We all worry about the health of our hearts, our livers, our brains and even our lungs. But, be honest, how often do you think about the health of your kidneys?
If you’re like most folks, it’s hardly ever. And that’s if you think about them at all.
Yet your kidneys are VITAL to your health and well being. They filter the dangerous impurities out of the blood that feeds your body including your heart, your liver, your brain and your lungs.
In other words, your entire body relies on your kidneys doing their job, and doing it well. So the odds are good that even if you have thought about your kidneys from time to time, you haven’t thought about them nearly enough.
But the truth is, it’s not your fault. After all, we’re never encouraged to think about our kidney health. As a result, few of us ever do. Well, that is until they start to give us trouble of course.
Let’s change that, starting today.
Keeping your kidneys healthy for a lifetime
Surprisingly, the most common causes of kidney trouble don’t even start in the kidneys. Your kidneys rely on all your other systems to do their job. So if those systems aren’t working up to par, over time your kidneys can become overwhelmed and begin to fail.
Watching your weight and getting some regular exercise doesn’t just encourage good circulation. It will also keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check at the same time, leading to healthier kidneys.
And don’t forget no matter whether you’re walking, swimming or dancing to get fit, you need to stay hydrated. There’s no need to drown yourself in buckets of water of course. But keep in mind the more often you urinate, the more often your kidneys are getting flushed out.
Keep a close eye on your use of over-the-counter medications too. NSAIDs—such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve)—can cause existing kidney damage to worsen, and may even lead to sudden kidney failure.
Support your kidney health with these five foods
But boosting your overall health isn’t the only way to keep your kidneys healthy. It turns out there are certain foods that could help keep your kidneys in tip-top shape, or even turn the tables on hidden kidney decline, too.
Below are our top five choices for the best kidney-health-supporting foods…
1. Apple cider vinegar:
You may already know that the acid found in apple cider vinegar aids in digestion. But it turns out it can also help cleanse your kidneys so they stay in shape too.
Use more apple cider vinegar in your cooking. It will add a delicious bite to your dressings and marinades. And try drinking a tall glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar after meals.
2. Baking soda:
Your pH levels strongly affect your kidneys. Over time, high pH can lead to painful kidney stones. And for those with kidney problems, chronically acidic pH can increase your risk of kidney failure.
Baking soda can help keep your pH levels balanced. That way your kidneys don’t have to work so hard, and they can fight off kidney stones. Drink a glass of water, with a teaspoon of baking soda, three times a week.
If your doctor has asked you to watch your salt, check in with him before starting.
Basil is one of my favorite spices. And it turns out every time I pile it on a sandwich or mix it into a stir-fry I’m giving my kidneys a bit of extra support.
Delicious basil can help keep your kidneys firing on all cylinders, while working to prevent the buildup of kidney stones. Add the herb to your favorite dishes, or make a simple tea by boiling five basil leaves. Add a teaspoon of honey if you like.
From stir fries to stews, and from cookies to casseroles, ginger adds the perfect zip of flavor to your favorite foods. But it turns out that’s not all ginger can do.
This delicious spice can also help keep your kidneys in shape. Ginger naturally controls inflammation while cleansing your kidneys, helping to keep them strong and healthy.
5. Olive oil and lemon:
The tasty combo of olive oil and lemon isn’t just great in a salad dressing. It’s also the perfect tag team for maintaining healthy kidneys.
Olive oil is natural anti-inflammatory. Packed with healthy fats, it naturally nourishes your kidneys and may even help you pass small stones before they become a big problem. Meanwhile, the lemon works to raise the citrate levels in your urine, which can help keep kidney stones from forming in the first place.
A tablespoon of olive oil combined with a few drops of fresh lemon juice daily is all it takes. Take it alone, or grab some greens and use the pair as a delicious fresh salad dressing.
Keeping yourself healthy will naturally help keep your kidneys in shape too. But kick your kidney health up to the next level by adding these five foods to your diet to protect these vital organs for years to come.