By Staci Culbreath
Do you often feel tired or fatigued? Do your kidneys hurt after eating certain foods? Do you have skin problems such as eczema, rashes, or acne? Do you have frequent urinary tract infections? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, it is time to start thinking about detoxifying your kidneys.
Your kidneys work hard 24/7 to produce important hormones, as well as filter the blood to eliminate toxins, sodium, and excess water from the body. Kidney cleanses have been used throughout history to help keep the kidneys working as they should. When you’re feeling fatigued or moody, it is likely that your kidneys are suffering from toxic buildups, troublesome calcium deposits, and/or kidney stones. Thankfully there are several ways to keep your kidneys healthy and toxin free.
7 REASONS TO TRY A KIDNEY CLEANSE
1. You feel chronically fatigued or more tired than usual.
2. You have skin problems such as acne, rashes, or eczema.
3. You are bloated and have gained weight.
4. You have suffered from calcium deposits or kidney stones
in the past.
5. You feel moody or irritable.
6. You have frequent urinary tract infections.
7. You feel pain in your kidneys after eating certain foods.
WATER, WATER, AND MORE WATER
The most important part of detoxifying the kidneys is committing to drinking lots and lots of water. It is recommended that you drink at least 10-12 large glasses of water every day to help flush out accumulated toxins from the kidneys. A good indication that you’ve been drinking enough water is passing clear urine. Fluids in the form of coffee, soda, and sugary drinks are not a substitute for water. However, if you’re craving a little flavor with your water, try adding some fresh lemon juice.
WHAT TO EAT
Eating the right foods and staying away from certain foods and drinks are the next part of the kidney detoxification process. Cranberries are one of the best foods for kidney health. Cranberries contain a nutrient called quinine which converts into hippuric acid inside the liver. Hippuric acid then clears the excess buildup of uric acid in the kidneys. Just one cupful of fresh or dried cranberries is enough to cleanse the kidney every day. You can also drink cranberry juice to help flush out the kidneys.
Fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium are great for cleansing the kidneys. These foods include bananas, kiwis, apricots, prunes, oranges, grapes, grape juice, cantaloupes, potatoes, beans, dark leafy greens, squash, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and yogurt. While potassium-rich foods do help cleanse the kidneys, one must have a balanced intake of these foods. Excessive intake of potassium can lead to a condition known as hyperkalemia. For a healthy adult, it is recommended to consume 4.7 grams of potassium per day.
WHAT NOT TO EAT
The only type of food that has been proven to be detrimental to kidney health is high-protein foods, because their digestion produces a high amount of by-product waste in the body called creatinine. Having high creatinine levels is one of the main ways that a doctor can diagnose filtering and elimination problems with the kidneys. Besides staying away from excessive amounts of protein, it is important to stay away from substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods, because they cause your kidneys to have to work harder than normal.
HERBS AND OILS
While water, fruits, and vegetables are the best way to detoxify your kidneys, there are additional things that you can do to optimize the health of your kidneys. Natural medicine practitioners recommend taking dandelion oil tincture because it is rich in potassium, and has a diuretic-like function to clear excess water from the body, thus helping to eliminate toxins from the kidneys. Another excellent natural herbal supplement is uva ursi, which helps to repair inflammation and injury caused to the kidneys as a result of stones, or an infection. Uva ursi contains an anti-microbial known as arbutin, so it is great for treating urinary tract infections. Note: It is generally safe to have this supplement, however a word of caution for patients who are on anti-psychotic drugs like lithium. Uva ursi can interfere with the way the body gets rid of lithium, and this could lead to a high level of lithium in the blood, which can be toxic or fatal. Hence, people with any other co-morbidities must be careful before employing Uva ursi in detoxing their kidneys.
CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR
Always talk to a health professional before trying new diets and natural supplements. Certain medications for blood pressure or diabetes could interfere with the diets or supplements, and cause problems with your kidneys.
Staci Culbreath is a nature lover from the Chicagoland area, and a contributing writer.