It’s a new hype in health land: doing a kidney detox. It would have all kinds of benefits, such as weight loss, more energy, and better health in general. But when do you really need a kidney detox, and is something like that safe?
It is not a magical solution for all your physical problems.
What is a kidney detox?
Your kidneys may be small, but they do a lot. The two bean-shaped organs filter your blood, remove excess dirt, moisture and toxins from your body, and ensure that you maintain a healthy balance between moisture, salt and minerals. That means that your kidneys on their own have been ‘ detoxing ‘ all day long.
If they cannot do this optimally, you will notice this in your body. You will then suffer from fatigue, bloating and sleeping problems. It is possible to give your kidneys a helping hand at such times by following a kidney-friendly diet. For example, your kidneys have less of a task to process ‘heavy’ foods and drinks, so that they can focus better on detoxing your body.
Does a kidney detox work?
There is no scientific evidence that a detox really helps to rid your body of toxins: your body already does that in a natural way. But through a detox you give your body a chance to recover from all the sugar, alcohol and other harmful substances that we take in every day. This way, your organs get new energy to do their job better, and your body’s natural detox process is supported.
When is it time for a kidney detox?
A kidney detox is not a solution for serious conditions or ailments. Always listen to your body and see your doctor when in doubt. However, you can try a kidney detox if you have been suffering from minor ailments that could be attributed to tired kidneys. Watch for the following symptoms:
#1. You have elevated blood pressure
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , there is a correlation between elevated blood pressure and reduced kidney function. The higher the blood pressure, the more chance that the blood vessels in the kidneys will be damaged, making the kidneys less able to do their job.
#2. You retain a lot of moisture
When your kidneys are exhausted, they are less able to remove moisture. There is a chance that you are retaining more moisture than normal, especially in your feet and ankles.
#3. You are tired more often than usual.
You have less energy and a reduced concentration.
#4. Other symptoms
Other signs of kidney problems include difficulty sleeping, dry and itchy skin, loss of appetite and a tendency to urinate more often.
This is how you tackle a kidney detox
You can do a kidney detox by sticking to a certain diet. This diet contains certain foods and drinks that are easy for your kidneys to process. If you want to do a kidney detox , there are a few things you should (not) do:
- Do not smoke
- Do not drink (excessive) alcohol
- Don’t drink too much coffee
- Do not eat processed foods
- Do not eat too many carbohydrates, such as white rice, white bread, or pasta
- Do not eat sugar or artificial sweeteners
- Do not eat too much animal protein
If you can stick to this, you can start with the real kidney detox. You approach it like this:
1. Drink more water
Water, water, and more water. The amount of water you should drink daily varies from person to person and depends on body weight, temperature, movement and any medications. In general, this amounts to about 1.5 to 2 liters per day. If you normally do not achieve this, the kidney detox is the time to do it.
Eat kidney-friendly foods
Your kidneys function best with a healthy, balanced diet. From research has shown that people with chronic kidney disease may prevent further damage adhere to such a diet. This mainly concerns a diet with: lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, whole grains and good fatty acids. This is very close to the Mediterranean diet. The foods in the list below are all good for your kidneys (and the rest of your organs):
- Fruit: apples, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, red grapes, cherries, juniper berries
- Vegetables: Kale, Sweet Potato, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Cauliflower, Onions
- Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines
- Olive oil
- Parsley and cilantro