UNLESS you are extremely conscious of your water intake and measure how much water you are drinking in a day with that two-litre water bottle of yours, try answering these: When you get up in the morning, do you have your glass of water? What about before and after meals, and in between them and so on…
So, how many glasses of water do you drink every day? 4? 6?
On an average, we are supposed to have at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day and the amount increases if you are overweight, have a regular intake of caffeine, smoke or exercise. Our kidneys do require fluids, but in the form of water. Nothing can replace water – any number of juices or other fluids cannot accomplish what water can do in our body. Our body is composed of 60 per cent water; therefore, we need to replenish the lost fluids from our body every day. Water helps kidneys filter wastes, a process that helps the body to detoxify itself every day.
So, what can you do to keep kidney diseases at bay? Here’s what:
As mentioned earlier, drink plenty of water and only water. Keep track of your water intake by keeping a 2-liter water bottle with you. Try to finish it through the day. Again, this 2-liter recommended intake is for a person with average weight, i.e., a person who is in the 60-75 kg range.
Fruits and vegetables: As they mostly contain water, they are high on the list of foods that you ought to have. Alternative health practitioners recommend a detoxing process known as a “kidney cleanse” where a person undergoes a fasting program while subsisting on vegetable and fruit juices. This continues for 3 to 5 days, as per a person’s tolerance. A typical detox program would include cleansing juices like grapefruit, kiwi, lemon and/or cranberry juices as well as herbal remedies. To know more about detoxification and healing, please stay tuned to this column.
By maintaining your body weight and blood pressure, you would be doing your kidneys a great favour. Obesity and high blood pressure both pose an increased risk to kidney health, causing damage beyond repair.
Stop smoking if you want to be healthy –be it in terms of cardiovascular or kidney health.
Exercise, too, should be included as part of your daily regimen. Exercise not only helps in maintaining the health of your kidneys, it also maintains your blood sugar levels along with your blood pressure.
For kidney stones, it is highly recommended to have parsley water twice every day. First, take some parsley (around 8 to 10 strands). Wash it very well, strand by strand. Place it in a vessel and then, add 2-3 cups of water to it. Let it boil for about 10 minutes. You will see that the water has now turned light green. Cover it and have a cup of parsley water in the morning and a cup in the evening. Another great kidney-friendly food is asparagus.
Eating foods low in salt content is another precaution we can adhere to in order to keep our kidneys healthy, as this helps prevent the formation of kidney stones. A diet low in sodium also helps the heart (as it lowers blood pressure) and keeps fluid accumulation in the extremities (such as oedema of the legs) at bay.
Did you know that even 10 minutes of Mr. Sunshine can help your kidneys? Yes, sun rays stimulate the production of Vitamin D that helps in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in our body that helps our kidneys, big time!
Last, but not the least, visit your family physician regularly. If you suffer from hypertension and/or diabetes, make sure you have your kidney tests at least once in six months to ensure that your kidneys are working efficiently.
Stress indeed stresses our kidneys, so relaxation is a great way to keep the kidneys healthy. In our busy lives where we chase worldly desires, we have failed to enjoy the true essence of relaxation. On our weekends, we are surrounded by gadgets and television. When was the last time you had a vacation free from mobile phones, laptops and i-gadgets? Think about it… plan a vacation without them and do a huge favour to your body and yourself… until then, keep others healthy and stay healthy!