Your kidneys play a very important role in maintaining a health body. The kidneys are important organs with many functions in the body, including producing hormones, absorbing minerals, producing urine, clearing waste from the body, regulating water fluid levels and filtering blood in the body. Needless to say, your kidneys are vital organs in your body. Below are some of the core functions the kidneys perform for the body:
- Waste excretion: Your body encounters numerous toxins throughout the day, which your body doesn’t want inside of it, so the kidneys help get rid of some of them. The kidneys filter out toxins, excess salts, and urea, a nitrogen-based waste created by cell metabolism.
- Water level balancing: Since the kidneys are the key organ in the production of urine, the kidney reacts to your water intake throughout the day. If you decrease your water intake, the kidneys are able to react and conserve water in the body instead of removing it.
- Blood pressure regulation: The kidneys need constant pressure to filter the blood. When it drops too low, the kidneys increase the pressure. One way is by producing a blood vessel-constricting protein (angiotensin) that also signals the body to retain sodium and water. Both the constriction and retention help restore normal blood pressure.
- Red blood cell regulation: If the kidneys are not getting enough oxygen they inform the body to produce more red blood cells (oxygen-carrying cells).
- Acid regulation: The kidneys help keep a healthy pH level in our body. If our body intakes too much acidic foods the kidneys help neutralize the acid.
Because of all the vital functions the kidneys perform and the toxins they encounter and try to remove from the body, the kidneys are susceptible to various different diseases and problems. Some signs that indicate you may have a kidney disease are high blood pressure, blood or constant protein in your urine, puffiness in your eyes, hands and feet, painful urination, and kidney stones. This makes it very important that you cleanse your kidneys to improve their functions.
Foods for Cleansing Kidneys
Consuming fruits, vegetables, water, and other fluids helps the kidneys cleanse themselves. Before we get into specific foods and herbs to help cleanse your kidneys, it is important remember the importance of water for your body’s, and kidney’s, health.
Water – Proper hydration is especially important for proper kidney function. Drinking plenty of water on a daily basis improves the functioning of kidneys. Maintaining the proper 64 ounces of water throughout the day is important for the body. Make sure you are not drinking too much water throughout the day though.
In addition to water here are some tips to consider too:
• Smoking, alcohol, and caffeine– Smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption make it harder for the kidneys to remove toxins from the body.
• Blood pressure– Maintaining normal blood pressure and good sugar and cholesterol levels is crucial for decreasing the risk of kidney problems. As your kidneys help regulate blood pressure, maintaining proper blood pressure can reduce the stress put on the kidneys.
• Salt– Salt goes hand-in-hand with high blood pressure. Increased sodium levels can result in higher blood pressure, which again can put the kidneys in overdrive to help regulate blood pressure.
• Maintain a proper weight and regular exercise– Proper body weight can offer an array of health benefits, but it helps maintain constant, proper blood flow throughout the body.
Good foods for healthy kidneys include
Watermelon – Watermelon contains 92% water by weight. This makes it a very good fruit to eat to help your body to flush the kidneys. Flushing the kidneys causes your body to produce more urine and remove more waste from your body. In addition, it is also an amazing source of potassium, which is a mineral salt that can help to dissolve kidney stones allowing the residue to be passed.
Cranberries– Cranberries help keep bacteria from attaching to the inside of your bladder, in addition to making your urine more acidic, which both help prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberries also are helpful for cleansing the kidneys of excess calcium oxalate, one of the main contributors to kidney stones.
If you don’t like cranberries try beets, as they perform a very similar function to cranberries in preventing kidney stones.
Grapes– Grapes are a rich source of potassium, and potassium has the ability to stimulate alkaline blood regulation, ensure that the kidneys function optimally and maintain heartbeat. Grapes also help by flushing out waste products like uric acid.
Lemons– Lemons are naturally acidic and have been proven to increase citrate levels in your urine, which helps prevent kidney stones from forming. Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water throughout the day can help you not only stay hydrated, but allow you to consume more lemons throughout the day, plus it tastes great too!
Apples –Apples are also a great food for improving kidney function, as they contain many antioxidants, fiber, and other anti-inflammatory compounds. The age old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away certainly applies to kidney function!
Herbs for cleansing the kidneys
Both turmeric and ginger root are commons herbs that can be used to cleanse your kidney. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic to help your kidney; whereas, ginger root contains a high amount of antioxidants to cleanse and eliminate toxins in the blood and kidneys. However, the herbs below are not as popular as turmeric and ginger root, but can be effective at cleansing your kidney.
Dandelion – Often mistaken as an annoying weed with no useful purpose, dandelion is actually loaded with benefits — both the leaf and the root. Dandelion root, specifically, is a diuretic and promotes waste elimination. Dandelion leaves have many beneficial properties, such as strengthening the kidneys, promoting urination, and reducing water retention. Dandelion root is a common tea that can be consumed to help your kidneys.
Parsley – Parsley is one of the best herbs available for flushing toxins out of the kidneys. As a diuretic, it’s helpful for reducing the build up of toxins in the kidneys and entire urinary tract. It is also helpful for treating kidney stones or urinary tract infections. A favorite herb among chefs, parsley is an aromatic, flavorful herb commonly used in herbal medicine and can be added to just about any meal or tea!
Marshmallow Root –The root of this plant also has quite beneficial properties for the kidneys. As a soothing herb, marshmallow root may calm the tissues of the urinary tract. It’s also a gentle diuretic that encourages urination.
Gravel Root– Also known as Joe Pye weed, gravel root has a long history of use by Native Americans and early American colonists for promoting kidney and urinary health. Its effectiveness may be partly due to its euparin content — a solvent with potent activity against harmful organisms. This may explain why many believe it’s effective at discouraging infections.
Nettle – Nettles contain high amounts of iron, which make it a great blood builder, and with its diuretic effects, it is great for circulating water through the kidneys and bladder. People most commonly use nettle as a tea or tea ingredient to.
Celery Root– Both the root and seeds of celery have been used for centuries as a natural diuretic. What positive feature do diuretics have? They can help your body eliminate toxins by increasing urine output. Celery root has long been considered a stimulating tonic for the kidneys as it contains nutrients like potassium and sodium.
Yarrow – Much like turmeric, yarrow has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and helps the kidneys in expelling waste and water. The anti-inflammatory properties can help prevent inflamed tissues along the urinary tract and help the body effectively get rid of excess waste. The antiseptic effect helps fight bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, while the diuretic effect increases urine flow.
Hydrangea Root– Hydrangea root was popular among Native Americans and early settlers, both of whom used the plant for promoting kidney and bladder health. Hydrangea root acts as a solvent and is thought to smooth the jagged edges of kidney stones. Hydrangea root also appears to help the body properly use calcium, an action that may be helpful for discouraging kidney stones from forming in the first place.