March is National Kidney Month! Your kidneys are amazing organs. They filter your blood, remove waste and extra fluids, and help produce red blood cells, among other things. While taking time to appreciate your kidneys is nice, there is something more important you can do: take care of them.
We’ve included some do’s and don’ts to support your kidneys.
1. Eat more fruit
Fruits are a delicious way to support your kidney health. Apples provide fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Blueberries are the No. 1 fruit for antioxidant support. Strawberries are also chock-full of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.
2. Get moving
Find time for exercise or a brisk walk in your day. Staying physically active helps regulate blood pressure and blood glucose levels, both of which have positive effects on your kidney health.
3. Sleep it off
Sleep helps your entire body, especially your kidneys. Your kidney function is regulated by the wake-sleep cycle. When you get enough sleep, your kidneys can better balance their workload over 24 hours.
4. Drink more water
Replace your sugary drinks with water. When you drink enough water, your kidneys can more efficiently rid your body of sodium and toxins. It’s also one of the best ways to avoid kidney stones.
5. Don't be salty
Too much salt in your food can raise your blood pressure, which can harm your kidneys. Flavor your food with other spices instead of reaching for the saltshaker.
6. Avoid processed foods
Processed foods, in general, aren’t kind to any of your organs. Your kidneys are no exception! Processed foods tend to be high in phosphorus and sodium, which may contribute to kidney and bone damage.
7. Give your sweet tooth a break
There’s no need to eliminate all sugar and desserts, just moderate your intake. Watch out for foods that contain an unsuspecting amount of sugar, like condiments, breakfast cereals, and white bread.
8. Limit your soda
Before filling up at your favorite soda fountain, consider this: Studies have shown that drinking two or more sodas a day, even if they’re diet, can lead to a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.