Have you ever noticed that final powerful spray of water at the carwash before your vehicle gets a rapid blow dry? The water jets pulverize any remaining remnants of dirt.
That’s one way to view how our kidneys work. Their job is to flush out toxins from the blood by way of urine. The National Institutes of Health reports that our kidneys filter an excess of 200 quarts of blood daily. That translates into 2 quarts of waste each day. They don’t get holidays or weekends off; they work day and night.
Thankfully, our kidneys can wash away impurities while retaining vital nutrients floating around in our blood. Keeping our internal filters healthy and functioning properly is invaluable for nourishment and detoxification of our bodies.
So naturally, whatever we eat and drink has a dramatic impact on our kidneys’ health. A steady diet of unhealthy food and drinks can strain their performance, and put us at risk.
The good news is, it’s never too late to improve your diet and lifestyle, even if your kidneys are already impaired.
We will see how our kidneys react to too much consumption of 8 different foods and beverages.
1. Red meat
We’ve all heard that protein is good for our health. But too much of anything can be harmful. For example, a diet that is high in red meat, which contains lots of animal protein, can damage our kidneys. The reason? Our kidneys need to metabolism this protein.
When there’s a conveyor belt of rich protein headed toward the kidneys for cleansing, they just can’t keep up with the pace. When kidneys can’t eliminate waste products, there will be a build-up of acidic residue in our body.
It’s always good to talk to your health care professional about the diet that’s right for you.
Just like eating too much red meat can strain our kidneys, the same is true with too much alcohol; they will be unable to properly filter our blood. Also, too much alcohol can cause dehydration. This creates a domino effect: if our blood is dehydrated, our cells and organs will not be able to function properly.
3. Table Salt
While our bodies require sodium to maintain proper fluid balance – especially in our electrolytes – an excess amount will cause kidneys to retain water. Too much salt can also increase the amount of protein that is eliminated in urine.
Caffeine is a stimulant which millions of people depend upon every morning to help them become fully awake. But all of that caffeine in coffee, tea and sodas can jolt your kidneys into overdrive. The stimulant accelerates blood flow, which in turn increases blood pressure.
Caffeine has another effect – it can lead to dehydration, just as salt can. Too much dehydration can lead to kidney stones. Most health experts recommend you drink no more than 2 cups of coffee or 3 cups of tea daily. Soda and energy drinks are beverages you may want to eliminate completely. Another source of caffeine is cocoa, which should also be consumed moderately.
5. Artificial Sweeteners
Refined sugar has had a bad rap lately. That’s why companies began creating artificial sweeteners. It may sound better for our health, but they can still negatively impact kidney function. Try instead to steer away from artificial sweeteners and use stevia or honey to flavor your food and beverages.
6. Dairy Products
While dairy products are an excellent source of protein, they should be consumed in moderation, especially for anyone who has kidney disease. The reason? Too many dairy products will increase calcium in urine which can lead to kidney stones. Also, as kidneys are overworked, they won’t be able to regulate protein waste and it will rise to an unhealthy level.
7. Carbonated Beverages
Sodas and energy drinks are usually the chief instigators of kidney problems; they are loaded with caffeine, sugar or artificial sweeteners. They may taste better than thirst-quenching water or lemon water but they aren’t providing any health benefits for your kidneys.
8. Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)
In recent years, crops have been the recipient of various forms of herbicides and pesticides. This includes everything from strawberries to rice. These chemical alterations can create even more problems for those who are already suffering from some type of kidney ailment.