Fluid retention, medically known as edema, can contribute to a number of uncomfortable side effects. Diuretics are used to reduce the amount of fluid in the body. Many doctors prescribe medications that accomplish this goal, but certain foods can act as natural diuretics. If you're retaining fluid, don't eat diuretic foods without speaking with your doctor first.
Increase Vegetable Intake
Celery is a nutritious food diuretic. Add chopped celery to a tossed green salad or to vegetable soup. Spread peanut butter on celery sticks for a tasty snack. Asparagus is another vegetable diuretic. Add a side of steamed asparagus to your dinner or add cooked spears to pasta salad or soup. Leafy greens are a diuretic, so have a spinach or kale salad for lunch. Leeks and eggplant are also diuretics and can be chopped and added to soups, stews or casseroles. Include beets, pumpkin, green beans, onions and garlic in your diet, too, because they act as natural diuretics, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Eat More Fruits
Pineapple is a fruit diuretic, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Eat a slice or two of fresh or canned pineapple with your breakfast or add it to grilled chicken salad for lunch. Grapes are another fruit diuretic, and they make a quick addition to a brown bag lunch. A wedge of melon, such as honeydew or watermelon, for breakfast or as a snack is another way to incorporate natural fruit diuretics into your diet.
Include Herbs in Your Diet
Adding certain herbs to your cooking and food preparation can be a simple way to include natural diuretics in your diet. For example, parsley is a diuretic and can be stirred into soup, added to pasta salad or included in a tossed green salad. Celery seed is another diuretic that can be used when making soup, stew, chili and casseroles. Dandelion and alfalfa are additional items that act as diuretics, according to Dr. H.K. Bakhru, naturopath and author of "Healing Through Natural Foods." Certain herbal teas can also act as diuretics.
Proceed With Caution
Talk to your doctor before adding diuretic foods to your diet because certain foods can interact with diuretic medications you might already be taking. Rapid fluid reduction might also cause nutritional deficiencies, most notably potassium, so follow your doctor's recommendations about which diuretic foods to eat, how often to eat them and how much of each is appropriate.