42 Foods That Fight Water Retention

  • Eggs

    The tiny but mighty egg is a healthy answer to your water retention woes. With a high protein content and myriad nutrients in the yolk, including B6, potassium, and magnesium, two hard-boiled eggs for breakfast will keep you satiated and help you lose excess water.

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  • Bamboo Shoots

    Inexpensive and easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes, bamboo shoots are a great way to add texture and flavor into your food. They just so happen to be a great choice for individuals struggling with water retention, too; their high potassium content helps to decrease sodium levels and increases urine production, according to research published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

  • Mackerel

    Not only can omega-3-rich mackerel help lower your cholesterol, there is enough magnesium in 3 ounces of this fatty fish to help reduce your water weight. The Journal of Women’s Health states that women suffering from PMS symptoms report that just 200 milligrams of magnesium daily can help you reduce the amount of water retained during their periods, so there’s no time like the present to add some to your menu. 

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  • Artichoke

    Antioxidant-rich artichokes are an excellent addition to any diet, but may hold particular allure for those struggling with excess water weight. They’re naturally low-calorie and low fat, while being rich in fiber, potassium, and magnesium, all of which contribute to a natural reduction of bloating and water retention. 

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  • Beets

    Whether raw, cooked, or pickled, beets are an incredibly healthy way to add some color and flavor to your food. Even if you’re not a huge fan of beets on their own, they’re a great addition to any smoothie, pairing well with fruits like pineapple and lemon, both of which are loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C. Luckily, beets are also a great source of both potassium and magnesium, making them the perfect food for anyone looking to shed water weight. 

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  • Celery

    Celery may not be the most flavorful veggie out there, but this crunchy treat is a magic bullet when it comes to dropping excess water weight. Thanks to its high fiber content, high water content, and the 263 milligrams of potassium it packs per cup, celery can help you de-puff in no time. 

  • Avocado

    Not only is avocado high in fiber and full of heart-healthy fats, its potassium content has ample diuretic effect, keeping that water belly flat. Looks like avocado toast is back on the menu for breakfast! 

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  • Brussels Sprouts

    Mom was right: that bitter vegetable you grew up turning your nose up at as a kid really is good for you. Just a single cup of Brussels sprouts packs 342 milligrams of potassium and 20 milligrams of magnesium, making it an easy first step toward a body free of excess water weight.

  • Kidney Beans

    Kidney beans are an excellent way to ditch the water weight and slide back into your skinny jeans. Thanks to their high B6, potassium, and magnesium content, all it takes is a few brown rice and kidney beans sides a week to have you feeling less puffy in no time.

  • Duck

    As rich as it is versatile, duck also happens to be one of the few proteins with the right potassium and magnesium combo to effectively reduce water retention. Grill over a medium heat and serve with a cherry and rosemary sauce for an extra punch of potassium and some robust flavor, to boot.

  • Pineapple

    If you’re looking to reduce pain and swelling following surgery, try adding some pineapple to your meal plan. Enzymes derived from pineapples, including bromelain, help to manage various inflammatory conditions. In fact, the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology states that pineapple, thanks to its bromelain and potassium combo, is one of the best fruits to consume to combat inflammation and edema, especially in patients who have had an episiotomy.

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  • Apricots

    Loaded with potassium and magnesium, apricots make for an excellent diuretic. Add in their beta-carotene content and you’ve got a recipe for healthier kidneys, a stronger heart, and a flatter belly. Even if you’re not a fan of eating them on their own, apricots make a deliciously sweet addition to your favorite salad or healthy trail mix.

  • Green Beans

    If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had a parent or loved one make a point of getting you to eat your green beans, whether in some gelatinous casserole or served limp from a can. Little did you know back then that green beans can not only be delicious when properly prepared, but that they contain the necessary amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium to keep you staying at a healthy weight. Just another reason to make your kids eat their veggies! They’ll thank you later!

  • Almonds

    Almonds are a versatile nut, adding a satisfying crunch to both sweet and savory dishes. Despite their relatively high caloric load, almonds are one of the healthiest foods on this planet, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium. Not only do almonds improve your cardiovascular and gut health, thanks to their one-two punch of healthy fat and fiber, they also keep your weight down by helping you shed excess water from your body.

  • Barley

    A grain that has always played second fiddle to cheaper, more commonly available alternatives, like rice, barley doesn’t get the love it deserves. Barley is extremely healthy and delicious, with a chewy texture and mildly nutty flavor, and can be used as a side dish or even as a beverage. Barley tea is excellent for fighting water retention, thanks to its high levels of vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium, all of which help flush out those extra pounds. 

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  • Cherries

    Did you know your favorite dessert topping can also help you lose excess water weight? The Journal of Food Science and Nutrition notes that cherries are remarkably high in potassium, which can help combat water retention. Cherries are also a good source of antioxidant resveratrol, which can help flatten your belly, too.

  • Arugula

    Arugula’s peppery flavor makes it a popular addition to many salads.  At 7 milligrams of potassium per leaf, a small handful added to your regular salad can make your meal more flavorful and help you lose excess water weight, too. 

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  • Steak

    The topic of red meat may polarize some consumers, but there's no denying the water weight-fighting benefits of a great steak. A 3-ounce portion of steak packs healthy helpings of B6, potassium, and magnesium. For optimal weight loss, make sure to pick grass-fed steak — it generally packs higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and fewer grams of saturated fat.

  • Bulgur

    A member of the wheat family, bulgur is a wonderful high-fiber addition to your diet. The high magnesium content in bulgur can help you lose excess water, and its fiber content will help keep you satiated while giving your gut bacteria something healthy to snack on.

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  • Figs

    Figs are a small, yet powerful player in the war against water weight. With 148 milligrams of potassium per fig, they are a great way to kick off your day with something sweet without turning to a refined sugar-saturated pastry. Try adding a few to your favorite smoothie or grabbing some dried figs to jumpstart your weight loss for the day.

  • Amaranth

    Instead of starchy grains like white rice, try enjoying some amaranth. While not technically a grain (it’s cultivated for its seed), amaranth makes for a great substitution for wheat products for those living with wheat allergies or celiac disease. Despite its tiny size, the high amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium contained within make amaranth a powerful combatant against water weight gain.

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  • Cassava

    The mother of both tapioca starch and cassava flour, this gluten-free root isa  paleo-approved and tasty way to increase your intake of B6, potassium, and magnesium. Swapping out your regular bread for a few slices of bread made with cassava flour will infuse your diet with enough potassium to get rid of that stubborn water weight for good.

  • Raspberries

    Fight dreaded water retention by adding some raspberries to your diet today. Raspberries are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and B6, as well as packing plenty of antioxidant resveratrol, which can help you fight belly fat and slim down. 

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  • Broccoli Rabe

    Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, has similar bud heads to broccoli but is actually more of a distant cousin than an immediate family member. Closely related to turnips, this green is delicious when added to salads or sautéed with garlic and chili flakes. Luckily, rapini is also a great addition to any water retention-fighting diet, thanks to its combination of nutrients like potassium and magnesium, so don’t be shy about adding some to your favorite dish tonight. 

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  • Okra

    A staple in Southern comfort cooking, okra is high in potassium and magnesium, helping prevent excess water retention. However, don’t indulge too much in the fried variety or you could be looking at extra pounds on the scale that are even harder to remove: those of the fat variety. 

  • Asparagus

    If there’s a vegetable known for affecting your water output, it’s asparagus. Nefarious odor aside, asparagus’ high potassium content helps prevent unnecessary water retention from making you feel bloated and uncomfortable. 

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  • Mango

    Loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and B6, mango is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while fighting water retention. Try adding some to your favorite smoothie today or blend and freeze a fresh mango for a tasty sorbet that’s free of added sugar, dyes, and artificial flavors. 

  • Goose

    Goose is a wonderfully rich meat that packs a high potassium content, to boot. Most popular as a holiday entree, goose is a great addition to any omnivore's meal plan, thanks to its ample helpings of B6, magnesium, and protein, the combination of which can keep you full while helping you shed excess water weight. 

  • Black Beans

    Full of fiber and the necessary potassium and magnesium to help you shed water weight, black beans are an easy way to make your weight loss plan more satisfying and effective. Stumped for how to use them? Try replacing the ground meat in your burger with a black bean patty, or mix with some sweet corn and tomatoes for a hearty and healthy salad.

  • Portobello Mushrooms

    Though their composition is mostly water, portobello mushrooms are no slouch when it comes to flushing out unwanted water weight. These large caps are a great meat substitute and can help keep your weight in check by maintaining proper water weight elimination, thanks to their healthy helpings of potassium and magnesium. 

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  • Cabbage

    Cabbage is famous for its mild flavor, which lends itself beautifully to raw preparations like slaw and salads, in which its neutral flavor pairs well with tangy vinaigrettes. Thanks to cabbage’s wealth of B6, potassium, and magnesium, it’s also a good choice for anyone struggling to get rid of excess water weight.

  • Alfalfa Sprouts

    Making alfalfa part of your daily routine, whether in seed or sprout form, can help you shed those nagging pounds in no time. A triple threat, thanks to its B6/potassium/magnesium combo, tossing some alfalfa onto your favorite salad is an easy way to kiss that water weight goodbye.

  • Buckwheat

    Buckwheat is often mistaken for a cereal when, in fact, it’s actually a seed, making it a wonderful dietary addition for those who can’t tolerate wheat proteins. High in both protein and fiber, it also packs a generous amount of vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium, fending off water weight and beating bloat all at once.

  • Lentils

    Lentils may be small, but they’re a mighty nutritional force. Lentils are an excellent source of protein, fiber, potassium, and magnesium, all of which help to keep you satiated and reduce water retention. Lentils are a boon to weight watchers, too; the New York Academy of Sciences has reported that the consumption of lentils is a good way to keep unwanted pounds at bay.

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  • Pinto Beans

    Arguably the most popular bean in North America, and known for their use in Mexican, southwestern, and “cowboy” dishes, pinto beans are a healthy and inexpensive addition to any diet. Not only are pinto beans a good source of both fiber and protein, making them a great alternative to meat, their potassium and magnesium contents can help you drop extra water weight in no time.

  • Catfish

    Grill up some catfish and reduce inflammation and water retention in an instant. Catfish are loaded with inflammation-fighting, heart health-boosting omega-3s as well as plenty of potassium and magnesium, making that water weight you’ve been sporting a thing of the past.

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  • Bananas

    Whether in a smoothie, bread, or eaten solo, bananas are fantastic for maintaining a healthy body weight. They are famous for their potassium content, but their vitamin B6 and magnesium levels are no slouch, either. Combined with their sizable fiber content, bananas are wonderful for keeping both water weight and excess body fat to a minimum.

  • Dandelion Greens

    That pesky weed in the middle of your lawn might be the answer to helping you maintain a healthy weight. Delicious sautéed or consumed raw in salads and sandwiches, dandelion greens contain a generous amount of potassium and magnesium that help you say so long to those extra pounds. 

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  • Apples

    The old saying is true: an apple a day really does keep the doctor away. Apples are wonderful for helping digestion because of the fiber and pectin contained within, but their potassium levels also aid in the elimination of excess water from your body.

  • Carrots

    Not only are carrots good for your eyes, they also help prevent your body from holding on to excess water weight. The potassium and magnesium in carrots can help you fight water retention while their beta-carotene content can help you shed belly fat and whittle that waistline. 

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  • Beet Greens

    Don’t ditch the greens atop your beets — they might just help you shed those nagging extra pounds. There is an enormous amount of water weight-fighting potassium and magnesium in beet greens, in addition to plenty of iron, which can help fight the bloat that often goes hand-in-hand with anemia.

  • Dark Chocolate

    Just when you think dark chocolate can’t get any better, another health benefit gets added to the list. Loaded with inflammation-fighting antioxidants, energizing and water weight-fighting caffeine and B6, and plenty of magnesium and potassium, you’d be making a mistake not to heed your chocolate craving when it comes calling — it’s for your health, of course.

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