Anesa Kratovac

September 8, 2021 9:39 am

11 foods for healthy kidneys

Contrary to mainstream belief, supplements can’t take the place of a healthy diet. In actuality, it is food that provides all the natural detox support for your kidneys with antioxidants, astringency, regeneration and energy.

With the following list of foods for healthy kidneys, you will strengthen the function of these vital organs that are known to be the source of energy balance of the body system and which are responsible for aging and vitality.

Their function is strongly correlated with longevity! If we keep them functioning properly and conserve the energy that is usually placed daily on our organ function, digestive system and detoxification pathways, we can conserve the energy the body requires to heal (to keep us disease-free) and help us live until ripe, old age.

Indeed, through a proper diet and fasting, we can ensure the body generates more energy than it loses in its metabolic, digestive, and detoxification activities. As long as we utilize less energy than we bring in so that cells have an adequate supply of food to function and don’t have to compensate by stealing energy from other organs and tissues to function, we can ensure optimal health for life. That is the true secret of natural law and biological longevity!

 

How Your Kidneys Function

 

The two bean-shaped organs do more than filter toxins out of the body’s sewage system – the lymphatic system. When the liver filters the blood, the water-soluble toxins from the blood are then purged into the lymphatic system to be filtered out by the kidneys through the urine.

The kidneys also help balance fluids and minerals in the body, work with the adrenal glands to support the stress response, regulate the salt, potassium and acid content and release hormones like erythropoietin (a hormone made by kidney cells that stimulate the production of red blood cells) and renin (which regulates blood pressure).

Narrowed or diseased kidney arteries can cause high blood pressure and toxin stagnation in the body. And when the kidneys can’t filter out acids, toxins, chemicals, and proteins properly, the waste gets stored in the soft tissues and fat, causing degeneration and chronic inflammation that is at the root of the majority of modern diseases.

 

Kidneys in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine

 

The ancient Chinese medical tradition views the kidneys as the seat of our inherited physical/energetic constitution and the source of yin and yang energy production (the source of Qi). They are associated with our will, manifestation, self-esteem, and the ability to meet the demands of the world in a healthy and balanced way.

Since all the organs are also associated with emotions, low-frequency emotions and stress can damage the organs profoundly. Worry, fear, anxiety, insecurity and low self-esteem are symptoms of weak kidneys and adrenal glands, and these same emotions also weaken the kidneys further (a catch 22!).

On the other hand, balanced living, cultivating self-love and feeling safe, secure, and worthy are all states of being that help heal and nourish the kidneys.

Indeed, when the kidneys and liver function well, we feel energetic and optimistic about life and our ability to manifest our dreams into reality. We feel less worried, have greater self-esteem, have the ability to exert our will and have more stamina to face the challenges in our lives.

Overall, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are the most important organ in the body, governing a person’s life force, energy, and spirit. The kidneys are said to benefit from bitter and black foods (since the kidneys govern the winter season that is associated with the color black), which stimulate organ activity and balance out its fluid retention. The following is a truly informative overview of kidney function and nurturance from the Traditional Chinese Medical perspective:

 

The Kidneys in Chinese Medicine

 

What to Avoid If You Have Kidney Problems

 

The kidneys are a part of the elimination organ system and work alongside the colon and skin to eliminate toxic waste from the body. Therefore, when the kidneys are not working properly, our liver, colon, and skin take the brunt of the work and become weaker themselves. If one team member suffers, the whole team feels the effects.

When the kidneys aren’t healthy, we can experience many physical symptoms that may not be chronic and debilitating but that can significantly decrease our quality of life. We can feel extremely lazy and depressed, have joint pain, gain weight easily, become constipated, suffer from dry, cracked skin and nails, lose hair, develop cellulite or endocrine system disruption, which gives rise to thyroid and adrenal issues, for example. 

Of course, pollutants and chemicals in our environment are also a challenge to the health of our kidneys. But there are also many foods that can damage kidney function profoundly! A diet devoid of electrolytes and minerals is a recipe for kidney malfunction, since the kidneys need a proper ratio of minerals to work properly.

Essentially, there are two food groups that I recommend be removed from the diet if you suspect your kidneys are weak and diseased. In fact, eliminating all inflammatory foods will work wonders in reversing the health symptoms related to systemic weakness and chronic disease. And further supplementation with healthy foods that heal will restore and rebuild bodily tissues and function.

To protect your kidneys, I wholeheartedly recommend avoiding all high-protein foods (especially meat) as well as dairy products, particularly if you take any medications, suffer from high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease, or have had kidney stones. Likewise, limit or better yet avoid all packaged foods with preservatives and additives.

 

How The Kidneys Work with the Lymphatic System to Remove Waste From the Body

 

How Your Kidneys Function 1
Copyright: durhamnephrology.com

 

The kidneys are responsible for removing water-soluble waste from the body’s lymphatic system, or its sewage system. When the kidneys work harder and are not removing enough liquid waste from the lymphatic system, a backup of toxic sewage develops in soft tissues. The muscles and fat stores become swollen with fluid and this can be felt as edema or water retention.

As toxins start to fester the surrounding tissues, they harden into crystals that are deposited throughout the body. These deposits are called ‘kidney stones’ or ‘urinary tract stones’, and can be quite painful.

One way to ensure that these deposits are removed from the body quickly is by movement and gentle exercise, since the body’s sewer system, or the lymphatic system, requires proper movement (light exercise and circulation) to circulate and move waste to the kidneys.

When the sewage system becomes stagnant due to a sedentary lifestyle, waste cannot be evacuated and toxic waste accumulates in tissues. The lymph system does not have a natural pump like the blood has the heart, meaning that it works optimally when we move, eat astringent foods that hydrate, and breath deeply and properly.

Kidneys are the body’s filtration system – and when they start failing, it’s a sign that a healthier approach to life is needed and stress, exertion, toxin/chemical exposure, fear/worry and the consumption of a processed diet must be minimized greatly. 

 

Common Symptoms of Diseased Kidneys

 

As the kidneys begin to lose their filtering capacity, some common signs start emerging:

-Fatigue and weakness/tiredness, especially after meals

-Excessive sweating

-Frequent urination, especially at night

-Depression (due to reduced oxygenation in the tissues)

-Urine changes (bloody, red, or other colors)

-Bad breath (metallic taste), nausea & vomiting, and indigestion 

-Sexual problems (low libido)

-Headaches and high blood pressure

-Hiccups

-Swelling and puffiness in the face (especially eyes), feet and lower legs

-Sensitivity to cold or heat

-Sleep apnea

-Skin inflammation such as eczema, rashes, dermatitis, and psoriasis

-Low tolerance to stress

-High degree of anxiety and worry

-Lower back pain

-Menstrual, uterine, and fertility problems

 

Top 11 Healing Foods for the Kidneys

 

Top 11 Healing Foods for the Kidneys
Photo by Louis Hansel from Unsplash

Here are my favorite 11 foods for healthy kidneys! Personally, they have helped me reverse inflammation and heal severe eczema (which is caused by lack of proper kidney filtration of toxic built-up), and I truly owe them my health. May they do the same for you and provide you with the hydrating chemistry you need to detoxify, heal and regenerate your body for optimal function!

The astringency of these raw foods for healthy kidneys provides a toning action on body tissue, contracting the muscles, blood vessels, and skin.

An alkaline diet has a hydrating effect on your system, which stimulates the kidneys and other elimination organs to become more active; this natural process of “burning up” waste and dead cellular debris is called autolysis.

The astringent foods below are considered very healing to the kidneys, liver, skin, and liver because they support these detoxification and elimination organs by helping to eliminate waste through the bowels, lymphatic system/kidneys, and the skin.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is said that these foods can halt an internal “drought” or crisis, which happens when the body is unable to cope with certain types of toxins and the crisis point has been reached.

Overall, the ideal foods for healthy kidneys should include mostly fruits and vegetables that are organic and locally grown whenever possible! This is the best way to get a balanced mineral intake. When a diet is nutritionally devoid and consists mostly of packaged foods, high levels of potassium, phosphorus, and sodium can accumulate in the kidneys, causing renal weakness and degeneration.

To ensure you don’t damage your kidneys with supplemental minerals, make sure that you consume a low sodium diet and colored sodas, which are highly acidic and leach calcium and minerals from the bones and tissues in order to alkalize the body. Instead, go for fresh fruits and dark-colored (such as purple!) whole foods.

1) Red Grapes – this delicious summer fruit is nature’s strongest detoxification agent and is known to be a cleansing and healing tonic for the kidneys. Red grapes contain powerful antioxidants, including resveratrol, which has been shown to reverse advanced kidney disease, among other incredible health benefits.

2) Watermelon – watermelon juice has some very unique benefits for the kidneys. One study showed a significant decrease in protein leakage into urine after participants drank watermelon juice.

The nutrients responsible for such detoxifying effects include antioxidants called carotenoids, which help fight inflammation. Watermelon is also a good source of magnesium and potassium, which are necessary for proper kidney function.

3) Celery – rich in water, this low-calorie vegetable is full of potassium, magnesium, sodium and phosphorus that naturally electrify and cleanse the kidneys. Celery also helps regulate blood pressure and works wonders to alkalize the intracellular fluid quickly.

4) Asparagus – this annual plant is a great source of the antioxidants vitamin A and C that fight free radicals in the body, soothe inflammation, cleanse the blood vessels and kidneys (and acts as a mild diuretic).

5) Beets – the beetroot contains adenosine, a compound that increases the flow of blood and urine, helping rid the body of toxins. These deep red roots are packed with antioxidants and flavonoids that protect the blood vessels from oxidative stress, while boosting the antioxidant enzymes that clear toxins from the kidneys. Compared to apples, beets are stronger at removing toxins, as they contain more pectin.

6) Parsley –  this herb that is a cleanser and tonic for many of the body’s tissues and organs supports the kidneys naturally with its diuretic effects by flushing out excess toxic buildup. It is rich in vitamin K, which helps prevent calcium build-up in blood vessels and arteries, protecting the heart, lungs, and other organs from damage caused by hyperacidity or hardening of the arteries.

7) Onions – this conventional salad staple provides an excellent source of sulfur and regulates blood pressure and fluids in your body- both are essential for healthy kidneys. They also contain chromium which helps control blood sugar in diabetics.

8) Watercress – this dark green leafy vegetable is a good source of flavonoids that prevent oxidative damage caused by toxins and free radicals. It is also a great source of vitamin C, which helps in the synthesis of collagen for healthy tissues and joints. Watercress is also a kidney tonic and is rich in essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium.

9) Cilantro – also known as fresh coriander or Chinese parsley, the seeds, leaves, and roots of this plant expel heavy metals, especially mercury from the kidneys. Our bodies were never designed to process these dangerous substances! They cause an acidic environment in your system, which can lead to chronic inflammation that manifests itself as diseases like cancer, diabetes or heart disease. 

10) Blueberries – blueberries are one of the best foods for kidney health. They contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that protect your kidneys against inflammation and cell damage caused by free radicals. Blueberries have also been shown to reduce elevated creatinine levels in the blood, which is often an early indication of kidney problems.

11) Olive oil – the monounsaturated oleic acid in this liquid gold protects against oxidative damage to the kidneys. It also helps lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol (LDL), while increasing good cholesterol (HDL).

 

Foods That Are Good for Kidneys
Red Grapes and Watermelons for Detoxification

 

For detoxification of waste and powerful cleansing of the kidneys, watermelon and red grapes are among my favorite anti-inflammatory foods. They are some of the most detoxifying foods found in nature and flush out acidity that is found deeply embedded within tissues to revitalize their function. They likewise nourish cells and tissues with an electrolyte mineral profile that generates electricity and fuels cells with vital energy.

 

4 Drinks That Support Kidney Function

 

Drinks That Support Kidney Function
Photo by Francesca Hotchin from Unsplash

Liquids are key in cleaning the body of stagnation and acidic waste and can quickly and efficiently cool down inflammation and re-hydrate the body. Whenever you experience pain, aching, low energy, chronic tiredness, and lack of motivation, your body may be experiencing dehydration and inflammation.

The best way you can feel better rapidly is to flush out waste through the lymphatic system that utilizes the kidneys as an elimination organ of water-soluble acids and toxic waste.

Food nutrition builds up kidneys over time, but liquids are just as powerful in their cleaning and healing capacity and should be a part of a powerful kidney revitalization protocol. The following liquids are known to help aid the elimination organs and facilitate detoxification throughout the body.

1) Lemon Water – this tonic has the power to dissolve uric acid and other acids that have accumulated in your body. Lemon is highly astringent and cleansing and is ideal for detoxification. The lemon water also regulates blood pressure and improves digestion.

2) Coconut Water – this fruity nectar is a natural isotonic beverage that can help the body maintain water balance and hydration. Its electrolytes help to speed up recovery after exercise. It is also rich in potassium (with more than a banana), which helps the kidneys eliminate toxins.

3) Hot, Herbal Teas – herbal teas are diuretics and they’ve been used for many years to cure kidney-related diseases. Make sure you drink them hot, because cold water is actually more difficult for the kidneys and not favorable for organ function.

On other hand, hot liquid is ideal for killing pathogens and bad bacteria and aids in detoxification. Herbs are also known to heal and strengthen tissues and are an essential part of every detoxification and healing protocol. 

4) Cold Pressed Organic Juices –  fresh, homemade juices contain essential minerals and vitamins that support kidney health. They also provide alkaline chemistry to the cells and help move the lymphatic sewage waste from cells and tissues to the kidneys for elimination. Watermelon, lemon, red grapes, beets, cucumber, and parsley are especially beneficial for the kidneys.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Never underestimate the power of the body to self-heal and regenerate! But, it cannot do so alone. The chemistry we consume in the form of foods, lifestyle (energy), thoughts and emotions is key to preserving the functional integrity of tissues, glands, and metabolic processes so that all can work optimally as a team.

The kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body that are known to be the source of bodily electricity and toxic waste elimination. They require electrolytes, astringency and alkaline chemistry for optimal health and vitality. Inevitably, their health is correlated with one’s lifespan and the genetic bodily constitution we pass on to our offspring.

In a nutshell, the kidneys filter, protect and balance. In many ancient traditions, they are the source of our life force and their condition is predicated on how we age and how long we live.

By detoxifying the body with astringent fruits and building up tissue with vegetables and herbs, you will not only reverse kidney problems but will help regenerate other parts of the body that holistically work with the kidneys to keep us in an optimal state of health. In fact, an alkaline, raw vegan diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and herbs heals many health issues simultaneously!

If you are suffering from kidney weakness symptoms and chronic inflammation and need a bit of extra help to clean your body through natural detoxification, my free practical detox guide will teach you all you need to know about your body, natural wellness, and the importance of detoxification in healing all disease.

May it help you get the answers you seek and provide you with the tools you need to get well!

About the Author

Anesa is the founder of and the chief integrative health practitioner at Red Grape Wisdom, with a mission to teach the public the truth about health and the principles of wellness that trace their roots back to our human origins and our connection to the cosmic and natural law. 

Her expertise lies in diagnostics, holistic detoxification, and healing support. She uses many unique modalities to help others heal naturally and thrive such as naturopathy, medical astrology, iridology, and Eastern traditional herbal medicine. 

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