No kidding with kidneys!

No kidding with kidneys!

As we observe World Kidney Day this Thursday, why not familiarise ourselves with ways to keep this organ healthy?, asks Satkam Divya

World Kidney Day

Kidneys are the powerful chemical factories that play an important role in getting rid of excess waste, balancing electrolytes and hormones.

The two small organs located on either side of the spine below the ribs do a lot of work for your body. Usually kidneys remain healthy with a good diet and adequate water intake. Healthy kidneys filter and clean the blood and send waste out from the body through urine. An absence of this may lead to a problem in kidneys.

Many kidney problems do not show symptoms at a very early stage. However, it is necessary to watch out for symptoms like nausea, decreased appetite, swelling of ankles and lower legs, general fatigue, itching and dry skin, foamy and bloody urine, and a bad taste in the mouth.

Thankfully, there are many natural ways that cleanse the kidneys and these can be safely tried at home. For instance, certain foods, herbs and supplements help in maintaining good kidney health. Drinking water in the morning or an extra cup of herbal tea are small changes that can help keep the kidneys healthy.

Keep yourself hydrated

As we all know, every organ in our body, from the brain to liver, requires at least 60% of water to function. Kidneys require water to throw out urine which consists of primary waste products that allow the body to get rid of unwanted or unnecessary substances. If the water intake is low, it may lead to kidney dysfunction that may result in the formation of kidney stones.

So, no matter how busy a schedule you have, it is highly important that you drink adequate amounts of water to keep your kidneys healthy. Apple cider vinegar is also great for improving overall health, boosting the immune system and removing excess waste from the body. The citric, acetic and phosphorous acid components in this drink helps break down and prevent kidney stone formation.

Gorge on these

In recent studies, researchers have found that treatment with resveratol, which is present in some foods like grapes, peanuts and some berries, was able to lower kidney inflammation in rats with polycystic kidney disease. A handful of yummy red grapes make for a good afternoon snack.

Fruit juices like lemon, orange and melon, all contain citric acid or citrate. Citrate is known to help prevent kidney stone formation by binding with calcium in urine. This triggers the growth of calcium crystals, which can lead to kidney stones. Drinking a cup of fresh juice a day can contribute to your daily recommended fluid intake. A packet of dried, seasoned seaweed has been researched for its beneficial effects on the pancreas, kidneys and liver.

Calcium is needed to bind with oxalate to reduce the absorption and excretion of this substance. A daily intake of 1.2 grams of calcium can be had by consuming high-calcium foods such as soy or almond milk, tofu and fortified cereals.

Healthy herbs

Another way to cleanse your kidneys is by having herbs such as garlic which consists of an active ingredient called allicin that has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Turmeric is another herb which consists of the active ingredient curcumin which inhibits the growth and spread of all kinds of microbes and keeps kidneys healthy.

Ginger, like turmeric, has been used in medicines for thousands of years. An active compound known as Gingerols is an anti-bacterial agent that inhibits the spread of bacteria within the kidneys. Consuming herbs like parsley helps to flush out excess fluid from the body and supports kidney function by reducing the build-up of toxins in the kidneys. Celery root eliminates toxins by increasing the urine output. It is also known as a stimulating tonic for kidneys because it has potassium and sodium.

Teas that cleanse

There are kidney cleansing teas available in the market that support your kidneys and keep them functioning well. Tea cleanses the kidney of harmful wastes, extra water and urinary irritants. And they effectively route the nutrients where they need to be. Nettle tea, dandelion tea and tulsi tea are some organic teas that help in maintaining the health of your kidneys.

Avoid foods such as caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, sweet potatoes and refined products such as sugar, table salt, white flour (white pastas, white bread, etc) as these foods are hard to process and put a lot of strain on kidneys.

(The author is CEO, KlinicApp)

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