Your kidneys are an important part of your detoxification system. Many of the toxins that the liver processes to enable them to be eliminated safely from the body are sent to the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. Your kidneys also excrete toxins that are created as by-products of normal metabolism. We hear a lot about colon cleansing and liver detox but not too much about a kidney cleansing diet.
Your kidneys are two fist sized organs that are an essential part of your drainage system. They filter all the fluid wastes and from your bloodstream, help to maintain pH balance,regulate mineral levels in the blood, activate Vitamin D to its usable form, and produced hormones that regulate your blood pressure and enable you to absorb calcium. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the kidneys are considered to be the “root of life”.
Causes of poor kidney health
The things that lead to poor kidney health are eating a diet high in processed and junk food and not drinking enough water. The cells of the kidneys need to be well hydrated to function well. Some researchers believe that excess sugar may, in part, contribute to hypertension. It’s well known that diabetes leads to kidney damage. Excessive toxins overload the kidneys putting them under considerable strain which can result in water retention.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly. Acetaminophen ( Paracetamol in the UK ) (Brand names Tylenol, Excedrin, Panadol) can also cause kidney damage and failure if used regularly. All of these over-the-counter pain medications probably don’t pose significant danger if your kidneys are relatively healthy and you use them for emergencies only.
Diets that are high in protein, fat, calcium (usually from dairy products), refined sugar, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, salt and low in fiber can result in kidney stones. A diet that is high in vegetables, fruit and vegetable protein protects against the formation of kidney stones.
Heavy metal toxicity
Metals, especially mercury, can damage the kidneys as they try to excrete them. Mercury can even lodge in the kidney tissue damaging the cells leading to poor kidney function. I have already written about heavy metal detox in a previous post.
A toxic bowel can overload the kidneys with the toxins that are absorbed from it leading to kidney weakness. Colon cleansing can help the kidneys and is an important first step in kidney cleansing. A general body detox and juice fasting will also detox the kidneys but if you have a kidney weakness or suffer from recurrent kidney infections you may want to concentrate more on specific ways of cleansing your kidneys.
Symptoms of poor kidney function
Some of the symptoms of poor kidney function can include:
- fluid retention
- frequent passing of urine
- passing urine that irritates
- frequent bladder or kidney infections
- chronic lower back pain
- high blood pressure
- scalp irritation
- frequent unexplained fevers or chills
Fresh Vegetable Juices
Fresh raw vegetable juices are good for detoxing the kidneys. Celery, parsley and young dandelion leaves are particularly beneficial to include in vegetable juices. Also include include apple, asparagus, beet, (beetroot), broccoli, cabbage, carrot, celery, cranberry, cucumber, endive, grape, melon and watermelon.
For bladder disorders drink fresh vegetable juices that include beet (beetroot) , cabbage, carrot, cucumber, endive, spinach and watercress. Don’t alarmed if the beet makes your urine pink. About 10% of the population get this. The pigment that colors the beet does not get changed and is excreted.
Here is a good kidney cleanse recipe. Wash and juice the following:
4 Stalks Celery
3 Sprigs Parsley
Half a lemon
Watermelon Kidney Detox
One easy way to do a kidney cleanse is to purchase a few large melons and whizz up the flesh in a blender. Include some of the seeds as well if they are organic. Drink as much as you can throughout the day and regularly empty your bladder.
Potassium broth is also good for cleansing the kidneys. There are a number of recipes for this. The basic idea is to simmer the vegetables long enough to draw out the potassium and other minerals so that you have a mineral rich liquid to help the body cleanse. It is important to use organic vegetables to avoid consuming toxic insecticides, pesticides or inorganic chemical fertilizers while you are on a cleansing program. It does not have to be exact. Make it to your taste.
Here is one recipe
2 red potatoes with skin
2 stalks celery
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 head green cabbage
1 large beet
1 clove garlic, crushed.
Wash and chop all the vegetables. Put in a large pan. Add enough pure water to cover vegetables, bring to boil, put on lid and simmer gently for 1 hour. Strain well pushing the vegetables down well with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid. Drink only the broth. Put the vegetables in your compost. Left over broth can be stored in the fridge for 2 days.
3 day kidney detox diet
Watermelon juice or mug of potassium broth
Watermelon or fresh vegetable juice
Fresh vegetable juice
Large raw salad made up of leafy greens and grated vegetables. Use lettuce, watercress, parsley, cucumber, celery, cabbage, Include carrots, asparagus, onions, sprouts. Dress with a little cold pressed olive oil and lemon juice.
Fresh vegetable juice
Cup of potassium broth or fresh vegetable juice.
Day 2 – Repeat as for day 1.
Same as Day 1 but you can have steamed vegetables and brown rice or millet for the evening meal. Add some lentils, or a little tofu.
To get the best results the kidney cleanse should be done after a colon cleanse and liver detox. Both massage and exercise can have a very beneficial effect on the kidneys when combined with the cleanse.
If you have a serious kidney problem it is best to get the advice of a health expert who is knowledgeable about a kidney cleansing diet.