Why You Should Maintain Kidney Health
3/14/2014
Krystal Crawford
The bean-shaped organ is vital to your urinary health
Friday, March 14, 2014
by: Krystal Crawford

Section: Nutrition


About Krystal Crawford

Krystal is a naturopathic medical student at UBCNM. She has always had a passion for science and wanted to pursue a career in medicine. While living a holistic lifestyle and noticing the positive influence it had on her overall health, she knew deep down there were better ways to treating patients. She wanted to make sure her work was a reflection of her passion and purpose, and that is, to offer services that truly help patients in a deeper way. A career in naturopathic medicine, was exactly what she wanted and perfectly aligns with her lifestyle and belief on what medicine should be. Krystal also enjoys spending time with my family, traveling, and cooking.
The kidney is a vital organ of the urinary system. It is the job of the two kidneys to regulate electrolytes, blood pressure, and maintain acid-base balance. They also play an essential role when it comes to detoxification, acting as a natural filter for blood. In addition, the kidneys help to control the levels of sulfur, sodium, and phosphate in the body and excess minerals are excreted via urine to control the build-up of toxins. As the kidneys hold a huge responsibility in its regulatory roles, it is equally important to maintain a nutritional and balanced diet to keep the kidneys healthy.

Certain lifestyle practices, can put a strain on the kidneys such as smoking, stress, and alcohol consumption. When it comes to alcohol consumption, researchers have observed changes in the structure and function of the kidneys as well as an inability to regulate the electrolyte and fluid composition and volume in the body. This can lead to low concentration of important electrolytes in the blood, changes to the acid-base balance, and interrupt hormone mechanisms that control the functions of the kidney.
When it comes to the well-being and health of our kidneys, the most fundamental ritual...is to drink a sufficient amount of water...

When it comes to the well-being and health of our kidneys, the most fundamental ritual we should do above all, is to drink a sufficient amount of water. Ensuring we drink the recommended amount of purified water every day, helps to keep the concentration of fluids in the kidneys at bay by exerting constant flushing. Without the adequate amount of water, high concentrations of fluid that harbor toxins will accumulate in the body and can lead to kidney injury.

In addition to drinking water, consuming a daily dose of fruits and vegetables, can also ensure the kidneys are functioning to their optimum level. Previous studies have shown, that the antioxidative properties found in resveratrol, a natural polyphenol compound found in grapes, have beneficial effects in preventing renal diseases and aging.

Some herbs which help stimulate and cleanse the kidney include dandelion, corn silk, sassafras, juniper berry, fennel, cleavers, uva ursi, horsetail, goldenrod, meadowsweet, pipsissewa, plantain, shepherd’s purse, and hydrangea. There has been some promising research suggesting drinking green tea reduces the risk of kidney stones and other kidney diseases as well.

References
  • Saldanha JU, Leal VI, Stenvinkel, etc al. Resveratrol: Why is it promising for chronic kidney disease patients? Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2013.2013:1-6.
  • Huang XI, Sjogren PE, Cederholm TO. Serum and adipose tissue fatty acid composition as biomarkers of habitual dietary fat intake in elderly men with chronic kidney disease. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 2014.29: 128-126.
  • Head KA. Natural approaches to prevention and treatment of infections of the lower urinary tract. Alternative Medicine Review, 2008.13: 227-244.
  • Crespy V, Williamson G. A review of the health effects of green tea catechins in vivo animal models. The Journal of Nutrition, 2004.134: 3431-3440.
 
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