of high antidiuretic hormone are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Low levels of blood sodium
  • Legarthy

What Medications Are Antidiuretics?

Many doctors prescribe "water pills" to patients to reduce swelling. People rely on pharmaceuticals, called thiazides, for long periods. Many maintenance blood pressure prescriptions fall under this category. Doctors use loop medications in emergencies to quickly rid the body of fluids. Some expellant drugs include:

  • Aldactone
  • Demadex
  • Esidrix
  • Lasix
  • Bumex
  • Zaroxolyn

What Foods Are Anti Diuretic?

When trying to deplete fluid, sodium is the enemy. Excessive sodium from foods will make life more difficult for your kidneys. Adding table salt to your dinner should be the least of your concerns. Pre-made foods loaded with sodium are a staple in daily American life. When following a low-sodium diet, avoid these packaged items:

  • Bread
  • Lunchmeat
  • Cheese
  • Canned goods
  • Packaged or frozen meals
  • Junk food
  • Condiments
  • Cereal
  • Soda
  • Fast Food

Add as many whole food ingredients as you can to every meal. Instead of stopping at the drive-thru, prepare meals that include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel , Former Writer
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"

Discussion Comments

By sneakers41 — On Jul 22, 2010

SauteePan- That sounds like a delicious snack. I also want to say that according to Discovery Health consuming bananas along with vitamins seem to reduce the tendency for fluid retention as well.

By SauteePan — On Jul 22, 2010

Latte31- I agree with you. When I was pregnant I also ate a lot of watermelon to reduce the water retention in my system.

I also want to add that to avoid retaining water you really should avoid salty foods especially the processed foods that are rich in preservatives.

For example, instead of eating a salty cracker and cheese packaged snack, you might want to try a piece of low fat cheese with some grapes. The round Laughing Cow cheeses are the best.

By latte31 — On Jul 22, 2010

I also want to add that beverages like coffee, green tea, and cranberry juice are all excellent diuretics. Foods like watermelon, oats, and tomatoes are also other forms of diuretic foods.

Many of these foods are ideal for patients suffering from high blood pressure because these patients tend to have swelling due to water retention.

These foods with the exception of the caffeinated beverages are also excellent for expectant mothers because they too suffer from swelling and water retention.

Diane Goettel

Diane Goettel

Former Writer

"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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