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Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Kidney & Heart Health


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    Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.You’ll want to make sure your diet contains all the vitamins and minerals your body requires. Include at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day to keep your body, including your kidneys, healthy.
    • Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, fiber, and assorted vitamins and minerals, all of which are essential elements for the correct functioning of your body.
    • Consider swapping out one of your normal snack foods (e.g., a bag of chips) for a piece of fresh fruit or cutting a banana over your cereal every morning to easily increase the amount of fruit you eat in a normal day.
    • Only rely on fruit and vegetable juices for 1 of your 5 daily portions. The other 4 portions need to come from solid fruits and vegetables to get the needed health benefits.
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      Cut back on foods high in salt, sugar, or saturated fats. Eating too much salt impedes the correct functioning of the kidneys and can cause kidney stones. Eating too much sugar or saturated fats is also bad for your overall health and can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which is bad for your kidneys.

    • Swap out salty or processed snacks with fruits and vegetables or other healthy alternatives like unsalted nuts. Avoid fried and processed foods wherever possible.
    • If you opt for low-fat foods, check to make sure they don’t have a lot of added sugar.
    • A good trick when you are preparing food is to replace half the salt that you would usually use with other spices.
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  2. Eat more healthy fats and oils as part of a balanced diet. Healthy fats and oils, like polyunsaturated fat and fish oil, contain vital nutrients that our bodies need and can help prevent disease. Add sources of healthy fats and oils to your diet to maximize the health benefits of the foods you eat.
    • Oily fish, olive oil, dried fruits, and avocados are excellent sources of healthy fats, which are necessary to line and protect our vital organs
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  3. Incorporate more kale and spinach into your diet. Kale and spinach are both green vegetables packed with vitamins A, C, and K, along with other helpful nutrients like potassium and magnesium. Eating more of these leafy greens can give you all sorts of benefits that help keep your kidneys, and your whole body, healthy.
    • Note that these foods are also significantly high in potassium. People on dialysis or with a dietary potassium restriction should limit their intake of spinach and kale.
    • Some ways to eat more kale and spinach include using them in a salad, throwing them on a sandwich or burger, or mixing them in a “green smoothie.”
  4. 5 .Limit your portion sizes to avoid overeating.Serve yourself small portions of food and eat slowly. When the foods you eat have a high level of nutritional value, a moderate portion will satisfy you. You will feel more active the rest of the day and keep your weight under control

    • Being overweight is associated with illnesses like diabetes and hypertension, which are risk factors for various renal and cardiovascular diseases.
    • The kidneys function better if you maintain an appropriate weight for your physique .

  1. Commit to doing 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. The best way to ensure you’re exercising enough is to commit to a regimen that will cover your weekly exercise needs. Aim to exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day to get enough exercise to keep your kidneys (and the rest of your body) healthy.
    • If your time is limited, you can also do 10 minutes of exercise 3 times each day .8
  2. Choose full-body exercises to get the most out of your workouts. The best way to maintain good health is to practice sports that will engage more than just one muscle group. Besides helping to strengthen the muscles in your whole body, these exercises will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of kidney disease.
    • Some good examples of full-body exercises include swimming, cycling, mountain biking, dance, and rowing .
    • Take advantage of opportunities to walk more. Walking is a very effective and natural exercise for people and can do a lot to help you maintain a more active lifestyle. Make your legs your main form of transportation whenever possible to help reduce your risk of kidney disease.
    • Try walking to work instead of driving or commuting. If you have to take the bus, consider getting off a couple of stops early and walking the rest of the way.
    • If possible, opt for taking the stairs instead of using the elevators.10
  3. Participate in physical activities that you enjoy so you’ll stick with it. If you decide to commit to regular exercise, make sure to choose an activity that you enjoy. Otherwise, your willpower might fade and you won’t be motivated to keep up with your daily exercise.
    • Consider joining a football team in your neighborhood, taking tennis lessons, learning to skate, trying an aqua aerobics class, taking dance classes with a loved one, or playing outside with your children and friends.
    • All these activities improve your general health and produce endorphins, the hormones associated with well-being and happiness.
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    Stay hydrated to help your kidneys function properly. Your kidneys, like the rest of your body, need water to do their job. Make sure you’re drinking sufficient water every day and avoid becoming dehydrated .
    • Get in the habit of taking a bottle of water wherever you go and take small sips throughout the day. Take advantage of times you can refill the water bottle like at work or at the gym.
    • It is recommended to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day.
    • Avoid drinks with added sugars, like fruit juices and soda, and limit your consumption of caffeinated drinks like coffee.
    • You should also avoid soda, as some evidence suggests that it may cause kidney stones and other renal problems.
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  2. Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption. Smoking and drinking alcohol can both lead to high blood pressure, which is one of the most common causes of kidney disease. Refrain from these activities as much as possible to avoid impacting the health of your kidneys.
    • If you can’t entirely abstain from drinking alcohol, you should limit yourself to no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. 14 units of alcohol equate to 6 beers or 7 glasses of wine.
    • You should entirely refrain from smoking, if at all possible.
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  3. Keep your blood pressure below 140/90. A blood pressure higher than this is too high and can have an adverse effect on your kidneys. Work with a doctor to monitor your blood pressure and make sure it stays at a healthy level.
    • If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower it or offer various lifestyle changes you can adopt to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
    • Make sure you get your blood pressure checked often. High blood pressure doesn’t have any external symptoms, so the only way to know if you have it is to get it checked.
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  4. Manage diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease to prevent kidney damage. If you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, you’re particularly susceptible to sustaining kidney damage as well. To prevent this damage, maintain your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels within a healthy range for your circumstances.
    • Work with your doctor to determine what your ideal blood glucose numbers and cholesterol levels ought to be and how you should go about reaching them. This may include lifestyle changes or medication.
    • Be sure to take all your medicines as prescribed by your doctor, especially those meant to regulate blood pressure.

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