Your kidneys are a vital part of your health and organ that you cannot do without. For the average body, we blessed to be born with two kidneys on the left and right side, below the lungs. In the same way that an air filter takes allergens from the air, the kidneys role is to clean the blood of any toxins.
The key difference between an air filter any our kidneys is that we cannot simple change our kidneys once they have become contaminated and thus it’s important that you keep your kidneys healthy at all times.
Why Clean Your Kidney’s?
In this section we’re going to be looking at ways that you can clean your kidneys and remove any built up toxins. It’s important that you remember to maintain your health throughout a kidney cleanse and consult with your doctor to ensure your body is in a healthy condition to support this activity.
The kidneys have two key functions within the body. Firstly their function is to balance out any excess minerals, hormones and water from the bloodstream. Secondly, the kidneys also produce hormones that stimulate red blood cells, help to regulate blood pressure and amongst others, promote vitamin D which helps to strengthen bones and boost your immunity.
If your kidneys are not able to function correctly, the excess minerals will build up and can cause significant problems. In the UK, about 100,000 people each year are diagnosed with kidney disease in one form or another and with our modern chemical induced lifestyle, this number is on the increase.
Spotting kidney disease is very difficult without specialist medical advice. Kidney disease symtoms can include painful urine flow or abdominal pain, however there a lot of other illnesses that can cause pains such as these other that kidney disease. Please don’t think that just because you have painful urine flows, you have kidney disease.
That all said, if you suffer from heart palpitations, high blood pressure, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, dark colored urine or abdominal pain, a kidney cleanse could really help you.
How To Start a Kidney Cleanse
Contradictory to many reports across the internet, you should not cut your food intake down completely and instead focus on a balanced diet, with lots of fluid. Remember, a detox program will cause the body to go into shock where you may experience symptoms similar to that of the flu. This is totally normal and not something to worry about.
To really complete a kidney cleanse you need to plan for a seven day period where you’re going to reduce your food intake, and focus heavily on your fluid in-take to include water, vegetable and fruit juices and herbal teas.
What To Drink
The biggest problem with a kidney cleanse is that we need to get considerable quantities of fluid through the body without washing out our natural minerals and electrolytes. Drinking pure water is a big NO given that as little as 4-litres per day can do more harm than good. As a rule of thumb, you should be drinking no more than half a liter for every 20 KG’s of weight, however you will be drinking more than twice that if you plan to really clean out your kidney’s.
Homemade Vegetable Broth
A great way to drink fluid without washing the minerals and prevent electrolyte loss is to to drink homemade vegetable broth by taking a selection of chopped organic vegetables such as carrots, beets, onion and leafy greens, soak in water for a couple of hours and drink several times a day.
Homemade Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has been proven to help cleanse the body and break down calcium oxalate stone. For homemade lemon juice, you need to soak five half lemons in a litre of water over night. It’s okay to re-use the lemons however your should replace them every two days.
Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
Drinking apple cider vinegar once a day will help to prevent oxidative stress on the kidneys and liver by increasing the body’s level of antioxidant nutrients. It will also help to balance the blood sugar level to with the acceptable range and help to reduce blood pressure for optimal kidney health.
Contradictory to popular belief and many false reports across the internet, you should not cut your food intake down completely. You do need to focus on foods that are free of toxins, sugars, sweetener, pesticides, hormones and any unnatural additives.
You also need to make sure that you’re foods are organic and totally free of manufactured proteins and hormones. The National Kidney Foundation in the USA recommends that you limit the quantity of red meat and shellfish that you consume each week and focus a fruit and vegetable based diet.
Watermelon is a fantastic food to eat and will help cleanse the kidneys. Watermelon is made up of 90% water containing many natural minerals that the body needs for natural health. The 10% is mainly made up of fiber which has been proven to help clean away chemicals and toxins in the intestines although it does contain a high percentage of potassium that will help to break down kidney stones and lower blood pressure.
Herbs such as Hydrangea roots, gravel root and marshmallow root have been used to cleanse the kidneys over the years. You can find these in both supplement form and dried root that can be made into tea. All three herbs have been proven to encourage the break down of calcium based kidney stones and help the flow of urination thereby initiating the natural release of kidney stones.
On top of these three, I would highly recommend that you mix your diet with a selection of healing herbs such as parsley, ginger and turmeric as these will help to flush toxins front the kidneys. Parsley helps to flush toxins from the kidneys whilst bring a natural pain reliever for urinary tract infections. Ginger has been proven to help protect against kidney damage, whilst turmeric is a proven anti-inflammatory that will help to fight irritation and infection within the kidneys.
Despite the fact that leafy greens contain calcium and oxalates which are harmful to the kidneys and in extreme cases can lead to the build up of kidney stones, leafy greens are also nutritional power houses and contain many minerals and nutrients that are vital to the bodies health. It’s therefore highly recommend that you do not cut them completely out of your diet but focus on trying to combine magnesium rich foods such as leafy greens with calcium rich foods such as almond milk which will help to reduce body oxalate levels.
Berries are very rich in antioxidants which medical research has show help to prevent the formation of kidney stones and even slow the progression of kidney disease. Cranberries are generally considered the best berry source to prevent calcium build up in the kidneys and prevent urinary tract infections, however strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are also fantastic sources of antioxidants.
Watch Out For Your Salt and Sugar Content
Salt or Sodium is an essential dietary requirement, however across the UK we both cooking with salt and reaching across the take for the salt shaker meaning that we’re more that doubling the recommend daily allowance for salt that our bodies actually need. This has a negative impact on the kidney’s health by increasing the calcium build up and increasing the chance of painful kidney stones.
Sugar also has a detrimental impact on the kidneys as it limits the absorption of both calcium and magnesium within the kidneys and can lead to the build up of kidney stones. Sugar also leads to weight gain and the magnitude of different health problems that are associated with being over weight.
If you’re looking for a salt replacement then look no further than members of the allium family such as onions and garlic as they are rich in antioxidant which will help reduce mineral buildups whilst supporting a health heart and lower blood pressure.
Medical research has shown that cardiovascular exercise in the form of running, circuit training and swimming has an increased effect on overall health, particularly with regards to your heart. A health heart means good blood flow to vital organs of which the kidneys is one.
Medical research has shown that drinking coffee in the morning has a number of health benefits, however it’s also proven that caffeine leads to dehydration. Dietitians recommend that for each cup of coffee that you drink, you should be drinking a litre of water to combat the dehydration effects which can can lead to kidney stones forming.