Foods and herbs that support healthy kidney function

The kidneys help the human body pass waste. These organs clean the blood, and they release the waste that the body produces through urine. To keep your kidneys healthy, stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. Try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages like coffee and sodas. Another way to boost kidney health is by consuming foods and herbs that can improve kidney function.

Hydration and kidney health

If you drink a lot of coffee, soda, or tea, switch to plain water to boost kidney health. According to a study presented at an American Study of Nephrology conference, women who drank diet sodas that contained artificial sweeteners had greater rates of kidney disease compared to women who didn’t drink them.

Drinking pure water can also improve kidney health. Tap water may have contaminants like fluoride or impurities that can aggravate existing kidney problems. Instead of tap water, drink reverse-osmosis water (RO water) or distilled water to improve kidney function.

Herbs and kidney function

These herbs can boost kidney function:

  • CeleryCelery is a diuretic and can help flush out the kidneys. You can buy celery in health food stores or grocery stores.
  • CranberryCranberries can help boost the acid in your urine and kill bacteria. Always drink pure cranberry juice and avoid dried cranberries, which contain sugar. Cranberry juices almost always have sugar or they’re mixed with another fruit juice. Purchase an extract from a health food store or drink pure cranberry juice three fluid ounces daily.
  • Dandelion rootDandelion root can help the kidneys flush waste from the body. Consume dandelion root in either tea or capsule form. If you take dandelion root capsules, take 500 milligrams (mg) one to three times a day.
  • Marshmallow root – Marshmallow root can cleanse the kidneys. Take at least two to six grams of marshmallow root in capsule form daily.
  • Parsley – Another diuretic, parsley can also help flush out the kidneys. You can purchase parsley in health food stores or grocery stores. Take two to four grams of parsley thrice daily. (Related: 15 herbs that naturally detox your kidneys.)

Foods that can support kidney function

Foods with minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium and vitamins A, B, C, and E can support kidney function. Sources that contain these minerals and vitamins include beets, kale, mustard greens, romaine, spinach, Swiss chard, and watercress.

The following enzymes can also keep your kidneys healthy:

  • L-arginine – L-arginine is an amino acid that the body needs to function properly. Like other amino acids, L-arginine is crucial for building protein. The body uses protein to build muscle and rebuild tissue. Sources include chicken, dairy products, pork loin, seafood, and turkey breast. Plant-based proteins that have L-arginine include almonds, Brazil nuts, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, seeds, soybeans, and walnuts.
  • L-methionine – Like L-arginine, the body needs L-methionine for protein structure and for proper metabolism. Sources of L-methionine include beef, chicken, egg yolks, fish, garlic, and onions.

Consume more of these foods and herbs and stay hydrated to keep your kidneys healthy. If you’re suffering from kidney disease or if you believe you have weakened kidneys, consult a healthcare professional before you eat foods that contain these vitamins and minerals to prevent negative side effects.

You can learn more about other foods and herbs that are good for your kidneys at

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