Why it is Important to Keep the Kidneys Healthy ?
The kidneys are a pair of organs which are located in the small of the back; one kidney on each side of the spine. It is vital to ensure the health of the kidneys and to improve kidney functions naturally with the help of healthy diet and lifestyle habits.
Keeping the kidneys happy and healthy is important for good health because kidneys perform some extremely crucial functions. Some of these functions include:
Filtering and eliminating waste products from the body (in the form of urine)
Maintaining the health of the bones
Controlling the blood pressure
Removing drugs from the body
Balancing the body’s fluids
Releasing hormones which regulate blood pressure
Controlling the production of red blood cells
Regulating the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
Promoting strong and healthy bones by producing an active form of Vitamin D.
7 Tips to Protect Kidneys Naturally
Kidney health is directly related to the overall quality of a person’s life. In order to protect the kidneys and improve kidney functions naturally, it is advisable to consume a healthy diet and bring some changes in your lifestyle. By taking a little extra care of your kidneys in terms of having a healthy and robust daily routine, you can improve kidney function notably and, consequently, improve the quality of life.
1) Eat a Healthy Diet
The most important thing to bear in mind in order to improve kidney functions naturally is to consume a balanced diet which is good for the kidneys and the heart. Such a diet should ideally include an abundance of vegetables and fruits, as well as foods which are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids including walnuts, canola oil, flaxseed oil, and cold water fish like salmon, lake trout, albacore tuna, and sardines.
Moreover, a kidney-healthy diet also means that the sodium content in the diet should be appropriate, and the consumption of processed foods should be avoided. In addition, the intake of foods like eggs, cheese, fried foods, and whole milk should also be avoided because they are high in saturated fats and cholesterol.
2) Consume Plenty of Fluids
Kidney function can be notably enhanced by increasing fluid intake and keeping the body hydrated. Water and other fluids can help the kidneys eliminate urea, sodium and other toxins from the body; thereby significantly reducing the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
Although there is still no consensus about how much intake of water and other fluids is ideal for the maintaining kidney health, it is believed that the daily consumption of water should be around 2 litres.
3) Increase Physical Activity, but don’t Overexert
Regular physical exercise has several health benefits. It can keep the body weight in check, make the muscles strong, lower blood pressure, promote good sleep, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides).
However, while making physical activity a part of your daily lifestyle, it should be remembered that exercise should be done in moderation. Any kind of overexertion can lead to excessive breakdown of muscle tissue and can also put a strain on the kidneys.
4) Keep Blood Sugar Levels in Check
Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels in the body can also improve kidney functions naturally. Since the risk of developing kidney damage is fairly high for people suffering from diabetes, it is all the more important for such people to keep blood sugar levels in control.
High blood sugar levels not only damage the kidneys, but can also have an adverse impact on the eyes, heart, nerves, and blood vessels. To stop the damage or to slow it down, it is essential to control blood sugar.
5) Monitor your Blood Pressure
Blood pressure levels should also be kept in check at the normal 120/80 level in order to ensure a healthy functioning of the kidneys. Blood pressure generally increases when fluid builds up in the body because of improper fluid and sodium (salt) limits in the body.
High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney damage, even though it is usually considered to be a causative factor for a heart attack or stroke. To control blood pressure, people with kidney disease are recommended the use of pills which are categorised as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).
6) Limit Alcohol Consumption
Limiting the intake of alcohol can also be beneficial for overall health of the kidneys because alcohol is essentially a toxin which needs to be filtered from the blood. It is advised that men should not take more than two drinks a day, while women should restrict their alcohol consumption to one drink a day. The ‘measure’ of one drink, by definition, is 12 of beer, or 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
Consuming alcohol in excess amounts has a dehydrating effect on the body, and also a harmful impact on the normal functioning of the kidneys. Furthermore, kidneys are also indirectly affected by consumption of excessive alcohol because it increases the risk for high blood pressure and liver disease.
7) Quit Smoking
Smoking can lead to heart and kidney disease because it can damage blood vessels, thereby decreasing the blood flow in the kidneys. Inadequate blood flow prevents the kidneys from functioning at their optimum level. Hence, it is important to quit smoking in order to improve kidney functions naturally.
Smoking can increase the risk of kidney cancer and nephrosclerosis, or hardening of the kidneys. Moreover, smoking can also cause coronary artery disease because it can cause the hardening of the arteries of the smokers. So, by quitting smoking, a person can reduce the risk of heart and kidney disease.
Kidney health can be maintained naturally by keeping the body healthy with the help of balanced diet and regular exercise. By taking proper care of your body, you can keep your kidneys safe, and also reduce the likelihood of developing a health condition which can potentially damage the kidneys. Moreover, since other health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can have an adverse effect on kidney health, it is important to get regular kidney function screening, especially if you are at risk of developing kidney problems.