Kidney Detox | 7 Ways to Detox and Cleanse Your Kidneys Naturally
A kidney detox is a great way to do a full-body cleanse. Your body does this well enough on its own. But it could use a little help.
For science-backed detox tips (here's looking at sham celebrity hacks), continue reading.
How to Achieve a Natural Kidney Detox
Your Kidney Does the Dirty Work
Your kidneys are hard-working organs involved in other bodily processes, including:
- excreting waste products
- balancing bodily fluids
- regulating blood pressure
- producing vitamin D
- regulating red blood cell production
But they are most known for their role as your body's filtration system.
Your blood enters your kidneys through your renal arteries. Inside your kidneys are approximately a million filtering units of nephrons. Each nephron has a glomerulus and a tubule.
Once blood enters the nephron, it goes through the glomerulus, which filters the blood. Then it continues down the tubule, which keeps essential substances like proteins in your blood and removes excesses and waste.
The end product of this entire process is urine.
Out of the 150 to 200 quarts of blood that your kidneys filter, only one or two quarts convert to urine.
Your kidneys get rid of waste from your body through your urine. But they are also a major player in heart health. Keeping them healthy not could lead to a long and healthy life.
Are you ready for a natural kidney cleanse?
Easy Tips for a Healthy Kidney Detox
1. Drinking Water May Help with a Natural Kidney Detox
Remember that your kidneys eliminate waste through urine. By staying hydrated, you may also be helping your kidney get rid of toxic substances from your body.
A healthy person could urinate around six to eight times a day. And if you're an avid water drinker, take diuretics, or love a morning cup of joe, you might find yourself running to the loo up a bit more than that.
If your urine is amber or shade closer to brown, then it could be a sign of dehydration. Put down the joe and drink more water. If the color stays the same, it may be time to pay your doctor a visit.
Everyone was taught to drink six to eight glasses of water a day, but this may not be true. How much water you need to drink may depend on factors like:
- Do you exercise?
- Is your environment hot, humid, cold?
- Do you have a condition that requires you to drink more water?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
Whether it's true or not, it could serve as a gentle guide to encourage you to up your water intake. But if you are seldom thirsty, and if your urine is colorless or has a light shade of yellow, then you may be drinking enough water.
Keep a jug by your side at all times. It may remind you to take a sip once in a while. There are fun and rewarding water reminder apps that could remind and motivate you to down a glass.
2. Lay Off the Salt
A sodium-rich salt creates a dangerous loop of hypertension and kidney damage. Remember that your kidneys help control your blood pressure.
Excess salt could cause hypertension or high blood pressure. High blood pressure forces blood into your kidneys, which could scar them over time. A scarred or damaged kidney may not be able to regulate your blood pressure leading to hypertension. And so the loop continues.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends keeping your sodium intake below 2,300mg a day.
Keep a food journal to keep track of all the foods you eat. It could also reveal if your current diet is too salty or too high in calories.
The body needs a healthy amount of salt, but be conscious of how much salt you sprinkle on.
Processed foods also contain plenty (often too much) of sodium preservatives. Stick to fresh foods and home-cooked meals.
3. Eat Kidney-Supporting Foods
We'll never tire of saying this. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Throw in some antioxidant-rich foods as well!
A nutritious diet keeps your body running at optimal levels. And when this body part is a life-sustaining filter, you'll want it at its best.
Fruits and vegetables contain potent phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are also excellent sources of protective antioxidants.
A healthy diet consists of:
- plenty of fruits and vegetables (half your plate)
- whole grains (no refined carbs)
- a wide variety of protein foods (such as meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, lentils)
- low-fat dairy
Keep these foods off the dinner table:
- alcohol (all types)
- organ meats (such as liver)
- processed foods
- refined carbs (such as white rice, white bread, breakfast cereals)
Those with kidney disease may also need to lay off protein, potassium, and phosphorus in their diet.
Protein could force your kidneys to work overtime. Your kidney may not filter phosphorus as well. People with chronic kidney disease may accumulate too much potassium and cause other complications. Otherwise, these form part of a healthy diet.
RELATED: 10 Signs Your Kidneys Are In Trouble
4. Take Kidney-Healthy Vitamins
Essential vitamins and minerals help your body perform bodily functions. And this includes your kidneys.
They also help protect and repair your body and promote overall health. Hyponutrition or undernutrition is usually tied to chronic renal failure. And about a third of advanced renal failure patients experience hyponutrition.
Some vitamins your nephrologist or dietitian may recommend include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
These vitamins and minerals may support kidney function. And if your kidney function is impaired, they might be able to help pick up the pieces.
On the contrary, if you have kidney disease, you may have to limit your intake of vitamins A, E, and K.
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, and anti-cancer properties of resveratrol could be helpful in treating and preventing kidney disease. Get your dose of resveratrol from grapes and berries for your kidney detox. However, it's not clear how much of it you need to reap their health benefits.
And, no. While wine does contain resveratrol, your doctor may not count it as a nutrient-rich food.
But a diet comprising mostly of convenience foods and takeout may not contain enough nutrients.
Try to get your daily vitamins and minerals from your diet. But if you feel that you don't meet the daily requirements, ask your doctor if supplements are safe. Some herbal supplements could interact with the medication you're taking.
5. Drink Unsweetened Tea
Tea is a folk medicine backed by thousands of years of tradition—and science?
Some teas could promote a healthy kidney and even help prevent renal failure and chronic kidney disease.
Your kidneys are exposed to plenty of oxidative stress. And green tea, rich in catechins, may protect your kidneys from this stress. The catechins in the tea could have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic effects.
Another tea with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties is hydrangea pinaculata. One animal study showed that the tea may protect renal function. This could mean that hydrangea tea could aid in the management of acute kidney injuries.
An herb named Blumea balsamifera may reduce the size of calcium oxalate crystals in kidney stones. If true, the herb may help prevent and treat kidney stones.
Note that the studies are inconclusive, but teas are generally accepted as safe to drink even with those with kidney-related conditions.
Sip on tea instead of soda during your kidney detox. It's a much healthier alternative, and it may come with benefits beyond kidney health.
There is another herb that is gaining attention for its kidney-protective effects.
6. Andrographis for Kidney Detox and Protection
Andrographis is a Chinese herb that researchers are investigating for its renoprotective properties.
One animal study suggests that the herb may protect against ethanol-induced toxicity.
However, studies are inconclusive. Your nephrologist may not prescribe this herb any time soon.
7. Steer Clear of Artificial Sweeteners
Yes, added sugar may be bad for your health. But in the case of artificial sweeteners, scientists aren't sure if it's a better alternative.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules sweeteners as generally recognized as safe (GRAS), but researchers suggest it may not be healthy.
Emerging evidence says that while sweeteners may not actually be carbs, they may still contribute to weight gain and obesity. It may encourage you to eat more by stimulating your taste buds.
The main takeaway: If you want something sweet, choose a fruit yogurt, or whole fruits.
Is It Important to Do a Kidney Detox?
Your kidneys are top-of-the-line, high-functioning chemical factories and expert waste removal facilities. In a way, they detox and cleanse your body better than any diet or program could.
But it's important to know that there's no proof that detoxes or cleanses benefit your body.
The best you can do for your kidney is to support it by eating kidney-friendly foods. A healthy diet means a healthy kidney. Adopting good habits like drinking water and buying fresh and foods may also help your kidney perform at their best.
Do you think you can benefit from a kidney cleanse? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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