Kidney health is a necessary component of ensuring optimum physical health and well-being.
Maintaining healthy kidneys helps to minimize the risk of developing serious degenerative diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure... but it is also necessary for maintaining healthy blood.
A key function of the kidneys is to filter blood, keeping it free from toxins and other waste products. The kidneys are also responsible for regulating and maintaining the concentration and volume of blood, in the body.
If your blood becomes polluted by toxins and other waste components, every cell, tissue and organ in the body will be negatively affected. You simply cannot enjoy optimum health without the right quality and quantity of blood.
Some key functions of blood include the following:
- transportation of nutrients, oxygen, and hormones around the body;
- protection against diseases, including cancer cells, and
- helps stabilize the pH balance.
DIET and Kidney Health
You may have heard the expression - "You are what you eat!" Well, our health is certainly affected by the things we consume.
The road to maintaining healthy kidneys starts with a healthy, balanced diet. Poor diet is probably the single largest contributor to many kidney problems.
Everything we consume is eventually absorbed into the blood, through the process of digestion. It is therefore, important to ensure our diet is predominantly healthy. In addition to eating healthier foods it is also important to incorporate good digestive habits as an integral part of improving kidney health.
It's important to eat the right kinds as well as the right quantity of foods. Obesity continues to be a major health challenge, especially in Western societies. A balanced diet will go a long way to improving kidney health and the quality of life.
At the top of the dietary tree are so-called super foods. They include fruits, vegetables, pulses, and nuts... that boost the immune system, ward off cancer and heart disease and even slow down the aging process. Many of these super foods also contain antioxidants, which play an important role in defending the body against diseases and eliminating free radicals.
Consult your dietitian or health care provider and ask them to help you plan an appropriate kidney diet, if you haven't already done so.
Adequate Water is a Must
Consumption of adequate amounts of water is very important for maintaining healthy kidneys. Some health experts suggest that drinking eight glasses of water per day is sufficient. If you have a kidney disorder such as kidney stone, however, this is probably not enough. Water plays an important part in not only helping to remove kidney stones but also helps to prevent them.
Some medical practitioners recommend drinking the equivalent of half your body weight in ounces of water, per day. For example if your weight is 160 lbs, then you should drink at least 80 ozs of water, which is equivalent to approximately 10 (8 oz) glasses. This is only a guide and may not be appropriate in every case. (Check with your dietitian to determine your specific requirement).
The kidneys need adequate water in order to perform their crucial functions of removing toxins from the body and maintaining the correct concentration of the blood and other body fluids. Adequate water consumption also reduces the chances of developing some types of kidney stones.
It is an established fact that not many people are able to eat properly, on a consistent basis, for various reasons. Sometimes we make poor eating choices due to ignorance, convenience, taste preferences, or in some cases unavailability of healthy foods.
Even those who are able to eat a balanced diet, consistently, the quality of food is sometimes very poor. This is largely due to pollution and poor farming practices.
How can we acquire the required nutrients to promote efficient biological functions? The answer is... supplementation. Optimum health is dependent on having the right nutrients, in the right amounts...
You should consult with your health care advisor(s) to determine the best supplements to use.
Physical exercise is another important factor that cannot be overlooked. It is a major piece of the health puzzle.
A sedentary lifestyle significantly contributes to many health problems including obesity, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney failure.
Without regular and consistent exercise, health cannot be optimized and diseases cannot be prevented.
How can exercises help to optimize kidney health? Well, in a number of ways. The following are some benefits of exercising regularly and engaging in other physical activities.
Regular exercise can help to:
- Lower or control blood pressure,
- Increase insulin sensitivity,
- increase energy,
- reduce stress levels,
- improve sleep,
- improve physical appearance.
By implementing a program of regular exercise, you will help to prevent or control diseases, preserve and improve the health of your kidneys, and improve your overall well-being.
In today's society, it is almost impossible for a day to go by without encountering something (or someone) that causes stress. Challenges on the job, at school, in our families and our personal lives, all contribute to some level of stress. Learning to cope with stress is, therefore, an important life skill.
Our bodies are equipped to deal with moderate levels of stress. In excess, however, stress can result in negative chemical and biological reactions, leading to diseases and dysfunction.
Stress can affect the kidneys by increasing blood pressure.
Stress management and stress reduction are therefore, integral elements of kidney care and overall health and well-being, as well.
Detoxification is the removal of toxins from the body. It is an important element of any kidney health and kidney care program. Over time, toxic elements enter into our bodies through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we eat, the medications we take, and the personal care products we apply to our hair and skin.
Additionally, toxins are naturally produced in the body through metabolic processes. If these toxins are allowed to accumulate for too long, they will disrupt our health.
The kidneys help to eliminate some of these toxins but not all. In fact if the kidneys are not functioning well, there could be a buildup of toxins in the kidneys.
To maximize kidney health and overall health, a periodic removal of toxins is necessary. It is also important to promote natural detoxification by making correct food choices.
It is useful to periodically detoxify the major organs (including the kidneys), using specialized natural products in addition to diet. This helps to promote the efficient functioning of biological systems and reduce the stress placed on the kidneys and other organs.