Take Care of Your Kidneys
March is National Kidney Month, and the perfect time for you to get to know your kidneys. Our kidneys work all day and night to keep our bodies healthy by filtering out toxins and extra fluid, as well as regulating blood pressure.
Unfortunately there is not obvious way to tell if our kidneys aren’t working as they should be – except by visiting our doctor. And because we can’t live without our kidneys, we need to make sure we keep them healthy. Many Americans aren’t even aware they may have kidney disease, which is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States.
There are simple lifestyle changes you can implement to protect your kidneys, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Keep your blood pressure and blood sugar in check by managing stress and eating a diet rich in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cooking from scratch at home can help control the amount of sodium consumed – a key to keeping kidneys happy. Regular physical activity can also keep our health in check, including that of our kidneys.
What can you do to support your kidneys?
Hydration and a proper diet are the best ways to keep kidneys happy. Drinking fresh lemon in water may help reduce the risk of kidney stone formation as lemon juice increases the level of citrate in the urine, which in turn may prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Other foods that promote kidney health include, cabbage and other cruciferous veggies rich in phytochemical antioxidants, garlic great for lowering inflammation, onion, apples full of fiber, blueberries, cranberries, potassium rich avocados, omega-3 rich fish, bell pepper, healthy oils like coconut oil and olive oil for cooking and dressing respectively.
Eating only small amounts of protein at a time can also help your kidneys function optimally. About 3 ounces or less is an ideal amount.
It is important to remember that one in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease, so take care of your body by eating the best foods and practicing healthy stress reduction techniques, exercising regularly, and more.
If you already have kidney issues please consult your health care practitioner for dietary suggestions as the information mentioned in this article is not intended for treating kidney issues.
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney disease – all major risk factors - you should be tested regularly.