The kidneys are the body’s defense and filter against contaminants and waste products. They strain out a wide variety of unhealthy particles from your blood, working to maintain your body’s functions and keep you healthy. However, just like any filter, if your kidneys have to work harder to remove an excess of pollutants or are damaged from other unhealthy behaviors, they can begin to fail, leading to serious medical complications. Here are a few tips to help keep your kidneys working well.

 

Limit salts and fats

 

Pay attention to your diet and what you are eating, and strive to minimize salty and fatty foods. Both fat and salt can cause increased blood pressure and lead to clogged arteries, which can put undue strain on your kidneys, not to mention the body’s other organs. Limiting your intake of these two substances can help keep your body in better health overall, and reduce your risk of kidney disease.

 

Exercise regularly

 

Exercise is good for the whole body, so it’s no surprise that keeping active is good for kidney health. As the American Kidney Fund notes, regular activity has a variety of other effects on the body, including helping to keep muscles functioning well, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing stress, which can lead to high blood pressure. Regularly working out will help to your body’s regular functions and keep you feeling healthy overall.

 

Avoid vices, like smoking and drinking

 

The negative effects of both smoking and excess alcohol consumption are well known. Alcohol can impair the ability of your kidneys to effectively remove toxins from the body, not to mention the detriments of excess drinking on the liver and other organs, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Smoking, too, causes myriad problems on the body, including raising blood pressure and accelerating any existing problems in the kidneys. Limiting your alcohol consumption and quitting smoking now can help keep turn back any damage already done and improve your total health.

 

Take medications as directed

 

Many medications can cause your kidneys to work harder and can even cause serious damage if taken in greater doses or for a longer period than prescribed. In addition, drinking alcohol with medications can exacerbate the risks of some medications and accelerate the potential detrimental effects on the kidneys. Read and follow the indications of all medications you are on, and keep a list of what drugs you regularly take to discuss with your doctor whenever you start, change or stop a prescription or over-the-counter drug regimen to make sure that there are no adverse interactions or combinations that may cause problems with your kidneys.

 

Your kidneys are one of the most important organs of the body and taking these positive and proactive steps today to keep them healthy will help to keep your body healthy today, tomorrow and for many years to come.