Tips for Healthy Kidneys

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 3 adults are currently at risk of kidney disease. There are several factors that can contribute to kidney disease but the two of the main causes are high blood pressure and diabetes. In order to keep your kidneys healthy and to decrease your risk of kidney disease, follow these tips:

1. Kidney disease is often a result of a disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. Be sure to follow a healthy diet, stay active, and take prescribed mediations to reduce your risk of these diseases.

2. Limit your salt intake because salt increases the amount of sodium in diet, which causes kidney stones.

3. Water helps the kidneys to remove toxins from your body, so it is important to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day in order to stay hydrated. Fresh juices are another way to keep hydrated. Caffeine reduces the amount of fluids in your body so it is best to limit drinks like coffee and tea.

4. One of the main functions of kidneys is filtration of the blood. After filtration is complete, waste is stored in the bladder. If you resist the urge to urinate, your bladder stretches and can affect filtration in your kidneys.

5. Eating unhealthy foods has a negative effect on all your organs, not just your kidneys. There are certain foods that can benefit your kidneys though. These foods include cauliflower, fish, asparagus, garlic, parsley, watermelon, oranges and lemons.

6. Excessive amounts of alcohol can alter the hormonal control that influences the functions of the kidney, so be sure to limit your alcohol consumption.

7. Obesity doubles your chances of developing problems with your kidneys, so it is important to maintain a healthy weight.

8. Excessive amounts of vitamins and certain plant extracts have been linked to kidney damage. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether certain supplements are right for you.

Jaime Venditti, State Coordinator, New York Health Works