Your body is made up of two-thirds water and it’s the job of your kidneys to maintain your hydration level. Your kidneys also maintain your blood’s electrolyte balance and help flush out toxins from your body. A combination of diet, herbs and good practices will keep them going strong.
1. If you don’t drink at least 10 glasses of water a day, your urine will become concentrated, which harms your kidneys.
2. Drink freshly squeezed lime juice diluted with water first thing in the morning. Other kidney-friendly fruit, vegetable and herb juices include apple, orange, sweetlime, grape, carrot, beetroot, wheatgrass and parsley.
3. Gokshura, an ayurvedic herbal preparation, is prescribed for frequent kidney infections and problems caused by kidney stones. Cystone is good for kidney stones and Chandraprabha is prescribed for those with recurrent kidney problems. (Note: If you don’t modify your diet, these ayurvedic preparations will not give any benefits.)
4. Use sprouted kidney beans, turmeric and garlic as ingredients when you make soup.
5. Avoid excess tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco as they are flushed out by the kidneys and expose them to a high level of acid.
6. Avoid exposure to chemicals found in cleaning products – protect your hands with rubber gloves and wear a mask when using sprays. When colouring your hair, drink lots of water to help flush out the chemical pigments.
7. Kidney-healing foods contain the rejuvenating B-group vitamins and vitamin C. Eat pomegranates, watermelon and papaya. Take probiotics or B12 supplements if you have frequent kidney problems. Cranberries or cranberry juice is a popular remedy for frequent kidney problems.
8. When you need to use the toilet, do not hold on for too long. That creates problems in the long run.
9. Avoid innerwear made of synthetic fabrics. Maintain good personal hygiene.
10. Supplement your diet with calcium-rich ragi and eat lots of fruit and lemon when you’re consuming an excess of protein. A protein-heavy diet is acidic, and in trying to maintain your body’s pH balance, the kidneys use calcium from your bones.
11. Eat cooling foods such as coconut water, rice, watercress, celery, green vegetables, cucumber and mung sprouts.
From HT Brunch, February 8
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