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Diuretics and Smart Sugars

Smart Sugars Lesson #60
by J.C. Spencer

Consequences of diuretic drugs can be serious including chronic dehydration and the loss of vitamins, potassium, and other minerals that can shut down your body.

Certain foods such as salt and bad sugars cause the body to retain too much fluid. These may lead to bloating and weight gain. Inadequate protein in the diet may trigger fluid retention. Lack of B-vitamins and amino acids can also cause an accumulation of excess fluids.

Three types of diuretic pills are often prescribed for edema, high blood pressure, heart disease, PMS, bloating, and over weight: thiazide, loop, and potassium-sparing. Each works differently, has different side effects and precautions.

Thiazides deplete the human body of potassium and magnesium causing the heart to become electrically unstable and may create or worsen insulin resistance by increasing triglycerides and LDL while reducing HDL (the "good" cholesterol). Thiazides have long been known to increase uric acid which can trigger arthritis. Loop diuretic drugs cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and other signs of too much potassium loss. The problems with the potassium-sparing drugs result from too much potassium too quickly.

Let us look to real food technology to help address the diuretic challenges instead of diuretic pills. Moderation is the key to health, especially in the case of natural diuretics. Natural diuretics can aid in the removal of excess fluids from the body while improving overall health. Natural diuretic foods or herbs help reduce water retention for removal of fluids and toxins from the body. Essential minerals must be supplemented to prevent electrolyte deficiency.

Even though cranberry juice is an excellent natural diuretic, store bought cranberry juice is sweetened with high glycemic sugars or HFCS. Purchase the cranberry concentrate without sugars in powder or highly concentrated liquid at your local health food store or online. Sweetening the cranberry concentrate with Trehalose makes for a deliciously healthful drink. Green tea is another diuretic drink that has been in use for centuries in China. However, the main functional phytochemicals in green tea quickly dissipate unless they are stabilized. Dandelion tea is often used as a natural diuretic. Dandelion leaf tea or root tea aids in detoxification and has a beneficial effect on those suffering from urinary tract infections.

Natural diuretics are best when systematically incorporated into our food instead of as a massive therapeutic attack on the problem. The herb, nettle, is reported to have natural diuretic properties that facilitate good cleansing. Fennel has carminative (that relieves gas) and diuretic properties and is frequently used in seasoning food. Watermelons and cucumbers help increase urination and better flushing out of toxins. My parents served watermelon seed tea as a healthful drink. Cucumbers are rich in sulfur and silicon that stimulate the kidneys into better removal of uric acid. Watercress and artichokes are also natural diuretic foods.

Asparagus contains asparigine, an alkaloid amino acid, that boosts kidney performance which helps remove waste from the body and is required by the nervous system to maintain equilibrium. (Alkaloid is normally 7+pH, so really should not be called an acid.) Brussels Sprout help in stimulating the kidneys and pancreas. Beets serve as a natural diuretic food that helps lower body fats and fatty deposits. Oats, cabbage, lettuce, garlic, horseradish, raw onions, and tomatoes aid the metabolism and helps release water from the kidney to flush out waste.

For many years I have espoused use of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with mother) to aid in electrolyte balance which also has natural diuretic properties and helps maintain the potassium levels. My choice for getting the apple cider vinegar into my body is as a drink.

I often start the day with a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in four to six ounces of hot or ambient water with two or three tablespoons of the sugar Trehalose. Honey as the sweetener also makes apple cider into a great drink; but, caution to diabetics since honey is high glycemic.

Hippocrates [460 - 377 BC] is acclaimed as the Father of Medicine and he said, Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”


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