Kidneys are bean shaped organs almost the size of a fist and are located on either side of the spine. They contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from our blood. They help flush toxins and waste matter from the body through urine. Also, kidneys influence our blood pressure, stimulate the making of red blood cells, and maintain our body’s calcium levels and vitamin D activation. So, maintaining a good health of this vital organ of our body is highly crucial.
Follow these 9 habits to keep your kidneys healthy:
1 . Drink plenty of water
A natural and easy way to ensure that the kidneys are functioning to their maximum level is to drink around 10-12 glasses of water daily and to pass out urine when the bladder is full, without holding or controlling the need to pass urine. Odourless and colourless urine is an indication of the kidneys functioning well without accumulation of any particular minerals and salts.
2 . Shift to a healthy diet
Choose foods that are lower in phosphorus, potassium and sodium, but still give you the right amount of protein and calories. Some of the kidney friendly foods which include vegetables, fruits, oils and non-vegetarian items are cabbage, cauliflower, all types of gourds, bell peppers, carrots, radish, onions, apples, cranberries, watermelon, pineapple, cucumber, mangoes, papaya, and egg-whites and fish. Use olive oil and virgin coconut oil in cooking instead of other oils as these two not only have detoxifying effects but also improves the function of liver and kidney.
3 . Quit Smoking
Smoking tobacco increases the level of toxins in the blood thereby taxing your kidneys more to develop chronic kidney disease.
4 . Restrict your daily intake of salt (or sodium)
Salt is a major contributor to kidney disease, high blood pressure and heart disease. High salt intake also causes fluid retention. Don’t add salt after cooking — the lesser, the better! Low-salt substitutes are no good either since they contain high levels of potassium. Munch on fresh fruits and vegetables rather than crackers or other salty snacks.
5 . Heal with herbs
Basil (Tulsi) leaves, garlic, and aloe vera are good to include in the daily diet to detoxify the body. Medicinal herbs like hogweed, caper, red sandalwood, chicory, and palaash, are few very useful herbal diuretic which is widely used in Ayurveda to prevent kidney diseases.
6 . Go for regular tests
Regular tests can help detect the status of your kidney health long before any symptom of deterioration of kidneys happens. The urine Microalbumin Spot Test is an early indicator of kidney disease. It measures the minuscule amounts of albumin the body releases into the urine several years before significant kidney damage becomes apparent. People with diabetes and high BP are at higher, therefore they must be screened every six months to a year.
7 . Keep your blood pressure in check
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common cause of chronic kidney disease. Have your blood pressure checked regularly. It should be 120/80 mm of Hg. As far as control of blood pressure is concerned, sometimes 3-4 antihypertensive drugs are used for BP control.
8 . Control your blood sugar levels
High blood glucose (blood sugar) levels make chronic kidney disease worse. Simple tests at home can tell you the status of blood glucose levels. If you have diabetes do take the medications as your doctor prescribes. Monitor diabetes control by getting a blood test called Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) which gives last three months average blood sugar report. This test should be done 3 monthly and targeted to be kept below < 7%.
9 . Lose Weight
Being overweight or obese can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes – the diseases that are highly responsible for kidney damage. So exercise regularly to stay fit.