The kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body. They’re found on either side of the spine, and they perform the following functions:
If your kidneys aren’t able to eliminate excess fluid, waste, and toxic substances from your body, they’ll accumulate in your body and inhibit the function of not only your kidneys but other organs as well. This can lead to water retention, kidney stones, stomach pain, fatigue, and headaches.
Having a healthy, balanced diet and keeping your body hydrated is enough to keep your kidneys functioning normally. However, naturally cleansing your kidneys by taking supplements and consuming certain fruits, vegetables, and herbs can help keep your kidneys strong and healthy.
Not only does cleansing your kidneys enable them to function properly, but it also decreases bloating and enables you to process food easily as well as convert food to energy.
In addition, cleansing your kidneys lowers your risk of getting kidney stones, protects against skin breakouts, like rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and acne, and creates hormonal balance in your body.
So, in what follows, we’ve presented 9 ways you can take care of your kidneys in order to keep them healthy and strong.
Eating foods high in sodium does not benefit your kidneys at all since consuming such foods increases the amount of calcium in your urine, which, in turn, increases your risk of getting kidney stones. Moreover, consuming a lot of sodium can result in high blood pressure, which adversely affects your kidneys, by damaging the arteries that carry blood to your kidneys. Over time, this can lead to kidney failure.
According to the Dietary Guidelines For Americans, the recommended daily intake of sodium is less than 2,300 milligrams a day (1). And one way to reduce your sodium intake is to eat less processed foods.
Every single organ in your body needs water to function properly. Keeping your body hydrated makes it easier for your kidneys to function normally by eliminating waste, toxins, and other unnecessary substances from your body in the form of urine.
Your urine indicates the best whether your body is adequately hydrated or not. To check whether you’re hydrated enough, you can observe the color and the amount of your urine. If you aren’t urinating enough, this is a sign that your water intake is low, and you probably need to drink more water. Moreover, this can result in kidney dysfunction and cause stone formation.
Another indication that you’re dehydrated is if your urine has a dark yellow color. As you increase your intake of water, the color of your urine should become clearer.
To stay hydrated, stick to the recommended daily fluid intake, which is around 2.7 liters a day for women and 3.7 liters a day for men, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2).
To support kidney health, include more fresh foods packed with antioxidants and nutrients in your diet. In what follows, we’ve presented a list of 11 foods that can give your kidneys a boost.
Grapes contain resveratrol, which is an anti-inflammatory compound that belongs to the group of polyphenols, which act as antioxidants.
In one animal study, resveratrol was found to postpone the progression of polycystic kidney disease (3).
Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory effects which benefit your kidneys.
Besides being an excellent addition to oatmeal, smoothies, and fruit salads, cranberries are incredibly healthy too.
One observational study found that consuming dried and sweetened cranberries decreased the incidence of urinary tract infection in women (4)
Watermelon contains lycopene, a type of carotenoid that supports kidney health. In addition, this fruit is high in potassium salts, that play an important role in preventing kidney stone formation and balancing the acidity of urine.
Foods High In Calcium
A lot of people think that eating foods rich in calcium should be avoided so as to prevent kidney stone formation. But, this is not true.
Too much urinary oxalate can cause kidney stones. We need to consume calcium so that this mineral can bind with oxalate and thus decrease the production and absorption of this substance.
Foods packed with calcium include tofu, fortified cereals, curly kale, cheese, and milk, including almond and soy milk.
One animal study found that treatment with seaweed extracts decreased kidney and liver damage in rats with type 2 diabetes (5)
Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can considerably decrease the risk of end-stage renal disease or postpone its progression.
Parsley is a herb that offers cleansing benefits. It contains luteolin, a flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and helps in removing waste and toxins from the body.
Horsetail And Dandelion Root
Due to their diuretic properties, dandelion root and horsetail help cleanse your kidneys by removing waste and toxins from your body and purifying your blood.
Fruit juices have citric acid, such as melon, orange, and lemon juice. This acid helps prevent kidney stones from forming by binding with calcium in urine, thereby hindering the growth of calcium crystals.
Herbal teas contain antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory properties, and they can decrease the risk of developing kidney stones.
Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)
One study found that extracts from the herb Blumea balsamifera reduced the size of calcium oxalate crystals, which are present in most kidney stones, and prevented their aggregation (6).
Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculate)
Hydrangea is a shrub that is characteristic of its blue, purple, white, and pink flowers.
One animal study found that extracts from this shrub can protect renal function in rats with septic acute kidney injury due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities (7).
Other herbal teas that offer cleansing benefits include turmeric tea, dandelion tea, and nettle leaf tea.
Your kidneys need nutrients so as to keep them functioning optimally. One important vitamin that your kidneys require is vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 decreases calcium oxalate, which reduces the risk of developing kidney stones.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 for people aged 19-50 is 1.3 milligrams for both men and women, whereas, for people aged 51 and over, the recommended daily B6 intake is 1.7 milligrams and 1.5 milligrams for men and women, respectively (8).
Potassium is an important element for the pH balance of urine and the balance of electrolytes.
Potassium citrate can help decrease kidney stone formation, particularly in those that have recurring episodes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-6 fatty acids can cause the formation of kidney stones. On the other hand, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid, reduces omega-6 fatty acid metabolites (9).
To meet the daily requirement for omega-3 fatty acids, supplement with fish oil that contains 1.2 grams of EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Other supplements and vitamins that can benefit your kidneys include resveratrol, alpha-lipoic acid, probiotics, moringa, and vitamin D.
Not only are kidney beans and the kidneys similar in shape, but this vegetable can benefit the kidneys too. Kidney beans are a good source of fiber, minerals, and vitamin B, which help eliminate toxins from the kidneys and improve the function of the urinary tract.
Many people think that artificial sweeteners are a healthy substitute for processed sugar. But, this is not true. Artificial sweeteners increase your appetite and lead to overeating, thereby contributing to weight gain, which increases the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Sadly, this leads to an increased risk of kidney disease and type 2 diabetes too.
The most common artificial sweeteners are saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose.
So, if you’re a fan of artificial sweeteners, try to replace them with natural sweeteners, such as agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup. However, consume them in moderation.
Apple cider vinegar prevents oxidative stress of the kidneys by regulating blood sugar levels, increasing antioxidant levels in the body, and decreasing blood pressure, which, in turn, helps the kidneys function optimally. This vinegar also contains citric acid, which is effective in dissolving kidney stones.
This technique involves consuming only liquids and foods that benefit your kidneys for two days. As we already mentioned, your kidneys remove wastes and toxins from your body. Therefore, consuming the most optimal nutrients for two days can help your kidneys eliminate most of the toxins and unwanted substances in your body. In what follows, we’ve presented what foods and drinks you can consume during the 2-day kidney cleanse.
You can consume 8 ounces of each ginger, fresh lemon, and beet juice for breakfast.
For lunch, you can consume a smoothie made with ½ cup of tofu, 1 cup of almond milk, ¼ cup of berries, ½ cup of spinach, ½ apple, and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds.
You can consume mixed-greens salad with fish, tofu, or chicken for dinner. You can top this with ¼ cup of peanuts and ½ cup of grapes.
For breakfast, you can consume a smoothie made with 1 banana, 1 cup of soy milk, ½ cup of blueberries, and ½ cup of spinach.
You can consume 1 cup of hot millet for lunch with 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and fresh fruit.
You can consume mixed-greens salad with chicken, tofu, or fish for dinner. You can top this with 4 ounces of cherry juice and ½ cup of cooked barley.
Natural Kidney Cleanse Recipes
Frequently Asked Questions
You can remove waste, toxins, and other unnecessary substances from your body in any of the above-mentioned ways. But probably the fastest way to do so is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Staying adequately hydrated helps keep your kidneys functioning optimally.
Water – the answer probably didn’t surprise you. By consuming eight or more glasses of water a day, you’ll naturally hydrate your body and keep your kidneys healthy and strong. However, keep in mind that you should drink more than this amount if you are exercising hard, breastfeeding, or you are in a hot climate.
After all, it’s always better to drink water than drinks containing sugar, artificial sweeteners, and many calories. Moreover, carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid, which may promote the formation of kidney stones.
Yes, it is, thanks to the citric acid found in lemons. Citrate, a molecule, or derivative, of citric acid, decreases the acidity of urine and may dissolve small kidney stones. So by consuming lemon water, not only will your body get citrate, but it’ll also get the water it needs to prevent kidney stone formation or eliminate stones from your system.