It should come as no surprise that our kidneys are very important when it comes to staying healthy and living a happy life. While there are many factors that can contribute to poor kidney health, the good news is that there are also many simple ways to boost kidney health to avoid any health issues in the future. Keeping the kidneys in great condition will help to live a better and longer life. Let’s discuss five ways to start taking steps towards happier, healthier kidneys.
Eat Healthier Foods
It is important to know as much as possible about your kidney health to avoid health problems like kidney disease. It may sound like common sense that eating a healthy and balanced diet contributes a great deal towards kidney health, but you would not believe how many people still continue to consume processed junk foods regularly. A healthy diet includes eating leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, healthy and lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains like whole-wheat pasta and brown rice. Try incorporating these things into a diet and live by the 80/20 rule, which means 80% of the foods one eats consists of the healthy options we listed above and 20% allows for an unhealthy splurge every now and then.
According to Women’s Health, “It could be ideal for people who are so busy with work, community, kids, and activities that they don’t have time for a more aggressive strategy, (but who still want to move towards) a more wholesome, balanced diet.” Keeping a balanced lifestyle like this will still allow you to satisfy any unhealthy cravings without letting those foods take over the entire diet, leading to poor kidney health.
Always Stay Hydrated
It is far too easy to get dehydrated without even noticing it is happening. It is typically too late by the time a person realizes they are dehydrated. The best way to avoid this is by drinking plenty of water and fluids throughout the day. It is important to drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces per day to stay properly hydrated. Keep in mind, when exercising, traveling, or if it is extremely hot outside, it is important to drink even more water than that to stay hydrated. Healthy urine should be a straw color, and if it is any darker than that, it is a sign of being dehydrated. Hydration is an effective and easy way to guarantee kidneys are functioning properly.
Limit Alcohol and Stop Smoking
This may be a difficult thing to take in if you are a smoker, but it is important to stop this habit immediately to keep the kidneys healthy and in good shape. According to Kidney.org, “Smoking slows the blood flow to important organs like the kidneys and can make kidney disease worse.” Not only is smoking bad for overall health, but it is proven to negatively affect the kidneys as well.
While drinking alcohol is not a bad thing, it is wise to limit the amount of alcohol consumed every week. It is suggested to not consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week for both men and women to maintain health. One of the most common causes of kidney disease is high blood pressure, which is a common result of overdrinking and smoking. It may be wise to seek professional help when it comes to quitting smoking as this can be a difficult habit to break.
Keep An Eye On Blood Pressure
Speaking of high blood pressure, one way to boost kidney health is by keeping a close eye on blood pressure levels. There are typically no symptoms for those suffering from high blood pressure, so it is important to get this checked regularly because it can easily increase the risk of both heart and kidney issues without even knowing it is happening. Most local pharmacies are happy to check blood pressure at no cost. It is also wise to have a general practitioner check as well because they may suggest simple lifestyle changes or prescribe medication to lower blood pressure if it is an issue.
It is key to stay informed in every way possible and a general practitioner can help do just that. There are other ways to lower blood pressure aside from quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake. One can also reduce daily salt intake, drink less caffeine, and try to live a more active lifestyle by exercising and going for walks. These are all effective ways to keep blood pressure levels on track and avoid potential kidney problems.
Stay Fit and Active
As we briefly mentioned above, staying active is a key way to ensure kidney health. The best way to stay at a healthy weight is by eating healthy and exercising as often as possible. An easy way to see if you are on track weight-wise is by using a BMI calculator to determine body mass index, which can be found online free of cost. The best way to get in shape without dreading that daily workout is by finding something that works for you. Some people enjoy running while others would prefer to go hiking or go to a yoga class. There are so many different ways to stay active and move, so it is important to find something that is fun to do. The best way to maintain an active and fit lifestyle is by doing something enjoyable that one can look forward to.
After reading the tips above, you can see that there are so many lifestyle changes that can be made to boost overall kidney health and live a better life. These tips may seem daunting or difficult if they are not something a person is used to doing, but keep in mind that forming a habit of any kind takes at least 21 days of consistency. By starting to incorporate things like healthy eating, hydration, and an exercise routine into a daily routine, you will start to see positive health changes in no time. Boosting kidney health is not an easy thing to do, but it is a vital thing to do to guarantee a happy and healthy life.