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Cleaning Up Your Kidneys: Helpful Foods and Drinks to Consider


More than 26 million Americans suffer from CKD (chronic kidney disease) which means America has a serious bladder issue that boils down to more than just not drinking enough water. Kidney disease is strongly linked to other major health issues such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease. It can also be genetically developed and may come with health risks of its own. Many people who suffer obesity, autoimmune disease or urinary tract infections (UTI’s) may also develop kidney disease within their lifetime. Anytime an overall strain is put on the body, the kidneys also take a major hit. Common signs of kidney problems include frequent urination, problems urinating, pain, burning, or constant thirst.

The best way to take care of your kidneys is to approach your health as an “all in one” type deal. Whatever is good for most other parts of your body (keeping a healthy weight, staying active, eating a clean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, managing stress and drinking enough water) is also a good idea for your kidneys too. But beyond the basics, its helpful to be aware of certain foods and drinks that can also protect (or hurt) your kidneys as well. This way, when you read some crazy diet or see some sketchy health advise that proclaims you’ll lose five pounds overnight, you can be warned that it might not be the best option for your overall wellness. It’s also helpful to know what foods and drinks help your kidneys should you run into any problems beyond your control later in life that leads to poor kidney health or contribute to a current kidney problem.

Best Foods and Drinks For Your Kidneys

For those with CKD, these foods and drinks below are just a handful of some to focus on, but are some of the best and most recommended. They’re also great choices for those that are looking to take care of their kidneys without causing too much water loss within the body.


Obviously, H20 is the best ingredient for overall water balance in the body. No need to go overboard, but aim for the classic 6-8 glasses a day depending on your body weight. If you’re more active, you will likely need additional water, while some may need a glass or two less. Water helps flush out toxins that can lead to bacterial infection or kidney stones, along with harmful particles in the blood. Remember that water is the absolute  best “cleanser” of all you can be consuming, no detox needed!

100 Percent Cranberry Juice

Normally, fruit juice isn’t the best option for beverage choices since it’s mainly sugar, water, and preservatives, however, 100 percent cranberry juice (preferably organic and only fruit and water-based) is a great option for clearing out the kidneys. Cranberries are a super star fruit for your arteries, kidneys, digestive tract and more. If you don’t believe in store bought options, then juice your own cranberries or blend with water and strain with a nut milk bag.


You can, of course, eat cranberries, to protect your kidneys too. They’re excellent sources of Vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and again, very low in sugar. These berries have special urinary tract benefits since they prevent ulcers and bacteria from developing and even fight current ulcers bacteria in the kidneys and digestive tract. Remember, it’s best to choose fresh cranberries, but since they’re not in season all year (sadly), you can also choose freeze-dried cranberries or dried cranberries that contain no added sugar (read the labels). Add these to your oatmeal, smoothies, whole grain porridge, or even salads for a fresh, tart taste.

Red Bell Peppers

Normally, potassium is promoted as a healthy ingredient for people to consume because it flushes out the kidneys and eliminates water from the body, however, for those with kidney disease, potassium can make thirst and frequent urination worse because the bladder empties too often. Red bell peppers are one of the best lower potassium fruits to choose and are a good source of protective Vitamin C. They also contain a good amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps ward off certain types of cancers in individuals with a healthy diet.


Apples are another lower potassium fruit that also aid as a natural cleanser for the body. They’ll still keep your kidneys cleansed without causing too frequent urination. Apples are another source of protective Vitamin C, as well as the antioxidant quercetin, tied to heart health and cancer prevention. They’re also a great source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that’s wonderful for diabetics since it slows down the blood sugar and removes excess cholesterol.


Vitamin D is an important mineral for good kidney health and mushrooms are the best whole food, plant-based source. Vitamin D has been found to regulate kidney function and may help prevent kidney disease. Fortified soy milk and almond milk may be other good options, however make sure the potassium content isn’t over 200-300 milligrams if you have kidney disease.


Grapefruits are another good source of Vitamin C, an important mineral for the immune system and preventing bacteria development in the body. They’re also one of the fruits that are lower in potassium and sugar, which makes them an excellent source of nutrients for your kidneys.


Though oatmeal is higher in potassium than some other grains, it’s also lower than many fruits and vegetables. Oats are particularly a good source of iron and Vitamin B6, which have both been found to be an important nutrient for preventing kidney stones and preventing nutrient depletion for those with CKD.


Kale is a fantastic source of Vitamins A and C to prevent inflammation and protect the immune system. It’s also lower in potassium than some other vegetables and greens and contains a large amount of iron. Iron is important for healthy kidney function since many people with kidney disease have an iron deficiency.

What to Avoid

High protein diets should be avoided, especially if they’re sourced from animal-based foods. It’s also advised to reduce your intake of foods rich in phosphorus if you have kidney disease. Animal foods contribute to inflammation while high phosphorus containing foods can cause kidney stones. If you don’t have CKD and have trouble urinating, add a few more potassium-rich foods to your meals  instead of reducing potassium in your diet. Potassium is rich in fruits, vegetables, and even some whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

The American Kidney Fund advises  a moderate amount of protein (40-50 grams) be consumed for those with kidney disease, and one or two vegetables and fruits at each meal for overall kidney function and balance. Meat, dairy, eggs, and alcohol are some of the biggest foods to avoid.

If You Don’t Have Kidney Disease

If you don’t have kidney disease and just want to eat a healthy diet for your kidneys, be sure to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds to get a balance of both potassium-rich and moderate-potassium containing foods. A whole foods-based plant-based lifestyle is rich in anti-inflammatory proteins that are less likely to cause inflammation or acidity within the body and will ensure good heart health and healthy blood sugar levels.

Your kidneys are one of your body’s biggest natural detox components. Be sure you don’t neglect them so they can keep you healthy and feeling great. To learn more about kidney health and kidney disease, visit The National Kidney Foundation.

Lead Image Source: wessexman/Flickr

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44 comments on “Cleaning Up Your Kidneys: Helpful Foods and Drinks to Consider”

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2 Months Ago

I am a 79-year-old lady. My FIBROMYALGIA disease appeared at the age of 74, with no hope of a cure from the hospital i looked further for an alternative treatments, a friend of mine told me about Health Herbal Clinic in Johannesburg South Africa who sell herbal treatments for diseases including FIBROMYALGIA disease, I contacted the herbal clinic via their website and purchased the fibromyalgia herbal remedy. I received the herbal remedy through DHL couriers within 8 days and i immediately commenced usage as prescribed, i used the herbal remedy for about a month and 1 week, my condition has greatly improved, all my symptoms including Chronic muscle pain, Abdominal pain, nausea, I am fibromyalgia free! contact Health Herbal Clinic via their email healthherbalclinic AT gmail DOT com or visit www DOT healthherbalclinic DOT weebly DOT com PLS fibromyalgia is not a death sentence, there is a cure!

Jack Boom
3 Months Ago

Jack Boon is my name; I want to tell all how God saved me from my kidney problem by Doctor UWadia Amenifo, without me undergoing surgery. I am 30 years old; I lost my dad when I was 15. My mum had a very fatal accident when I was 20 and she was paralyzed. So the government placed her on disability. I was in my third year in Ohio State University when I had problem with my Urinary system. I was hospitalized and a surgery was carried out with the help of my friends and others, and I was fine.so I continued my schooling in my Fourth year I begin to have serious problem with my system I went to the hospital and the school doctor said I will be fine, that I read a lot. After some months I returned back from the last check up, I begin to have Nausea and constant vomiting, anytime I try to urinate I Pass out only small amounts of urine, I was having serious Swelling, particularly of the ankles, and puffiness around the eyes, had a very Unpleasant taste in the mouth at all time, and unpleasant tastes is urine-like odor to the breath, having problem with my breath, and all the time I have Loss of appetite. So I fainted at first and was rushed to my school health center I was given ACE inhibitors and ARBs. Then after sometime it became worst and I was on dialysis. It got to a stage that my dialysis was every week this is because the doctor suggested I go for Kidney Transplant but the bill was too much as my mother and friends was able to raise the money. So I was on dialysis and it got to a stage that to breathe was a very serious problem for me. So I went home on a faithful day and decided surf the web so that I see if there could be any palliative means I will use to remedy my situation until I can get the money for transplant. So as I was browsing on the web, I came across a link http://www.thejournal.ie/trinity-college-alzheimers-2340596-Sep2015/ testimony given by a lady Ann Mucho stated on August 4th 2016, 6:09am. She said to the world how she was cured of Alzheimer’s disease by Dr Uwadia Amenifo using herbs. In her testimony she imputed the contact details of the Herbalist, so I copied out his contact details and explained to him my kidney problem. He assured me of total cure and the nest day when all arrangement was done, he prepared the herbs and shipped it to me. So I took it as he prescribed and just as he have promised me, my system was responding positively to his herbs,so I continued to take it. During that time I was frequently urinating, and I continued. It got to a stage that I was eating a lot, I no longer have weakness in my system and behold his herbs cured me like a magic, and I didn’t undergo any surgery. Since that time I have be fine, and my school doctor have confirmed me okay and my kidney is okay and functioning well. So please all here help me say cuddles to herbal Doctor Uwadia Amenifo for his kind help in helping me cure my kidney disease without surgery. Please if you want his contact for interaction, here is it email Email ([email protected]) and his number is (+2349052015874). His website is http://druwadiaherbalhome.simplesite.com/ wishing you all quick recovery.

04 Feb 2017

I am Rose Anita I was diagnosed of Parkinson’s disease in 2014. I was given medications like levodopa to slow down the progress of the disease. I suffered from this disease till my wife’s co worker told my wife about a herbal doctor from Africa, who sells herbal medicines to cure all kinds of diseases including Parkinson’s disease. We contacted this herbal doctor via his email and bought the Parkinson’s disease herbal medicine from him. He sent it to me through courier service and once i receive it, i applied it as instructed and was totally cured of the disease after usage, all thanks to Dr. Edidia Contact him via his email, [email protected] or whatsapp him with +2349074505296 you can also reach me with [email protected] to know more about him Goodluck.

4 Months Ago

I was diagnosed of diabetes in 2012 and I have tried all possible means to get cure but all to no avail, until i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal clinic from South Africa who prepare herbal medicine to cure all kind of diseases including Diabetes, at first i doubted if it was real but decided to give it a try, when i contact this herbal clinic via there email, they prepared a herbal medicine and sent it to me via courier service, when i received this herbal medicine, they gave me step by instructions on how to apply it, when i applied it as instructed, i was cured of this deadly virus within 18-20 days of usage, I am now free from the disease, i was tasted negative. Contact this great herbal clinic via there email healthherbalclinic(AT)gmail(dot)com or website on www(dot)healthherbalclinic(DOT)weebly(DOT)com Goodluck

Rae Dixon
4 Months Ago

Parsley water if you have a problem. Know of two people who were cured with this remedy. Totally cured!

24 Jan 2017

I am dying of kidney failure, can I be cured by Parsley Water

Veerle Lauwaert
4 Months Ago

Evy Vermoesen

Em Blake
4 Months Ago

Simon Jones

Simone Donati
4 Months Ago

Consider also the intake amount of sugar.

Christine Sexton
4 Months Ago

Most vegans are aware that many these things contain animal products and do all they can to avoid them. There are some on this list I wasn't aware of but I am now and will look into them so thanks. The point is at least we try hard not be part of this abhorrence and if we keep trying one day none of these things will have to entail the suffering of sentient beings - and one day perhaps vegan-knocking comedians will wise up and stop taking the piss out of us for no good reason!

Ali Seamer
4 Months Ago

Cranberries actually increase your chances of getting kidney stones so I would go careful with them. Avoid them at all costs if you have an aspirin allergy. The main ingredient is salysilic acid - the same as aspirin. If you are on blood thinning treatment or take any antidepressants or valium type meds tell your doctor first as cranberries slow your liver down and thus will affect how the med works and how long it is in your system. Also if you are on any medication for a kidney complaint do NOT have grapefruit. It will interact badly.

Pauline W Smith
11 Dec 2016

You are 100% correct about Cranberries and blood thinners.

Miranda O'Rourke
4 Months Ago

Harrison Balodis


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