Tips to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
Simple ways to improve kidney function and overall kidney health.
Your kidneys play a vital role in maintaining order in your body and keeping you healthy. Your kidneys filter and remove waste and excess fluid from the body (through urine), regulate the chemicals in your body (salt, potassium and acid content) and are responsible for signaling the production of specific hormones (to regulate your blood pressure), vitamins (promote bone health) and red blood cells. Kidney problems don’t have to catch you off guard, just follow these five simple steps to keep your kidneys healthy and performing well.
1. Stay hydrated
On average an active adult should drink about 8-9 glasses of water a day (about 2 ½ liters of water). Drinking adequate amounts of water is a simple, effective way to flush bacteria and waste from your system plus it reduces your risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI) and other kidney and bladder issues.
2. Stay Active
Physical activity, especially yoga, helps keep your body, and your kidneys healthy. Certain yoga poses are designed specifically to stimulate the kidneys. The “Jana Shirshasana” pose is a head-to-knee pose that is meant to “wring” out the kidneys to allow stale blood to be replaced with fresh oxygenated blood once the pose is released. Any exercise strengthens your kidneys with better muscle function, maintaining a healthy body weight and improving sleep.
3. Keep cholesterol in check
High cholesterol can cause arteries to become clogged and reduce blood flow to the kidneys and other vital organs. A lack of fresh, oxygenated blood can lead to kidney failure. Your cholesterol level is a combination of what is naturally produced by our bodies and diet. While you can’t impact what your body naturally produces, you can control your diet. Make an effort to eat foods like avocados, red grapes and fresh garlic while limiting the amount of whole milk, ice cream and red meat you eat.
4. Keep anti-inflammatory medication use to a minimum
Using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like Advil®, Ibuprofen and other NSAIDS pain relievers can damage your kidneys if used too often.
5. Avoid alcohol
Having more than one drink per day for women (or men over aged 65) or two drinks per day for men requires kidneys to work much harder to function normally and causes dehydration. Drinking heavily on a regular basis can increase your risk of kidney disease by 50%.
Caring for your kidneys and preventing reduced kidney function is essential to maintaining your overall health. When your kidneys are happy, your whole body is happy too.