Diuretics are any food or drug that increases urine flow, aiding in detoxification. For many people, that's a way to start a weight-loss plan. Many fad diets emphasize quick loss by consuming fruits and vegetables that have a strong diuretic effect. In a healthful diet, eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins will generally result in long-term, permanent weight management.
Fruits with a diuretic effect include cranberries, watermelon, pineapple, juniper berries, kiwi, cantaloupe, papaya, figs, mangoes, grapes and strawberries.
Fruits that are traditionally recommended for diets include watermelon, pineapple, melons of all kinds, strawberries, grapes and figs. These fruits all have a diuretic effect, which means water weight will be lost. While temporary, this weight loss provides encouragement to dieters who may take months or years to shed excess pounds permanently. People who are not dieting for weight loss benefit from eating fruits with a diuretic effect, as these fruits are rich in vitamins C, B1, B2 and minerals such as potassium, which supports healthy skin and has other benefits.
Healthy individuals are encouraged to drink at least 6 to 8 8-oz. glasses of water a day, or more if they exercise or have physically demanding jobs. If people also consume high levels of salt, water retention and high blood pressure may result. Eating fruits that have a diuretic effect can help increase healthful urination. Excessive urination is not the goal, as many vitamins, minerals and sodium are lost when this happens. Generally, consuming fruits daily will provide many vitamins and minerals that have a benefit as great--if not greater--than the diuretic effect that is a byproduct.
If you are trying to lose weight, consult your doctor or a nutritionist. Eating strictly fruits and vegetables for an extended period is not recommended, as this forms a detoxification diet and you may not be getting adequate nutrition on a restricted foods diet. The food pyramid designed by the USDA recommends healthy adults consume lean animal protein, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and unsaturated fats, fruits and vegetables. See Resources for food pyramid details.
Crash dieting by eating only diuretic fruits and vegetables can result in rapid weight loss through the loss of water weight. This is seen in many fad diets, where dieters are instructed to eat this way for up to 2 weeks of the "early phase" of a weight loss plan. Instead, see your doctor if you want to manage your weight safely. She will probably advise you to not crash diet but eat from a widely varied diet and do moderate exercise 4 to 5 times a week.