Maintaining the health of our kidneys is crucial to our overall well-being. Kidneys play a vital role in maintaining various physiological functions of the body, and their proper functioning is important for maintaining good health.
Our lifestyle choices play a significant role in either contributing to the development of kidney diseases or preventing them and keeping kidneys healthy. Here are some healthy lifestyle choices and tips to incorporate them into your lifestyle for optimal kidney health.
Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
Everything we eat or drink is processed by our kidneys. Over time, the bad food can lead to kidney and other health problems. Therefore, choose foods that are healthy for your kidneys and entire body: vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. It is also important to cut back on salt and added sugars. Aim to have less than 10% of your daily calories come from added sugar, and try for less than 2300 milligrams of sodium every day.
To make healthy food choices, follow the tips mentioned below.
- Eat foods without gravy or added fats.
- Cook food with a mix of spices instead of salt.
- Choose veggie toppings on your pizza.
- Try baking or broiling your fish, chicken, or meat instead of frying.
- Choose foods with little or no added sugar.
- Drink fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
- Choose foods low in trans fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol.
Make Physical Activity or Exercise a Part of Your Routine
Incorporating physical activity or exercise into your routine is good for more than just your waistline. It can lower your risk for chronic health conditions, including chronic kidney disease. It can also significantly reduce your blood pressure and boost your heart health, which are crucial to prevent kidney damage.
Incorporating physical activity or exercise into your routine does not mean pushing yourself to extreme levels, such as running a marathon. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise several days each week. Exercises like running, cycling, walking, or dancing are great for your health. Find a physical activity or exercise that you enjoy and stick to it.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle and are not active at all, ask your healthcare provider about the type and amount of physical activity or exercise that is right for you.
Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated all day, as a regular and consistent water intake is healthy for your kidneys. Water helps clear toxins and sodium from the kidney and lowers the risk of chronic kidney disease.
The amount of water you need for healthy kidneys largely depends on your health and lifestyle. Factors like your overall health, gender, exercise, climate, and whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding or not are also important when planning daily water intake. You should aim for at least 1.5 to 2 liters of fluid daily. However, if you have previously had a kidney problem like kidney stones, drink a little bit more to prevent stone deposits in the future.
Nephrologist in Southeastern Massachusetts
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine and staying hydrated, you can also keep your kidneys healthy and functioning properly by regularly monitoring your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, avoiding smoking, and knowing your risk factors for kidney disease.
If you have any concerns about your kidney health, it is best to talk to a nephrologist about kidney health screening and how to optimize your kidney health. At Associates in Nephrology, our team of highly trained and board-certified nephrologists provides a comprehensive range of treatments for kidney diseases as well as guides patients on how to preserve kidney health.