How often do you think about your kidneys?
If you’re like most of us, probably not all that often. But consider these startling facts:
- 14% of Americanslive with chronic kidney disease.
- 9 in 10 peoplewho have diseased kidneys aren’t even aware there’s a problem.
- It’s possible to lose up to 90%of kidney function before experiencing any symptoms.
The time to start thinking about kidney health is now—well before any problems or symptoms appear.
Would you like to know how to prevent kidney failure? What about foods good for kidneys or other natural remedies to improve kidney function?
In this post, we’ll discuss all that and more. So read on—your kidneys will thank you for it!
6 Steps to Better Kidney Health
It’s never too soon to start taking good care of your kidneys. Here are 6 easy ways to improve your kidney health today.
1. Drink Enough (But Not Too Much) Water
How much water you should drink every day depends on many factors. The old stand-by “eight 8-ounce glasses” or 2 liters of water is a good starting point, but it’s not a hard and fast rule.
For example, do you live in a very dry or a very humid environment? How often do you exercise, and how much do you sweat? Are there any other factors, like being pregnant or breastfeeding, that could require more fluid intake?
The key to good kidney health is finding the right balance for your body. Trust your thirst instinct and drink when you feel thirsty, then stop when you feel satisfied. Be mindful of signs of dehydration (or overhydration), as both can have a negative impact on your kidney function.
2. Eat Foods Good for Kidneys
There are plenty of delicious foods you can include in a kidney-healthy diet.
Apples, blueberries, and strawberries are the best fruits to improve kidney health. They help to regulate your blood sugar and are also packed with anti-inflammatory properties.
For veggies, add more kale, spinach, and sweet potatoes to your diet. They’re loaded with vitamins and minerals and easy for your kidneys to process. And remember—organic is always best!
Although too much red meat can be hard on the kidneys, fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, and mackerel have the opposite effect. They’re a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, something your body needs but doesn’t produce on its own.
Interestingly, some studies suggest that ginger can help protect the kidneys from damage and failure. Add some of this zesty root to your cooking or sip it in the form of herbal tea.
And whatever you decide to eat, watch your sodium intake. Too much salt in your diet can wreak havoc on your kidneys (but more on that later).
3. Get Regular Exercise
You guessed it—exercise is good for your heart, your muscles, and your kidneys. It’s the ideal way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, both of which are essential to kidney health.
Many kidney problems are the result of high blood pressure, which is one more reason to watch your sodium intake. Exercise helps to keep your blood pressure levels where they should be.
Of course, you don’t want to overdo it either. Beware of overexerting yourself during your workouts, and check with your doctor before you make any major changes to your exercise routine.
4. Stop Smoking & Vaping
Smoking (even e-cigarettes) reduces the flow of blood to your kidneys. This impairs their ability to function normally and can lead to damage over time.
Even worse, experts estimate that 30% of kidney cancers are directly related to smoking. The good news is that those odds decrease dramatically if you stop smoking.
Do your kidneys (and the rest of your body) a favor and quit. Today.
5. Don’t Overdo NSAIDs
It’s okay to take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen occasionally for aches and pains.
But what happens if you take them too often? Studies show they have a detrimental effect on your kidney function and can result in an increased risk of developing kidney disease.
To keep your kidneys healthy, limit your use of NSAIDs or try some alternative (natural) solutions for pain management. And speaking of alternative medicine…
6. Consider Alternative Remedies
Natural remedies have been used to improve health for thousands of years. Are there any herbs or oils you can try to boost your kidney function? Absolutely!
Studies show that frankincense supplements can have a positive impact on kidney disease. Other herbs that are great for kidney health include juniper, fennel, and Roman chamomile.
Sip these powerful herbs in a cup of tea or include them in your cooking. You can also use them as essential oils just dilute them in a carrier oil and apply directly to your mid-back.
Can’t get enough kidney-boosting herbs and foods? You might also consider these:
- Milk thistle
- Marshmallow root
Each of these plants helps the body’s natural detoxification process and keeps your kidneys running smoothly. This post from MicrobeFormulas.com has more information about herbal remedies for kidney health.
As always, be sure to check with your doctor before adding any herbs or supplements to your daily care routine.
Improve Your Kidney Health Today
You may not think about your kidneys as much as your heart or your brain. Still, your kidneys play a vital role in your overall health now and into the future!
Improving your kidney health doesn’t require expensive treatments or drastic dietary changes. Most of the suggestions above are just part of a healthy lifestyle—something you should adopt anyway!
Now that you know how to take care of your kidneys, what’s next? Browse our other health and beauty posts for more ways to look and feel great, inside and out.