17 August, 2011
Vegetables That Are Natural Diuretics
Regular urination is important for keeping your system free of toxins and other wastes, helping you maintain healthy blood pressure levels and reducing the risk of health complications. Certain vegetables are natural diuretics, which are substances that encourage urination. To ensure there are no potential complications, speak with a medical professional before you decide to drastically change your diet, as natural diuretics may cause problems with medications.
Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, dandelion greens and even cilantro and parsley, are natural diuretics. Leafy greens, particularly dandelion and parsley, work by boosting your liver and kidney functions, increasing the amount of urine your body produces. Leafy greens are naturally high in potassium, which minimizes the risk of low potassium levels as a result of using diuretics.
Asparagus is a natural diuretic that is safe for regular consumption. The “West Indian Medical Journal” published a study in 2010 in which scientists found asparagus had a significant diuretic activity. This animal study found that, in concentrations of 3,200 milligrams, asparagus root extract was not toxic. While the study confirmed asparagus’ diuretic abilities, further research is needed, particularly on humans.
Celery Leaves and Seeds
Celery, both the leaves and the seeds, are known diuretics, according to ProgressiveHealth.com. It works by encouraging the flow of urine through the kidneys, aiding in the removal of uric acids. Celery contains both sodium and potassium and is rich in vitamin C, all three of which contribute to the vegetable's medicinal benefits. For reducing uric acid buildup, celery seed is particularly effective as it reduces uric acid levels in your system.
Artichokes are also on the list of traditional diuretics. These natives of Mediterranean Europe are also known for their ability to help with digestion. Artichoke leaves help stimulate the appetite, as well as treating bile deficiency and encouraging urination. Their rich phytochemical and mineral content make artichokes a potassium-sparing diuretic, so you will not lose excess potassium through urination.
- Progressive Health: Natural Diuretics That Reduce Swelling
- World Journal of Urology: Botanical Medicines for the Urinary Tract
- West Indian Medical Journal: Acute Toxicity and Diuretic Studies of the Roots of Asparagus Racemosus Willd in Rats
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Edema
- NaturalFoodBenefits.com: Artichoke Health
- Six Dun/iStock/Getty Images