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7 Foods for a Kidney Detox this Spring!

March 31, 2014

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Kidneys are two of the hardest working organs in your body, filtering about 200 quarts of blood every day to remove up to two quarts of excess water and waste. They are also in charge of three hormones that your body needs to stay healthy, including one that supports safe blood pressure, one that supports bone health, and one that prompts your bone marrow to make new red blood cells. So why not celebrate the season of renewal with a spring kidney detox that helps purge bacteria from your body and gives your kidneys some well-earned respite?  Doing so is easy: all it takes to give your kidneys a hand in performing its vital functions is increasing your intake of kidney-friendly foods. These seven yummy choices are the top performers for kidney health:

Apples

Why They Work: The many antioxidants in apples support heart health by battling bad cholesterol and quieting inflammation. It is no surprise then that they support kidney health as well, as inflammation is a hallmark of poor kidney function.

Tips for Tasty Treats: Apple slices are delicious on their own as a snack or a side at any meal. Cut up apples in your salad, bake them with a cranberry filling or simple sprinkling of cinnamon, or make your own sugar-free applesauce to increase your apple intake.

Watermelon

Why It Works: True to its name, watermelon is an amazing 92% water—compare this to bananas, which are only 74% water. This high water content makes watermelon a great choice for your spring kidney detox, as kidney health depends on water.

Tips for Tasty Treats: A watermelon smoothie is a refreshing way to start the day. Throw in some plain yogurt and a handful of berries for a refreshing and nourishing breakfast drink.

Kale

Why It Works: The fiber in kale is great for digestion and detoxification in general, and its glucosinolates specifically act to support both the liver and kidneys as they work to remove toxins from the body. And those are just a few of the many benefits of leafy greens!

Tips for Tasty Treats: Try lightly sautéing your kale for a side dish, or include it in soups and stews. Kale makes a delicious addition to pasta sauce, particularly when paired with whole grain varieties of pasta. A tender baby kale salad matches any main course, and this recipe for raw kale salad makes a perfect spring or summer lunch.

Broccoli & Cauliflower

Why They Work: Both broccoli and cauliflower have benefits similar to kale, particularly when it comes to your kidney detox. High in the glucosinolates that aid kidneys in their work, both of these veggies add variety to your diet while packing a nutritional punch.

Tips for Tasty Treats: Try steamed broccoli and cauliflower topped with lemon juice, or include these veggies in your juicing. They’re really helpful in cutting the sweetness of juices made exclusively from fruits.

Cranberries

Why They Work: Some of the chemicals in cranberries are particularly effective in keeping bacteria from sticking around your urinary tract. In addition, cranberries have a high level of the main ingredient found in aspirin, so including them in your spring kidney detox is helpful in reducing inflammation throughout your body.

Tips for Tasty Treats: Unfortunately, fresh cranberries are hard to come by in the spring, so you may have to go the frozen route. You could also enjoy no-sugar-added cranberry juice, or consider cranberry extracts and supplements to get the maximum benefit.

Radishes

Why They Work: Perhaps the most neglected veggie in a kidney-friendly diet, the unassuming radish packs a powerful punch. Radishes have enzymes with antiseptic properties that work to destroy bacteria, fungus, and inflammation. This is particularly helpful for the hardworking kidneys, as their role is to filter these toxins from the body.

Tips for Tasty Treats: Slice up radishes in any salad—the extra spice will give your leafy greens a well-rounded flavor. Including radishes in your juicing is the best way to consume large quantities, which will multiply the benefits to your body.

How will you include these powerful foods in your spring kidney detox? Let us know in the comments below!

About the author

Nadia Dorsey is a Wellness Today contributor, yoga instructor, and West Coast native. She loves cooking up big meals for family and friends and showing them that healthy (and vegan or raw or gluten-free...) can be far more delicious than they'd ever imagined.