The kidneys are a pair of organs responsible for several important functions in the body, and steps that can be taken to keep them working optimally are valuable for overall health. The kidneys work daily to balance fluids and chemicals in the body by filtering and eliminating waste, releasing hormones needed for red blood cell production and regulation of blood pressure, and producing a form of vitamin D that is used by bones. Certain foods and supplements can give the kidneys a boost as they work to filter, cleanse and balance the system.
There are many types of fasts intended for different purposes. They can involve various types and preparations of food (liquid, juice, raw), or no food at all. Almost all fasts are meant to cleanse or detoxify the body, and certain foods or combinations of foods have been shown to support this process. On examination, it is not difficult to understand how fasting works, and why. Like tires or brakes, the wear and tear incurred by the organs comes from their doing what it is that they are meant to do. Although the organs are incredibly self-healing and resilient, allowing them a break from their usual jobs by not putting anything into the system that they must digest, filter and excrete will give them an energy boost. Any foods or liquids ingested while detoxing in this way will serve to support the cleansing/resting process by helping to carry away leftover or excreted toxins during the fasting period.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best (and cheapest!) ways to keep the kidneys in good shape. When the body is dehydrated, it is harder for the kidneys to filter and excrete waste. Under these conditions, the urine that is produced contains high concentrations of salt and minerals that can bond together to form kidney stones. Drinking plenty of water will prevent high toxicity levels in the kidneys---a sign of good kidney function is colorless, odorless urine.
Juice and Fruit
Research has shown that berry juices like grape or cranberry are extremely helpful because of their disease-fighting antioxidant properties. Grapes effectively flush out uric acid in the liver and kidneys, and cranberries contain quinine, which is converted in the liver to an acid that can clean away urea and uric acid that can accumulate in the kidneys.
Ginger and Turmeric
Eating boiled ginger or turmeric may also help the kidneys detoxify. Like berries, ginger is full of antioxidants that aid in cleansing toxins from the blood and has been shown in some studies to decrease kidney damage in diabetic patients. Turmeric, which has antiseptic properties, works similarly.
Fermented milk products like yogurt, kefir, or other foods or supplements containing probiotic bacteria are being linked to decreased risk for kidney stones and other kidney ailments. Probiotics supply the body with the helpful bacteria needed for optimal digestion and strengthen the immune system.
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