Healthy kidneys are vital for the normal functioning of the body. Any damage to kidneys will result in the build up of harmful wastes, thus, causing serious medical conditions. According to National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. An individual with kidney impairment should make extra efforts to improve its functionality. Here are some helpful tips to keep your kidney healthy.
1. Drink Water
The cardinal rule for a healthy body is to drink plenty of fluids. And for a healthy kidney, drinking water is very important. However, if you have kidney disease, you need to stick with the amount of fluids recommended by your doctor. Fluid restriction is recommended for patients suffering from kidney failure as the organ is not able to get rid of excess water. Any of the beverages containing large amounts of sugar, caffeine or protein are not advisable.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
A balanced diet that provides all the minerals and vitamins is vital for keeping your kidney in good shape. Stay away from too much salty or fatty foods. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. A low-protein diet is suggested for kidney patients, as the damaged kidneys find it difficult to remove the waste produced by protein. Limit intake of animal protein foods such as chicken, fish, meat, eggs, cheese, and milk and plant-protein foods such as beans, nuts, and grains.1 Also, eat food with less phosphorous as a damaged kidney will lead to the accumulation of phosphorous in your blood. This will lead to other medical conditions. Bran cereals, oatmeal, dairy foods, and lentils are foods high in phosphorous. Go for foods lower in phosphorous such as fresh fruits, vegetables, corn, and rice cereals.
3. Limit Alcohol
Drink alcohol only in moderation or abstain from it as it can stress your kidneys. For a woman, one drink per day is good enough. At the same time, men are advised not to have more than two drinks per day.2 If you are a kidney patient, seek advice from your doctor regarding alcohol intake.
4. Limit Sodium
If you are in the early stages of kidney disease, it is very important to restrict the amount of sodium in the diet to improve kidney functionality.3 This is because, your kidneys cannot eliminate excess sodium and fluid from the body. This may result in high blood pressure, which in turn, cause further damage to the unhealthy kidneys. Say no to the packaged foods or fast foods as they contain sodium. When you buy foods, look at the nutrition labels. A daily value of 20 percent or more means the food is high in sodium. Choose sodium free or salt-free foods.
5. Exercise Regularly
A healthy weight is essential to keep many diseases at bay. Hence, regular exercise is important for your overall health. With physical activities, you will be able to control your blood pressure and weight gain, thereby, allowing the kidneys to function normally. However, people with chronic kidney disease should consult their doctor before they start any exercise routine.
Take care of your body well, thus, preventing medical conditions that can strain your kidney. Family history of kidney failure is a risk factor for kidney disease.4 Hence, know your family history. Ensure that you do regular checkups to evaluate the functions of your body.
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