I was planning to write up one of the many recipes that I blogged for you over Christmas vacation today – but after spending the first day of the New Year back in the office yesterday, I changed my mind. Basically, after the Twelve Days of Christmas (really, the office had been pretty quiet since December 21st), everyone was feeling pretty puffy. One co-worker thought that maybe her scale was broken. I know I had that reaction when I got on my scale on New Year’s morning. It was a full three pounds heavier than it had been on December 31st. Three. Pounds. In one day. Now, I am lucky. I have access to registered dietitians where I work. And they talk me off the cliff at moments like these, reminding me that a weight gain such as that is probably from eating too many salty foods.
So, basically, everyone was feeling a little bit bloated from too many parties, too many cookies, too much, too much.
While two of the New Year’s Day three pounds have disappeared, there’s still the last one – and maybe a couple others that crept on over December, despite the fact that I kept up my workout routine and stuck to my normal eating regimen. My pencil skirt is feeling a little more snug than usual. Not to worry – I’ve amped up my cardio a bit and I’m packing my diet with fruits and veggies to get things back to normal. At times like these, I like to turn to nature’s diuretics to help speed things along.
A natural diuretic helps flush excess fluids from the body.
Before I write anything more, let me emphasize that I am not a registered dietitian. I am not giving diet advice here. Rather, I’m just giving you a list of foods known to have natural diuretic qualities – and their NuVal scores. I’ve also included some information that I’ve gathered from some highly sophisticated Internet research (thank you Wikipedia!) Oh – and some good recipes too!
Asparagus: According to D. Onstad, author of Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers and Lovers of Natural Foods ”Asparagus has long been recognized for its medicinal properties. It contains substances that act as a diuretic, neutralizes ammonia that makes us tired, and protects small blood vessels from rupturing.” Wow! No wonder it’s one of the more expensive vegetables in the produce department! It’s worth it though, and it makes it into our shopping cart every week. If you like it steamed, check out my blogpost Steamed Asparagus 101. My favorite cooking method is grilled or oven roasted. Asparagus gets a NuVal score of 100.
Brussels Sprouts: Help in the cleansing of the body tissues and cells by stimulating the kidneys and pancreas. I love, love, love Brussels Sprouts. So much! Especially the little ones. And the best way to eat them is oven roasted. I think my Brussels Sprouts post is one of my favorite posts I have ever written here at A Better Bag of Groceries. Brussels sprouts get a NuVal score of 94.
Carrots: Help speed up metabolic rate and help remove fat and waste from the body. Who doesn’t want that? I do crunch on raw carrots, but I don’t live for them. However, Dr. Oz’s Carrot Soup is to die for. If you haven’t tried it, now’s the time. Carrots score a 99 on the NuVal scale.
Fennel: Not only is fennel a natural diuretic, it also treats flatulence. That would be gas. Yup. Who knew? I have an amazing fennel recipe here at A Better Bag of Groceries thanks to Catherine Katz: Apple, Fennel, Walnut and Barley Salad. Yum! Fennel scores a 91 on the NuVal scale.
Lettuce: Yum, one of my favorite foods of all time. Romaine, green leaf and red leaf all score a 100 on the NuVal scale. Lettuce aids in metabolism and flushing of toxins from the system. I eat lettuce every single day. One of the hardest things about lettuce is preparing it, though. You have to wash it, spin it, tear it. It’s time consuming. No time for all that? Try starting a salad club with your co-workers or friends.
Tomatoes: You say tomatoe, I say to-mah-toe. What’s un-debatable is that tomatoes are rich in vitamin C that aids metabolism in the release of water from the kidneys. This time of year, fresh tomatoes (even the vine-ripened ones) are just so-so, in my opinion. So for a great tomato recipe, try Weight Watchers Shrimp with Spicy Tomato Sauce. Fresh tomatoes score a 96 on the NuVal scale, but you can find some very high-scoring canned tomatoes too – like the brand I used in this recipe (NuVal score of 82).
Watermelon: If you can find a watermelon in January, buy it! It’s another natural diuretic with a high NuVal score (94). But be sure to check out my tips for how to cut a round watermelon (it’s not easy!)
Apple Cider Vinegar: At NuVal, we don’t score vinegar (and some other things, like coffee and tea). However, while more research probably needs to be done, lots of people are talking about the benefits of cider vinegar. Some studies have linked cider vinegar to weight loss.
I’m sure we’ll all feel back to normal in no time. Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s to a healthy 2013!
Tags: natural diuretics