Most people never think twice about their kidneys, until there’s an issue with them. Located mid-back, just below the rib cage, the kidneys are bean-shaped organs that process about 200 quarts of blood every day to remove about two quarts of waste products and extra water, which are then passed in the urine. Other crucial functions include maintaining overall fluid balance, regulating and filtering minerals from the blood, and creating hormones that help produce red blood cells, promote bone health and regulate blood pressure. As you can see, these little organs are crucial components when it comes to maintaining the delicate balance of the body’s ecosystem and well-being.
The kidneys are susceptible to various illnesses and diseases so it’s important to keep them in check. Common symptoms include fatigue, trouble sleeping and concentrating, dry and itchy skin, changes in the frequency of urination, foamy urine, decreased appetite, water retention, and muscle cramps. But don’t worry! Easy changes in lifestyle and diet can make a major difference to your kidneys well-being. Here are the 5 guidelines you need to follow to keep your kidneys healthy:
1) Eat Clean. We’ve talked at length about the benefits of a healthy diet. Eating fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis can do wonders to maintain your weight in check and keep illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease at bay. A healthy, minimally processed diet is especially important for your kidneys since fast food tends to be loaded with fat and sodium, which are detrimental to kidney health.
2) Stay Active. Staying active has numerous benefits for your body’s well-being, and one of them is reducing high blood pressure, which is one factor that contributes to chronic kidney disease. Make sure to move for at least 30 minutes every day. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise; it can be as easy as taking a walk after meals and stretching 10 minutes before bed. You’ll notice you’ll also start sleeping better and feeling more rested.
3) Control Your Blood Sugar Levels. About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage, so it’s important to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Make sure you’re eating at regular intervals and avoid processed food. A Veggie Smoothie is great as breakfast or snack since it’s loaded with vegetables and won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
4) Drink Plenty Of Water. It’s recommended to drink at least a gallon of spring water every day. Drinking enough water will help your kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body, significantly lowering your risk of developing chronic kidney disease. People with kidney stones are advised to ingest even more water to lessen the risk of creating a new stone. If you’re having trouble guzzling down all that fluid, try infusing it with pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables, like key lime and cucumbers.
5) Do Not Smoke. You already know that smoking is a bad idea. Smoking does harm to every single one of your body’s systems, including the kidneys, because it slows the flow of blood, impairing their ability to work properly.