06 September, 2011
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At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
- Mayo Clinic; Water Retention: Are There Any Natural Diuretics?; Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
- Cleveland Clinic: Edema
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Is Pomegranate Juice a Diuretic?
The pomegranate fruit originated in Persia and is now cultivated all over the world, including the United States. The fruit and seeds can be consumed raw or added to dessert dishes and salads. Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. Although not considered a diuretic that can draw excess fluid out of your tissues, pomegranate juice may help decrease fluid retention naturally. Fluid retention, also known as edema, can be caused by cardiac problems, excess consumption of salt or impaired kidney functioning. Speak with your doctor if you are experiencing fluid retention.
When your body retains water in its tissues, it is doing so to dilute a substance in the blood such as sodium, or it may be reducing work performed by the heart and kidneys. Regardless of the cause, water retention can be uncomfortable, particularly because it tends to affect the feet, legs or hands. Edema can be identified by pressing down on a swollen area gently but firmly. If the area turns white, has significant resistance or retains your fingerprint for longer than normal, you are probably retaining fluids. This condition can also occur when you are pregnant or just before your menstrual cycle.
If you are experiencing water retention due to a medical condition, your doctor may prescribe diuretic medications. The Mayo Clinic explains that these medications encourage the movement of fluids and sodium out of your tissues and out of your body. Diuretics work by increasing the ability of the kidneys to filter and excrete fluids. Other uses for diuretics include treatment for male-pattern hair growth in women and kidney stones. There are three main types of diuretic, each stimulating a different area of the kidney. Some people may be prescribed more than one diuretic at a time, or they may also need to take other medications in order to manage their condition.
Pomegranate Juice Properties
Although pomegranate juice has antioxidant properties that may help treat heart disease, it does not appear to have diuretic properties. Dietician Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic notes, however, that any juice can have diuretic properties if consumed in quantities large enough to encourage urination. This can help your body get rid of excess fluids without risking dehydration, which can lead to additional water retention. Other fruits and vegetables and their juices, explains Zeratsky, can have a similar effect due to their high water content.
If you are retaining water, seeing your doctor is the first step to determine the underlying cause. In addition, if your doctor prescribes diuretic medications, you may either be encouraged to drink more fluids or to restrict fluids, depending on your condition. Fluid retention caused by excess sodium consumption, pregnancy or PMS may be relieved by drinking pomegranate juice or other liquids such as water. Pomegranate juice is also a source of additional calories and natural sugars, so if you're trying to lose weight or you have diabetes, check with your doctor before using this juice.
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