Controlling one's health and diet are the two best ways to help improve kidney function, according to the National Kidney Disease Education Program. Keeping blood pressure, blood glucose and blood cholesterol within healthy ranges, taking any needed medicines regularly and maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and diet are all good for kidney health. A diet low in salt and sodium is also beneficial for proper kidney function.
According to the NKDEP, cooking foods from scratch is the best way to know what is in food and whether or not it is suitable to support kidney health. Eating small portions of protein-rich plant and animal foods is also important to protect the kidneys. Heart-healthy foods such as lean meats, healthy oils and non-fried foods are also important to support kidney health.
If the kidneys are damaged, a diet low in phosphorus and potassium may be recommended, according to the NKDEP. Foods that are high in phosphorus include meats, fish, oatmeal, dairy products, beans and lentils. Foods high in potassium include oranges, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, brown rice, dairy and nuts. Drinking water regularly, choosing light-colored sodas and limiting alcohol and orange juice intake are all helpful ways to improve kidney health.
The kidneys are small organs located just below the diaphragm on either side of the body. They act as a filter for the blood and produce urine from the body's liquid waste. Kidneys are important to all of the body's organ systems as they keep the blood clean, allowing every system to work properly, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Kidneys are comprised of millions of microscopic filters called nephrons. These nephrons filter blood via a duel process using a glomerulus and a tubule. The glomerulus completes the first stage of filtering, which is capturing protein particles and blood cells, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The tubule removes minerals from the filtered fluid to redeposit into the bloodstream. Together, these processes purify the blood.
Kidneys are most efficient when fueled properly. Aside from water, the kidneys need Vitamin D and plenty of nutrients to remain healthy. Maintaining a balanced diet and varied exercise routine reduces the risk of other health complications, like diabetes and high blood pressure, which can put stress on the kidneys and diminish their performance, explains KidneyCoach.com.