Local Insights

Published on July 1st, 2013 | by Brenda Cobb

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Caring for Your Kidneys

The human body is an incredibly complex machine, with systems that depend on each other and work together to keep us healthy and well. The kidneys are an integral part of this functioning, as they rid the body of useless and often dangerous materials in our bodily fluids. In one 24-hour period, the kidneys will filter and purify approximately 180 quarts of blood at a rate of more than two pints of blood a minute. Kidney health is therefore crucial to a healthy body. The Chinese believe that the kidneys drive a person’s vital life force, going even deeper than physical health.

A poor diet can lead to unhealthy kidneys, and symptoms can include an aching sensation in the small of the back, swollen feet and ankles and even more severe symptoms, such as nausea and high fever. The good news is that there are simple solutions to restoring kidney health. Alkaline water is one of the easiest ways to flush the system, cleanse and detoxify. Recommended amounts for a healthy individual are one ounce of water per two pounds of body weight. To up the ante and achieve a deep cleanse, double that amount and drink an ounce of alkaline water per ounce of body weight.

Several delicious foods that may already be part of your diet can help build up healthy kidneys. Watermelon helps cleanse toxins and waste from the urinary tract and slow the progression of damage to kidney tissues. As a rich source of vitamin A, it also helps improve immune system function by preventing viruses and bacteria from causing additional kidney damage. Watermelon contains vitamin C, which helps remove excess calcium deposits.

Celery is a natural diuretic that helps remove excess fluid from the body and may aid in lowering blood levels of uric acid that contribute to kidney damage. Uric acid is a toxic substance that forms when the body metabolizes animal proteins and fats. Celery is also an abundant source of vitamin C and also provides vitamin K, which may help eliminate bleeding in the kidneys.

The chemical compounds in cranberries can help destroy bacteria that contribute to kidney damage. Avoid commercially packaged cranberry juice, which is typically loaded with refined sugar. Sugar may promote bacterial growth and facilitate additional kidney damage. Use fresh, organic cranberries and juice them yourself.

Legumes contain the amino acid arganine, which may inhibit the production of lysine, a substance that can damage the kidneys. Arganine, found in black beans, chickpeas, lima beans and lentils, helps slow the progression of kidney disease and prevent additional damage.

Natural therapies that target kidney health include colonics, reflexology, footbath detox and infrared sauna. They are designed to cleanse and detoxify the body so that the its natural purification system can kick in and do what it does best—keep our body clean, healthy and well. Try this refreshing smoothie to start your day in a kidney-healthy way.

Watermelon Celery Juice Smoothie

6 cups watermelon chunks
4 stalks celery

Peel the outside skin of the watermelon with a vegetable peeler and discard. Cut the watermelon into chunks and put in the Vita-Mix or other high-speed blending machine. Include the white rind, the seeds and the red watermelon flesh. Add the fresh celery.  Blend into a smoothie and drink up.

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About the Author

is the author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of The Living Foods Institute, an educational center and therapy spa in Atlanta offering Healthy Lifestyle courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing, anti-aging, detoxification, relaxation and cleansing therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or 1-800-844-9876 and visit LivingFoodsInstitute.com.


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