9 Habits for Healthy Kidneys

Your kidneys are powerful organs that serve many functions. They reduce the toxic burden in your body by filtering out toxins to which you are exposed during your daily life. Then, they excrete those toxins in urine to ensure waste products are eliminated from the body. They regulate water and mineral balance to ensure the proper hydration of your cells. And, they even regulate blood pressure through the secretion of hormones that fulfill this function.

Without healthy kidneys, you could not be healthy. So, it’s time to show them some love by incorporating habits that support healthy kidneys into your life. Here are 9 habits that help build and maintain healthy kidneys:

Switch to Plant-Based Protein

The kidneys, in addition to the many functions above, also process protein to separate out amino acids for use by the body and to eliminate any waste that accumulates from the metabolism of animal protein, including urea and ammonia, both of which can reach harmful levels if the kidneys can’t handle the amount of meat in the diet. Switching to a plant-based diet reduces the burden on the kidneys. Before you utter, “but how will I get my protein?” you might want to consider the many excellent plant-based protein sources, which include: nuts, beans, seeds, quinoa, avocado, coconut, bean sprouts, tofu, miso, tempeh, and dairy- milk and cheese alternatives.

Start Every Morning with a Large Glass of Water

Water is imperative to ensure the kidneys can function properly. Yet, many people are chronically dehydrated, making it difficult for the kidneys to filter out waste products and perform their many other functions. After a night of sleep the kidneys benefit from rehydrating as soon as possible after we awaken. Drink a large glass of water immediately upon rising and wait about 20 minutes before eating breakfast.

Eat or Drink More Cranberries 

Pure cranberries and cranberry juice, not the sweetened dried cranberries full of sulfites or the heavily sweetened juices, can eliminate harmful bacteria in the urinary tract. Eliminating infection-causing bacteria goes a long way toward keeping the kidneys healthy. Dilute pure cranberry juice with water or water and a splash of pure apple juice to make it more palatable.

Cut Back on Salt

While many bloggers claim that salt isn’t harmful in the diet, the claim suggests a lack of understanding about the role of minerals in the body. Sodium and potassium work in conjunction with each other. When sodium rises, potassium levels tend to drop, which is actually a dangerous health situation. The kidneys regulate these electrolytes in your body, so cut down on salt to give them a hand with their sodium-potassium regulating functions. Use more herbs instead of salt.

Eat More Home-Cooked Meals

Most fast food and restaurant meals are packed with excessive levels of sodium. By switching to home-made meals you’ll give your kidneys a break from all the extra salt (provided you aren’t heavy-handed with the salt shaker).

Load Up on Vegetables

Vegetables are high in kidney-supporting potassium. By making vegetables the focal point of your meals you’ll automatically be giving your kidneys some love.

Eat Some Seaweed

Enjoy some docosahexanoic acid (DHA)-rich seaweed to help reduce inflammation in the kidneys (and elsewhere in your body). You’ll only need about a tablespoon of dried seaweed daily to reap the benefits. You can find hijiki (spaghetti-like strands), or kelp that can be added to soup, or kelp noodles that are delicious alternatives to other types of noodles and are perfect with Asian-inspired dishes.

Drink Green Tea

Green Tea contains potent antioxidants known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. EGCG helps to protect the kidneys and urinary tract from harmful substances. Ideally, drink three cups of green tea daily.

Take Some Turmeric

Add turmeric to your soups, stews or curries or take a couple of curcumin capsules daily to reap the benefits of turmeric’s natural anti-inflammatory ingredient curcumin. It can help reduce inflammation and free radicals in the kidneys, giving them the support they need to function optimally every day.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking.  Follow her work.

73 comments

Graham P
Graham P3 days ago

Thanks for the info.

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Ruth S
Ruth S14 days ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S14 days ago

Thanks.

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Jeramie D
Jeramie D15 days ago

Thanks

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Lisa M
Lisa M16 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M16 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M16 days ago

Thanks.

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Paulo R
Paulo R16 days ago

ty

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Lynne Buckley
Lynne Buckley16 days ago

Thanks for the information

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Lesa D
Lesa D17 days ago

thank you Michelle...

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