Our bodies are dependent on our internal organs to survive and reproduce. Each organ is associated with the other for survival. The brain, the liver, the lungs, the kidneys, the bladder, the heart, the stomach and the intestines perform their respective functions to ensure proper functioning of the body system.
Kidneys, on a daily basis, excellently maintains a chemical balance in the body. The human body needs to maintain a chemical balance in order to prevent chronic illness and other anomalies that may affect other organs.
Kidneys are positioned at the back of the abdominal cavity. They execute some vital functions in the human body such as the formation of urine, balancing chemicals and fluids in the body, and extracting waste from the bloodstream. They also aid various other organs in carrying out routine functions in the body. Let’s discuss the functions of the kidney.
Functions of the Kidneys
Blood Pressure Regulation
Kidneys produce a vessel-constricting protein called angiotensin, which regulates blood pressure and signal the body to retain water and sodium. In case the blood pressure drops, kidneys immediately exercise the function of increasing it.
The human body accumulates harmful elements such as toxins, urea and excess salts over time. Kidneys facilitate the excretion of these harmful elements by filtering the bloodstream.
Maintain Water Levels
Kidneys adjust their function to the level of water intake. When water intake drops, kidneys ensure that water Is retained in the body instead of flushing it through urine.
The body’s internal environment can get acidic if the kidneys do not properly perform their balancing function. Kidneys filter out toxins and metals that can cause an increase in acidity level.
Red Blood Cell Stimulation
Kidneys require proper oxygenation to keep up their activity. In case of oxygen, deficiency kidneys release erythropoietin which stimulates the bone marrow and increases the production of red blood cells. Kidney health cannot be overemphasized, as it is extremely important to the human body. Now let’s talk about foods that are beneficial to the kidney.
Diet has an inseparably close relationship to kidney health. Deficiency of vital nutrients can be the cause of kidney diseases and its failure. There are various kidney requirements, depending on the state of one’s kidney. Eating foods low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus can prevent any malfunction of the kidney.
What are these Foods?
Blueberries are a reliable source of loads of vitamins and minerals that are essential for the human body. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Blueberries contain anthocyanins which are outstandingly powerful antioxidants that help prevent kidney problems and a number of other diseases. Blueberries contain minute amounts of phosphorus, potassium, and sodium which are ideal for kidney health.
Cauliflowers contain some essential vitamins and minerals that ensure proper functioning of the kidneys. They are a rich source of Vitamins K. C and Vitamin B folates. They’ve got anti-inflammatory properties, and they are satisfyingly high in dietary fiber.
Seabass is relatively low in potassium and phosphorus. It also contains omega 3 which eliminates the chances of metabolic abnormalities in the body, ensuring the proper functioning of the kidney.
High in antioxidants and vitamins, and low in potassium, phosphorus and sodium, red grapes are just one of your kidneys’ best friend. They also contain flavonoids that protect the body from harmful free radicals which can affect kidney functions.
You really shouldn’t miss eating, this delightful gift of nature, egg yolks, because they make an excellent source of protein for kidney function.
Garlic is an anti-inflammatory food which is extremely low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. This makes it just suitable for your kidneys. What else? Garlic promotes kidney function by eliminating toxins present in the bloodstream.
Cabbages are a rich source of insoluble fiber, which is necessary for regular bowel movements. And of course, regular bowel movements are healthy. Cabbages also remove various toxins from the bloodstream through the excretion process. They’re high in essential nutrients and low in minerals that are harmful to kidney health too. Cabbages are simply great for your kidney health.
Bell peppers are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. They are your perfect choice for a kidney-friendly diet because of their low levels of sodium, phosphorus, potassium.
Macadamia nuts are rich in good fats. More importantly, they serve as a healthy and sumptuous snack in a kidney-friendly diet.
Radishes are exceptionally beneficial to the kidneys because they are high in water content and essential nutrients. They contain tiny amounts of potassium and phosphorus which makes them ideal for kidney health. Their water content, in particular, makes them a beneficial food for the kidneys.
Turnips are particularly an interesting one because they are a healthy and tasty alternative to vegetables which are high in potassium. They are nutrient dense and do not contain harmful amounts of minerals which are not suitable for kidneys.
Pineapples are low in potassium and this makes them great for your kidneys. They serve as a suitable alternative for tropical fruits. Tropical fruits are generally high in potassium which can be harmful to kidney health. Pineapples can be added to dishes to achieve some balance in one’s diet, and get some great taste too, not to forget the vital part of having a kidney-friendly diet.
Cranberries are a reliable storehouse of antioxidants and vitamins. They are effective at reducing inflammation in the urinary tract. What’s more? They contain A-type proanthocyanidins which ensure urine frequency. This facilitates essential kidney functions and protects one from the risk of infections.
Kidney Facts you should Know
- Once age 40 is attained, the number of functional nephrons present in each kidney start falling at a rate of 1% a year. Despite this decline in the number of functional nephrons in kidneys the kidneys continue to function normally because the nephrons have a tendency of enlarging once the demise begins.
- If the nephrons in both kidneys are taken out and placed end to end horizontally, they will cover a distance of 16 kilometers.
- Kidneys are responsible for maintaining a constant amount of fluid in the body. The entire blood in the body gets filtered around 400 times in a day through the kidneys
- The blood flow in kidneys is higher than the blood flow in the heart, liver, and brain.
- In each hour, kidneys receive around 120 pints of blood.
- Kidneys measure around 4.5 inches in length.
- Kidneys are about the size of a standard computer mouse or a mobile phone.
- Each kidney weighs about 4-6 ounces.
- Each kidney consists of at least a million nephrons. Nephrons are tiny filters that are capable of filtering blood and eliminating waste materials.
- Even though the kidneys weigh only 0.5% of the entire body weight, they receive more arterial blood compared to other organs in the body. In fact, almost 25% of the blood pumped by the heart goes to the kidneys.
How do you feel knowing so much about your kidneys and how to care for them? Guess what, your path to a better health just began. One of the best things you can do to live well and long is choosing to eat right, and this can result in a disease-free life. Eat the foods discussed in this article, and watch your kidney thrive. Enjoy life, enjoy more healthy kidneys.