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Kidneys maintain a balance of bodily fluids and control the formation of urine to excrete toxins. The right kidney is situated a little lower than the left one. They are placed in the upper abdominal cavity touching the back muscles as support. Kidneys play an important role in waste excretion, blood pressure regulation, water level balancing, acid regulation and the formation of red blood cells. Therefore, it is very important to keep our kidneys clean and healthy so that all these functions can be performed smoothly. Here are few things you can ensure to help your kidneys function well:
1. Drink lots of water
Water helps in detoxifying the body and flushes out toxins. It is also one of the simplest ways to keep the kidneys clean. It dilutes the minerals that can cause harm and helps in their excretion. Drinking water with baking soda may help in relieving discomfort caused due to infections in the urinary tract.
Drinking lime water helps in the filtration of blood. Dr. Varun Verma, Senior Consultant (Nephrology) at Fortis Hospital in Faridabad suggests that you must drink at least 2 liters of water every day. He says, “Start your day with 2 glasses of water and end your day with a glass of water. If you have stones in the kidneys, you should drink at least 3 liters of water daily”.
2. Have less salt, sugar and soy
The sodium in salt increases the calcium content in the body which has a negative effect on the kidneys. Excess calcium in the body may lead to the formation of stones. Similarly, too much sugar absorbs more calcium and magnesium which also contributes to kidney stones. Soy and soy-related products may have a high content of oxalate that can be harmful for the kidneys. According to Dr. Verma, Indian meals contain 25-30 grams of salt in our daily diet, while one shouldn't consume more than 5-10 grams.
3. Have a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar early morning
Apple cider vinegar is known for its antioxidant properties that fight oxidative stress and it also helps in controlling your blood pressure and sugar levels in the body.
4. Exercise regularly
Any form of exercise is good for you as it it keeps the heart healthy, burns unwanted fat and helps with the flow of blood to other organs which includes the kidneys. Dr. Deepak Kalra from the Nephrology Department at Fortis Hospital stresses on maintaining your weight, “It’s important to eat healthy, drink healthy and maintain a healthy body weight for your kidneys to be able to function well."
5. Cut caffeine
Coffee has its benefits, but excess intake of caffeine can harm your health. Caffeine tends to dehydrate your body and absorb all the moisture which can lead to kidney stones.
6. Eat green vegetables and avoid meat
The minerals present in green vegetables reduce the oxalate levels in the body that can have a damaging effect on your kidney. One should also avoid consuming too much meat and shellfish as they may contain harmful uric acid that can affect the functioning of the kidneys.
7. Eat berries and beets
Berries are a powerful source of antioxidants which help prevent the risk of kidney diseases. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are great for your kidneys. Similarly, beetroots contain betaine which is an antioxidant that helps in the removal of calcium phosphate build-up and increases the acidity of urine. The iron, magnesium and folate present in beetroots helps in the flow of blood.
Apart from these simple tips, people who are diabetic need to take extra care as it can affect their kidneys. In fact, it is recommended, that every individual above the age of 50 years should undergo a full body check-up twice a year and those who are younger should get it done at least once a year.
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