It is officially March 3rd and that means that spring is only 17 days away.
I don’t buy it. I see a WHOLE lot of snow out my office window right now, with more in the forecast for the next week or so.
But March is also National Kidney Month, and that’s definitely something I can get behind!
When it comes to organs, your kidneys are not necessarily the most “popular” little guys, but their importance is greatly underrated.
As a matter of fact, if they poop out then so do you—permanently.
Here are some of the things you might not realize that these humble little organs do for you, and how you can keep them in tip-top shape!
Master filtration system
Located in the lower part of your back on either side of your spine, this pair of organs (each about the size of your fist) is busy 24/7.
Every day they filter up to 40 gallons of your blood, pulling out wastes and toxins, then creating urine to dump them into.
As a result, dangerous substances that could make you very sick or potentially kill you are instead removed from your blood and flushed down your toilet.
Your kidneys are smart too--because your blood also contains helpful substances like vitamins, glucose and minerals. Your kidneys can tell the difference and instead of filtering out the good things, they get reabsorbed into your blood so your body can use them.
The balancing act
Your kidneys also help maintain your acid/alkaline balance and this is vital.
Your health depends on you having a slightly alkaline blood pH of about 7.3 – 7.4. When your pH is in this range, your organs and systems can work like they should.
But when your pH gets too low and dips toward the acid range, your body literally begins to break down. It’s like your innards go on strike! Your organs (especially your heart and pancreas) cannot work as efficiently, and a state of inflammation is triggered.
So, you become the perfect home for diseases of all kinds, including tumors and cancer.
Remember this: The ONLY time our bodies are supposed to be acidic is upon DEATH!
That’s so we can decompose like Nature intended us to.
Since you probably don't want to be deep-sixed anytime soon, that should clue you in about how crucial your kidneys are.
Plus, your kidneys also convert vitamin D into a form your body can use.
This is crucial, because vitamin D deficiency is a factor in many diseases, including heart disease, depression, osteoporosis, cancer and autoimmunity.
And your kidneys produce hormones that make red blood cells and help regulate your blood pressure.
Danger, Will Robinson!
Unfortunately, your dietary and lifestyle habits can cause a whole lot of problems with your kidneys, impairing their function and threatening your health (and life).
Excessive protein intake. Urea is a by-product of protein digestion, and it’s your kidneys’ job to filter urea out of your bloodstream. Having too much urea to deal with can stress your kidneys and promote kidney disease and stones.
Excessive fructose intake. Fructose creates uric acid, which is another waste product your kidneys have to remove from your blood. Kidney stones are frequently linked to a diet high in fructose--especially dangerous is processed fructose (high fructose corn syrup).
Regular use of pain relievers. Drugs such as aspirin, NSAIDs, ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen can damage your kidneys when taken in large amounts and/or over long periods of time.
Soda consumption. Yet another reason to avoid this poison in a can—the phosphorus in soda acidifies your urine, which triggers kidney stones.
Low water consumption. Your kidneys depend on water to function properly. Dehydration (which is more prevalent than you think!) is a common cause of kidney stones.
Keep those stones away!
Here are 5 very effective things you can do to help keep your kidneys (and you!) healthy for years to come and help prevent kidney stones and disease.
1) Eat reasonable amounts of meat
Meat is a very nutritious food, but you can run into kidney trouble if you regularly eat too much.
Put another way, no one came into this world with a biological need to chow down on a 24-oz. porterhouse.
A reasonable serving of meat is 3-4 ounces.
2) Get enough water
Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of filtered water a day. (Note that water means water and NOT coffee, tea, soda, milk, Gatorade, sports drinks, juice, energy drinks, etc.)
Don't wait until you're thirsty. By the time you sense thirst, your body may already be seriously dehydrated.
Here’s a good way to tell if you’re drinking enough water—if your urine is dark yellow any time of the day other than first thing in the morning, you need more water.
3) Try natural pain relievers
If you suffer from chronic pain, chances are excellent you have a high amount of inflammation in your system.
But luckily Nature has given us some safe pain relievers and anti-inflammatories!
Omega-3 fish oil like VitalMega-3 has been shown to be tremendously helpful with inflammation, as well as medically PROVEN to lower blood pressure and cholesterol!
And turmeric (found in our Optimal Turmeric Blend) has outperformed aspirin and ibuprofen in terms of reducing inflammation! Plus it has been more effective than NSAIDs in easing arthritis pain, without the risk of kidney damage, GI bleeding or other side effects of NSAIDs!
4) Avoid processed foods and soda
Processed foods are loaded with sugar and salt—both of which are kidney-wreckers—and soda is the #1 source of high fructose corn syrup in the world, as well as being dangerously acidic.
Sugar is an abrasive substance which stirs up inflammation in all of your arteries—including those that service your kidneys. This is why diabetics are at risk for kidney disease.
Salt raises your blood pressure, which in turn will stress your kidneys.
And like I mentioned earlier, HFCS creates lots of kidney-stressing uric acid.
5) Make sure your nutritional bases are covered
Nutrient deficiencies are a root cause for ALL diseases, and your kidneys are no exception.
When it comes to your kidneys, being deficient in vitamin B6 and magnesium can increase your risk of kidney stones.
In addition to having a diet of wholesome real foods, an outstanding multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core can help ensure all your nutritional bases are covered.
In addition to a therapeutic blend of essential vitamins and minerals (including B6 and magnesium), Super Core goes way beyond other multi-vitamins and provides an impressive variety of natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Free radical damage and inflammation are both significant causes of disease in all your organ systems, so it’s vital to have enough antioxidants to control free radicals and keep inflammation low.
Take care of your kidneys, and they will return the favor for years to come!
To your health,