A Guide to Healthier Kidneys
Maintaining kidney health is very important for our general well-being. Besides these little fist-sized organs efficiently filtering waste products, excess water and other impurities from our blood, our kidneys also perform a few other rather necessary functions such as:
Regulating PH, sodium (salt) and potassium levels.
Producing hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells.
Activating a form of vitamin D that helps the body to properly absorb calcium for strong bones.
What Can Go Wrong?
When waste builds up in your body and your kidneys can no longer do their job, it can wreak havoc on your system and even lead to death. Some forms of kidney disease are progressive and eventually require kidney dialysis and finally a kidney transplant.
Chronic kidney disease is the most common form of kidney disease and is mostly caused by high blood pressure. Inconsistent or uncontrolled blood sugar levels are another cause of chronic kidney disease which puts Diabetics at a higher risk.
Urinary tract infections, if left untreated, can not only have long term negative effects on your kidney health but an infection could lead to kidney failure.
Kidney stones are very painful but generally do not cause significant long-term issues.
Maintaining Kidney Health through Diet and Exercise
Diet and exercise are always a good place to start when it comes to looking after your health in general, which includes your kidneys.
While healthy kidneys should keep your sodium levels in check, give your kidneys a helping hand by choosing to favour foods and seasonings with low sodium content. Try using herbs to enhance your food instead of salt.
Where possible, rinse canned foods with water before serving them. Eat packaged, processed foods and frozen meals in serious moderation or even cut them out of your diet altogether if you can.
Promote kidney health by regularly packing your plate with fresh fruit and veggies such as apples, red grapes, cranberries, blueberries, pineapple, turnips, radishes, cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, shitake mushrooms cabbage and garlic.
Use olive oil in favour of seed oils and minimise the use of butter. Replace mayonnaise with Greek yoghurt.
Ditch the fizzy drinks and make it your goal to drink between 4 to 8 glasses of water a day. Not only is adequate hydration important for your body in general but regular and consistent water intake helps to clear sodium and other taxing toxins from the kidneys. To make drinking water less tedious, add a few slices of fresh fruit to the mix. Cranberry juice, mixed half and half with water, is a kidney super food and yet another way to boost your liquid intake. However, as fruit juices do contain a fair amount of sugar, moderation is always key.
While sticking to a healthy diet should greatly assist in keeping your weight, blood sugar and blood pressure under control, make sure to engage in, at the very least, some moderate form of exercise daily. To make it feel less like a chore, pick an activity that you enjoy such as walking, cycling, running or even dancing.
Finding a holistic approach to healing is what Dr Alain Sanua does best. As a Doctor of Naturopathy and Homoeopathy, Dr Sanua promotes prevention as an integral part of the cure when it comes to kidney health. Talk to him today.