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The Best Natural Diuretics To Beat Water Retention For A Healthier Lifestyle

Contributed by: Rachana Arya


Water or fluid retention, known by the technical name of oedema, is a common health issue that refers to the build-up of excess water in the body.

The extra water that is stored in the tissue or between blood vessels tends to pool in the extremities (fingers, toes and lower legs), causing swollen legs, ankles, hands, and feet, as well as a “puffy” feeling. 

Water retention in the body can appear for a variety of circumstances, including serious underlying health issues — often deep vein thrombosis (DVT), kidney disease, fluid buildup inside your lungs (pulmonary oedema), and heart failure.

Many people, however, suffer from moderate water retention as a result of hormonal fluctuations, excess salt in the diet, medications like birth control pills or nutrient deficiencies, or just being sedentary for extended periods of time, such as on a long flight.

Symptoms of water retention

Symptoms of water retention can include:

Abdominal bloating
Swelling in legs, feet, and ankles
Puffiness in face, abdomen, and hips
Stiffness in joints
Weight fluctuations
Indentations in the skin

This article is for healthy people with modest water retention who wish to reduce their water weight. If you have serious oedema — swelling of your feet or arms — consult your doctor immediately. 

Foods to include in your diet to combat water retention


This humble fruit is great for so much more than smoothies. Bananas are super-loaded with potassium, a mineral that helps to counteract levels of sodium in the body and increase urine production.

This helps to flush out any extra salt hanging around the body, causing water to remain trapped.

Moreover, they are also high in vitamin B6, which is important for the formation of red blood cells and reducing water retention in women with PMS.

Whole nuts

Apart from being a wonderful healthy work snack rich in omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy brain, nuts are a great source of nutrients, such as magnesium and potassium, which has been related to a reduction in water retention in women with premenstrual syndrome(PMS).

Certain nuts, such as walnuts, are also high in vitamin B6, which has been linked to a reduction in PMS-related water retention.

Okra (Bhindi)

To avoid water retention, try adding okra to your next soup, stew, or stir-fry.

This mild-tasting food is especially rich in magnesium and potassium, both of which help in preventing excess water retention.


Carrots are believed to be one of the most effective diuretic foods.

This purifying and mineral-rich vegetable is high in biotin, potassium, and magnesium, which aids in the removal of excess water from the body.


Potatoes and sweet potatoes are also considered to be wholesome vegetables that contribute to a reduction in water retention.

They’re high in vitamin B6 and potassium — two vital minerals that help reduce excess fluids in the body.


Apart from being a wonderfully fragrant winter root vegetable, fennel is a natural diuretic that can induce urine production in the body and get the extra salts and fluids flushed out faster.


Although this isn’t exactly food, drinking more water can actually assist in minimising the effects of water retention in the body by helping to drain the additional salt out.

A well-hydrated body is less likely to hold on to fluid. So – how much water should you consume? Aim for at least 2 to 3 litres of water per day.

Final thoughts

If you have a good health condition, simple lifestyle changes may help stimulate the elimination of fluids from the body.

For starters, you can cut back on foods that have a high level of sodium or salt. Limit your intake of refined carbs, so there’s not much glycogen in your system that needs to bind to water.

And engage in physical activity often. Make staying hydrated a seamless part of your routine.

If you have water retention as a result of an underlying health condition or if you have sudden and severe water retention, you should contact your doctor for treatment of the disease itself.

Besides adding these foods to your diet, you must also opt for preventive diagnostic tests to identify any potential complications and take measures to protect your overall well-being.

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