Your Kidneys; Small Like a Fist, Strong Like a Beast! Healthy Kidney 101
Written by Temitope Alao-Sanni, RD. September 2021
Your kidneys are two fist-sized powerful organs. that play a vital role in the body and must remain healthy and strong to function optimally. Each one has a bean shape and is located below your rib cage, on either side of your spine. Your kidneys are always working. In this article, I will tell you what kidneys do and how to keep them healthy. So, keep reading.
Some functions of the kidneys include;
- Filter waste (detox) out of the blood and flush them out in the urine
- Synthesize red blood cells, vitamin D, and hormones
- Regulate fluid levels in the body
- Maintain pH balance
- Balance electrolytes
You already know our secret to having healthy kidneys is if you D.A.N.C.E.D:
Drink a lot of fluids your kidneys love
Your kidneys love water best. I understand that “a lot” can be confusing, but your body is about 60% water, so the goal is to stay hydrated. Fluid intake recommendation is:
- 13 cups per day for men above 18 years
- 9 cups per day for women above 18 years
- 10 cups for pregnant women
- 13 cups for breastfeeding women
However, factors like physical activity, weather, and overall health may require you to drink more or less.
Add fruits and Vegetables to food regularly
Fruits and vegetables provide nutrients that keep the body healthy and prevent diseases. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Never take concoction or herbal drinks sold on the street
These mixtures are quite popular in Nigeria. They do more harm than good. The ingredients are usually unknown, and there are no standards to measure the quantity you consume. Neatness and water safety are also other issues of concern.
Consult a Dietitian for kidney health
A Dietitian will help you make informed food choices to prevent diseases and promote health, even when living with a diagnosed condition.
Exercise regularly to keep kidneys strong
Regular exercise benefits your health in more ways than just weight loss. Staying fit can reduce the risk of diseases, lower blood pressure and improve heart health, which is crucial in preventing kidney diseases.
Discover abnormalities in the kidneys early
A routine kidney function test is a great way to spot any changes in your kidneys early. Identifying abnormalities can improve health outcomes and delay or prevent future complications.
Other ways to keep your kidneys healthy include; avoiding over-the-counter medications without an appropriate prescription, not smoking, cutting back on salt, and managing stress through meditation and breathing exercises.
Nutrition is a key determinant of your health and wellbeing.
Speak to one of our registered dietitians to discuss more.