- removing waste products from the body
- removing drugs from the body
- balancing the body’s fluids
- releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
- producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
- controlling the production of red blood cells
Now that we know how important our kidneys are, let’s start looking after them! Here’s what the latest research says about the four best drinks for kidney health:
Let’s start with the best and most important one first…good old H2O.
Drinking plenty of water helps ensure that your kidneys are able to filter wastes and toxins from the blood and remove them in the form of urine. Water also helps keep your blood vessels open so that blood can travel freely to your kidneys, and deliver essential nutrients to them. But if you’re dehydrated, it’s more difficult for this delivery system to work. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage and kidney stones. Less water in the body leads to less urine production, which encourages stone-causing minerals to settle and bond in the kidneys and urinary tract. Try to drink enough water to keep your urine colour light yellow to clear.
Make sure to fill up your water bottle today and stay hydrated!
This tart red drink is good for both your urinary tract and kidney health. Cranberries contain compounds that can stop e. coli, the bacteria that causes 80 to 90% of all urinary tract infections (UTIs), from “sticking” to the urinary tract wall. Studies in young women with frequent UTIs show that drinking a glass of cranberry juice each day may help reduce recurrent or repeat UTIs.
Is cranberry juice not your thing? No problem! Research also suggests a similar effect from by consuming other cranberry products, like dried cranberries and dietary supplements. For those with diabetes or at-risk for diabetes, choose low-sugar cranberry products.
So it might be time to start adding cranberry products to your grocery list.
Lemon- and Lime-based Citrus Juices
Citrus juices like lemonade and limeade, with high citrate levels, have been proven to be beneficial in kidney stone prevention. The citrate prevents calcium from binding to other minerals in the kidneys, which can form crystals that lead to kidney stones. There is also some evidence that citrate may prevent crystals that are already present from binding with each other, which prevents them from getting bigger.
Prevent kidney stones by incorporating lemon and lime juice in your diet. BUT beware of juices with high sugar content as they can actually increase kidney stone risk. Instead, buy no-sugar-added lemonade, or make your own by mixing lime/lemon juice with water.
Saved the most exciting one for last, and YES! you read that correctly. Moderate wine consumption can help keep your kidneys healthy and protect the heart in patients who already have kidney disease (according to recent research presented at a National Kidney Foundation meeting). Researchers found that people who drank less than one glass of wine a day had a 37% lower prevalence of chronic kidney disease than those who drank no wine at all.
Remember, when it comes to the health benefits of wine, LESS is always more. Excess alcohol consumption has been shown to have adverse effects on kidney function. So stick to one glass, not the entire bottle 😉
Not sure about you, but we are willing to toast to this kind of research. So grab a drink and start sipping your way to healthy kidneys. Cheers!