Diuretics are naturally found in several plant foods, herbs and beverages, including tea and coffee. These substances stimulate your kidneys to increase urine output. This can be beneficial to your health if you have too much water retention, causing swelling or edema in your body. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that natural diuretics can enhance the effects of some medications; talk to your doctor about your diet if you are taking "water pills" or other diuretic medications.
A Natural Fluid Flush
Tea, coffee and chocolate are all diuretics because they contain caffeine. This natural plant substance stimulates the central nervous system and also flushes fluids out of your body. Caffeine is found naturally in the fruits, seeds and leaves of more than 60 plants, including kola nuts, cocoa beans and tea leaves. It is also made synthetically and added to sports drinks and some types of pain and flu medications.
Seeds of Improved Health
Celery seeds are used as a food spice and herbal medicine that is a natural diuretic and also thought to have other health properties. The seeds are used for inflammation, muscle spasms, poor digestion, arthritis and water retention. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that celery seeds are also used to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These medicinal effects, however, have not yet been clinically determined.
Hidden Benefits of Asparagus
As its name implies, the spear-like vegetable asparagus is rich in the amino acid asparagine, which is a natural diuretic. The site EatingWell notes that eating asparagus increases urine output and also helps your body get rid of excess salts. This may be beneficial for individuals who have edema or swelling because of fluid retention and for patients with high blood pressure and other heart-related conditions.
Other Foods to Alleviate Water Retention
You may already be regularly eating several foods that are diuretics. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that natural diuretic foods and herbs can help get rid of excess water in your body. Diuretic foods include onions, beets, green beans, leafy greens, eggplants, pumpkin, pineapple, grapes and watermelon. Herbs such as parsley, hawthorn, leeks, garlic and corn silk also trigger your body to lose water.