Today we're talking how your body's liver and kidneys do their amazing work including eliminating toxins and moving waste through your body, and foods that support their functions.
The Liver and Kidney Function 101
Your body already has a system to take care of the detox process and remove waste from the blood, namely the liver and the kidneys.
Your Liver: helps convert food into energy. It also converts toxins, like alcohol, harmful metals, and medications, into harmless substances and ensures they are removed from the body.
Kidneys: are responsible for filtering the blood and removing waste.
Your body’s natural detox process also involves your intestines, skin, spleen, and lymphatic system.
Before we dive into foods we love for healthy liver and kidney function, here's a quick hit list on ones that are going to work against them: alcohol, high-sodium foods, processed foods (deli-meats, sugary snacks/baked goods, modified dairy products, fast foods etc, meats high in saturated fats).
Support foods we love
There’s no single food that will help your organs detox. An overall healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables is the best way to consistently support your liver and kidneys.
Are you into your Blended one-a-day habit yet?
The following foods have been shown to positively support the liver and kidneys' ability to cleanse and filter out waste and toxins:
Water: the best way to boost your kidneys’ performance is to drink enough water. Your kidneys depend on water to help them eliminate waste from the body. Pro tip: severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage (your urine should be light yellow or colourless throughout the day).
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts): high in antioxidants and extremely nutritious, they've shown to reduce the risk of many types of cancer, including kidney cancer. Load up on them in our new Greens Immunity Soup that's packed with cauliflower and broccoli.
Blueberries: are incredibly high in antioxidants, which can protect the liver from damage. Find them in our Berry blends.
Lemon: the citric acid found in lemon water has been shown to protect liver function and prevent oxidative damage, helping preserve the liver’s natural ability to detoxify. Organic lemon packed into most of our Easy & Deep Greens blends.
Cranberries: support health by preventing bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract, which in turn keeps your kidneys free from infection.
Garlic: has anti-inflammatory properties and can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. High blood pressure can harm the blood vessels in the kidney, so it’s a good idea to keep it in check. Find it in our two soup blends.
Grapefruit: studies have found the antioxidants contained in grapefruit can help protect the liver from injury and the harmful effects of alcohol.
Fish: certain types of fish, like salmon and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease blood triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure, both of which can help out your liver and kidneys.
Ginger: proven to help improve your body’s control of blood sugar and also treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Find it packed into our greens blends and greens soup.
Green tea: studies show that drinking green tea may improve the health of the liver, reduce fat deposits in the liver, and possibly ward against liver cancer. Find it in our Matcha Morning blend.
Hibiscus (Roselle): a cranberry-like flavour (think Hibiscus tea), has been shown to have diuretic effects on the body and may assist with kidney filtration.
Dandelion: acts as a diuretic, which means it increases the amount of water moving through your kidneys, which in turn helps filter out waste from the blood. Studies have also shown that dandelion can be beneficial for liver function. Find it in our Greens D-tox, The Remedy & After Party blends.
Flag: avoid herbal supplements if you already have kidney or liver disease. Talk to your health practitioner before making changes to your diet or supplement plan.
The Lowdown on Cleanse & Detox Plans
When looking for a cleanse plan or detox support, you’ll find a lot of supplement-heavy programs that supposedly cleanse and purify the blood and system. They are often very calorie restrictive and don't have a balance of nutrients. While the ingredients in these supplements might help indirectly by supporting kidney and liver function, there’s no evidence to show that they have a direct impact on removing waste and toxins from the blood.
If you're looking for a health re-set to get you on track with better nutrition habits, increase your energy, and support your liver and kidney function, check out one of our 3-Day or 7-Day Cleanse plans.
New Plan Alert: The new 3-Day Soup & Smoothie Combo Cleanse