Kidney Cleanse Diet & Protocol - Dr. Axe

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How to Do a Kidney Cleanse to Boost Energy and Heal Your Adrenals


[Below is my transcript of my video on a kidney cleanse, along with supplemental information on the topic.]

Surprisingly, most people tend to focus on doing a liver cleanse and/or a colon cleanse, while ignoring a kidney cleanse. Want to learn how to detox your body, it can help to do all three cleanses. While those two cleanses are very important, but probably just as important, and one of the top three cleanses people should be doing on a regular basis, is a kidney cleanse.

A kidney cleanse is especially important if you’ve ever suffered with any type of infection, any type of fluid retention or any type of urinary tract infection — or if you have any kidney stone symptoms.

In order to do a kidney cleanse, you need to eat the best herbs, fruits and vegetables for kidney health. So continue to learn exactly how to do a proper, safe and effective kidney cleanse.

The Kidney Cleanse Diet

Here are the top herbs and foods that can make up a kidney cleanse:

Kidney Cleanse Herbs

First off, when it comes to herbs, the best three herbs are stinging nettle, burdock and rehmannia.

1. Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle is really high in vitamin C, and this herb has been shown to help to start filtering out extra fluids through the kidneys. While more research is needed, it’s been used for centuries as a kidney remedy and healing herb. (1)

So you want to start using stinging nettle. I recommend is getting it as a tea and drinking three glasses of nettle tea a day.

2. Burdock root

Also, another tea you can mix in is burdock root tea. Diuretics stimulate the kidneys and help the body get rid of excess fluid, mainly water and sodium. Burdock root is a natural diuretic so through burdock consumption, you can naturally and easily help your body to eliminate excess water by increasing urine output. By elevating the rate of urination, burdock root can help to remove waste from the blood and body. (2)

If you have issues with fluid retention, you should ask your doctor about trying burdock root before resorting to prescription products.

3. Rehmannia

You also can get a rehmannia supplement, a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb that’s been shown to help cleanse the kidneys. (3)

Kidney Cleanse Foods

Your kidneys are responsible for your body detoxifying and getting rid of certain toxins, and they also balance out fluids in your body, which is very important for circulation and even for microbial balance in your body.

So as we start to look at the health of your kidneys, you typically want to consume foods that are nutrient-dense, such as high-antioxidant foods, foods loaded with electrolytes and organ-nourishing foods. So remember, if you want to heal your kidneys, you want to consume foods that are high in electrolytes and antioxidants. By the way — a kidney cleanse is great for anybody with kidney stone symptoms as well.

1. High-antioxidant fruit

Let’s talk about the best fruits specifically for the kidneys. No. 1 are cranberries, No. 2 black cherries and No. 3 blueberries. These are very dark, antioxidant-rich “superfruits” that are nutrient-dense.

Cranberries are a great option because they’ve been shown to prevent and treat UTIs, which really do a number on the kidneys. In one study, women who drank 1.7 ounces of cranberry-lingonberry juice concentrate every day for six months lowered their risk of getting a UTI by 20 percent compared to women who didn’t use any intervention. In another study, older adults who ate cranberry products were about half as likely to have bacteria and white blood cells in their urine, a sign of urinary tract infections. (4)

A third study involved 20 women with recurrent UTIs who consumed one serving of sweetened and dried cranberries daily for two weeks. Over half of the patients did not experience a UTI within six months of consuming sweetened, dried cranberries, and the mean UTI rate per six months decreased significantly. The results of this study indicate a beneficial effect from consuming cranberries to reduce the number of UTIs in susceptible women. (5)

So drinking cranberry juice throughout your day or making a morning smoothie and throwing cranberries in there, whether they’re frozen or fresh, is a great way to jump-start a kidney cleanse. You can even buy cranberries at your local health food store and actually make a kidney cleanse juice.

Ideally, if you’re going to do a kidney cleanse, you want to also drink celery juice along with cranberry juice. Those are by far the two best things as you’re cleansing your kidneys. They work fantastic, so if you want to make a vegetable juice, I suggest combining celery and cranberry juice because just like cranberry, celery benefits the kidneys by preventing UTIs.

Meanwhile, blueberries and black cherries contain resveratrol, a very specific type antioxidant that’s great for gout and eliminating uric acid. Resveratrol is one of the most important compounds for kidney health. It’s been shown to delay polycystic kidney disease progression, rescue kidney mitochondrial function following hemorrhagic shock and work as promising therapy for chronic kidney disease. (6, 7, 8)

2. Beets

The third thing you want to do during your kidney cleanse is add certain foods into your diet that support the kidneys, the adrenals and also cause your body to increase circulation. The No. 1 food is beets. Beets are high in what’s called NO2, nitric oxide, which is really good for naturally cleansing the blood.

Nitric oxide is vital to kidney function as well, and research published in the Indian Journal of Nephrology found that decreased production of NO2 can contribute to kidney damage. (9) Since beets are high in NO2, it makes them a blood cleanser that’s perfect for a kidney cleanse.

3. Seaweed

Seaweed is incredible because it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, so adding a tablespoon of spirulina or chlorella, or just even a teaspoon — or green superfood powder — to a smoothie in the morning is a great idea.

Both of these seaweed byproducts have been shown to detox heavy metals from the body, which in turn cleanses the kidneys. (10, 11) In addition, brown seaweed has been proven to cleanse both the liver and kidneys. (12)

So seaweed like spirulina, chlorella, or even eating a seaweed salad or kelp noodles are all great ways to help cleanse your kidneys.

4. Lemon juice

Fresh-squeezed lemon in some water upon wakening is a great thing to do as well when you’re on a kidney cleanse. Lemon water benefits the kidneys by aiding in digestion and detoxification. Lemon juice is even recommended as a way to prevent kidney stones due to its benefits on the kidneys. (13)

5. Spinach

Last but not least, in terms of vegetables to eat on a kidney cleanse, spinach is a necessity. We know spinach is a powerhouse food. It’s high in B vitamins and high in certain antioxidants that help cleanse the entire body, especially the kidneys.

Of course, as is the case with beets, you want to be careful to not overconsume spinach, because too much can actually lead to kidney stone formation. (14) However, in appropriate portions, both spinach and beets can help detox the body overall, including the kidneys.

Kidney Cleanse Protocol

Now, let me talk about putting this whole thing together. What I recommend in a kidney cleanse program is to do a three-day cleanse where basically the only thing you consume is a veggie juice or smoothie that’s made of celery, cranberries and blueberries, and then add in a little bit of collagen protein powder. You can drink that 2-3 times for three days and afterward follow a nutritional kidney cleanse diet.

Here’s what a full day’s worth of meals should look like on a kidney cleanse:

  • Breakfast: Smoothie with about half a cup each of cherries, blueberries and cranberries, along with some protein powder and coconut milk — or collagen protein powder and coconut milk — along with green powder like spirulina.
  • Lunch: Consume another smoothie or juice similar to the one you had for breakfast.
  • Dinner: Eat a big salad with a chicken breast. Feel free to add a third smoothie or juice along with dinner.

Final Thoughts

If you can follow that kidney cleanse protocol, I’m telling you, you’re going to feel your energy levels go absolutely through the roof. This isn’t only just good as a kidney cleanse, either — it’s a good way to reset your adrenal glands. So if you struggle with adrenal fatigue, the kidney cleanse protocol doubles as an adrenal fatigue diet. Talk about incredible.

So remember, make sure to incorporate herbs like stinging nettle, burdock and rehmannia, along with following the kidney cleanse diet, and you’re sure to feel better and improve your overall health.

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