What to Eat for Kidney Health & How to Drink More Water

By on April 10, 2014
fruits and water

As years go by, probably one question you might ask yourself is “how long do I live?” But have you ever asked “how well am I going to live?” One in ten adults has kidney disease.

It is most commonly linked to people with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and those who are older than 60 years old. A family history of kidney disease can also put you at risk. Obesity, autoimmune diseases, urinary tract infections, and other infections also contribute to your risk of developing kidney disease.

In addition to eating right and controlling your weight, you can take other simple steps to keep your kidneys healthy, including monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose level, going to the doctor every year, exercising regularly, not smoking and being aware if kidney disease runs in your family. Simply drinking more water can help improve your kidney health.

Staying hydrated is necessary for prevention and treatment. Keeping your urine diluted is important for keeping your kidneys healthy. Water is the best choice, but you can also drink fruit juices, ginger ale or tea.

Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables improve your kidney function. Such fruits include grapes, cranberries, and blueberries; vegetables include fennel, onions, celery, beets, spinach, string beans, and asparagus. If you are suffering from kidney disease, make sure the fruits and vegetables you eat are low in potassium. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits. Their water content along with vitamins and minerals are good for your system.

Make sure to get enough exercise. A 30-minute walk everyday is adequate exercise for an adult. Many kidney diseases are caused due to high blood pressure and diseases such as diabetes, exercise cuts down the risk of blood pressure and diabetes and can thereby benefit your kidneys

Low-Potassium Foods

Since kidneys regulate potassium, it is important that you monitor your potassium intake. If your potassium level gets too high, you may develop a greater risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Some examples of low-potassium foods include apples, beans, corn, rice, noodles, pasta, eggplant, cookies without nuts or chocolate, pears, peas, peppers and zucchini.

Iron-Rich Foods

If you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, your body may be low in iron. The kidneys play a role in the production of red blood cells, but without a properly functioning kidney, your red blood cell count may be too low, and your energy levels might suffer as a result. Eating iron-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables and eggs can help you increase your iron intake.

Improving Kidney Health

Keeping your kidneys healthy and clean is very important for your overall health. Make sure to drink at least one liter of water a day. Be careful when consuming water as too much water can be fatal as it dilutes the salt and electrolyte content in your body and can even lead to death. A daily intake of one to one and a half liter of water is safe and is useful to keep the kidneys healthy. Cranberry juice is also good to flush out the kidneys and protects against urinary tract infections. Another cleansing drink is apple cider vinegar. Although its taste is strong, it is a good cleaning aid and can be used moderately to help clean out the system.

How to Drink More Water Daily

While keeping your body hydrated is one of the easiest ways to improve your health, research shows that nearly half of us are dehydrated. To stay healthy and hydrated, you should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you don’t drink enough, it can affect your body temperature, energy, brain function, digestion, mood, performance, and joint health. Use the tips below to hydrate better and improve your health.

Drink a glass first thing in the morning

When you wake up, drink a glass of water before enjoying your morning cup of Joe, tea, or juice. Drinking water will replace fluids lost during the night and jumpstart your hydration for the day.

Do a mid-day hydration check

Looking at the color of your urine is the easiest way to monitor your hydration. If your urine is darker than lemonade, you’re dehydrated. Make it your daily goal to have clear urine by 3 p.m. It will give you a good idea of how well you are hydrating in the morning. If your urine isn’t clear, drink water immediately and work to hydrate better the rest of the day.

woman drinking water

Keep a water bottle with you at all times

To stay hydrated, keep a one-liter bottle with you at all times. A liter is equal to 33 ounces, so plan to fill up your water bottle based on your personal hydration needs. If you weigh 120 pounds, that’s two to three refills per day.

Replace soda, juice, and coffee with water

While it is clear that water is the best option for hydration, sodas, juices, and coffee drinks can be tempting. Not only are they loaded with calories and sugar, they can also dehydrate your body.

Set a reminder

It is easy to forget to hydrate until you feel thirsty, but by that time you are already dehydrated. Set a schedule or calendar reminder a few times throughout the day to help you remember to refill your glass and hydrate.

Eat more fruits and veggies

Eat two to three servings of fruits and vegetables at every meal. Unlike processed foods, fruits and vegetables are high in water and minerals.

Hydrate when you exercise

Just 2 percent dehydration can lead to a 20 percent decrease in performance. During the day drink 1/2 to 1 ounce of water for every pound you weigh. In the two hours before you exercise, drink 16 ounces. Follow that with 4-6 gulps of water every 15 minutes during your workout. After you exercise, drink 16 ounces of water for every pound of weight you lost during training.

Drink before you eat

Before each meal, drink at least three gulps of water. Thirst can often be confused with hunger. To avoid overeating and dehydration, drink a few gulps of water at the first feelings of thirst or hunger. Wait a bit and then decide if you are really hungry.

Finish your day with water

Before you go to bed, drink a glass of water to stay hydrated overnight. If you prefer a hot beverage to kick start or end your day, drink hot water with lemon.

Image courtesy: 258100.com , subatomic.ie

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