Q:

What healthy practices are good for the kidneys?

A:

Quick Answer

Some healthy practices to maintain kidney health include exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking plenty of water and following a balanced diet, advises the National Kidney Foundation. An individual should also quit smoking and drink only small amounts of alcohol.

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Full Answer

Some healthy practices for kidney health, such as eating right and exercising regularly, are beneficial for all people, but those who already have some form of kidney disease need to take extra measures, explains the National Kidney Foundation. Healthy practices for these individuals include reducing salt and protein consumption, maintaining blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure. Because medications can harm kidneys over a long period of time, individuals need to avoid certain medications, such as NSAID painkillers.

Because high blood pressure can severely damage kidneys over time, reducing salt intake can help to regulate blood pressure and prevent kidney problems, states the National Kidney Foundation. Eating fresh rather than packaged foods can help keep sodium amounts down. For instance, packaged meats contain added salt, while fresh cuts of chicken and beef contain only natural sodium. Bacon is especially high in salt. The same rule applies to fruits and vegetables because canned and frozen produce often has added salt. An individual needs to look in the ingredient list for salt or check to see if the label marks it as fresh frozen or no sodium added.

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