Your kidney and the other vital organs of your body are interconnected. If your kidney is in poor condition, you may also suffer other degenerative diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer.
The keys to kidney health
Your kidney's main responsibility is to filter the blood which gives life to the rest of your body. Interestingly, the same factors of good kidney health are also essential to overall wellness. What's good for your kidney is good for your entire body.
- Balanced nutrition. The food you eat has a direct impact on your kidneys. Modern diets are dominated by processed, instant and fast foods which are high in fat, salt, sugar and artificial ingredients that do no more than make your stomach feel full. The availability of these quick and tasty food solutions make it seem difficult for most people to choose the right kinds of food. Excessive amounts of sodium, sugar and food additives can put a lot of strain on your kidneys. Your health plan should start with a diet that is devoid of junk, processed, and high-fat, high-sodium and high-sugar foods. If you are unable to make a drastic change in your diet, then try incorporating modifications gradually until your taste buds are used to your healthy eating plan. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables and moderate amounts of white meat to keep your kidneys healthy.
- Hydration. As a natural solvent, water helps dissolve and flush out calcified material and waste products that remain in your kidneys. If your body does not have enough water, your kidney will not be able to eliminate mineral deposits that can gradually turn into kidney stones. Drinking enough water not only helps the kidneys function properly, but also aids digestion, makes your skin beautiful, helps regulate blood pressure and body temperature, among others. Just exactly how much water is considered enough for your body. While the usual recommendation is to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday, what you need really depends on your body type, gender, body size, level of physical activity and heat exposure. Another suggested formula for adequate water intake considers drinking the equivalent of one-half of a person's weight in ounces everyday. Theoretically, if you weigh a hundred pounds, then your minimum daily water consumption should be around 7 to 8 glasses of water.
- Exercise. Two of the leading causes of kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. Both diseases can be controlled with vigorous exercise of at least 30 minutes everyday. A regular workout helps lower or control blood pressure and increases insulin sensitivity to prevent diabetes. Exercise is also a preventive measure for other health problems such as obesity, heart disease, poor digestion, unhealthy skin and premature ageing.
- Stress management. Your body's response to stressful situations can also contribute to the development of a variety of problems, including kidney disease. People react to problems and challenges that come their way differently. Some are able to view challenges as mere bumps along the way that eventually pass while others tend to sink into depression or anger when they feel overwhelmed by certain situations. Constant feelings of anger can increase your blood pressure and put undue strain on your heart. In time, this may lead to heart disease or stroke. Stress can also weaken your immune system making you susceptible to illnesses. It can also contribute to poor kidney health. When you are unable to take stressful situations well, you may experience hypertension. Hypertension is a known cause of kidney failure as it prevents the kidneys from filtering blood properly. Make stress management part of your health plan. Learn stress release techniques like meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga.
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