Dream of waking up energized with rosy cheeks, thick hair and no headache? You’re in luck — just giving your kidneys a little TLC can do just that. The reason: Healthy kidneys filter out toxins that can make you feel draggy, down and even sick. Try these tricks.
Energize with water and wine.
Sipping six ounces of red wine and 32 ounces of water daily can reduce your risk of kidney disease — and the chronic tiredness it brings — 37 percent, a new study suggests.
Stimulating nutrients in red wine called polyphenols help strengthen and heal kidney cells, while water flushes fatigue- triggering toxins and wastes from your body faster.
Eating four pears weekly cuts your odds of kidney woes 35 percent, say Tufts University researchers. Sugar-stabilizing nutrients and fiber in pears keep blood vessels in your kidneys in peak condition, says nutritionist Brenda Watson, C.N.C., author of The Skinny Gut Diet.
Swedish studies also show compounds in pears help prevent painful
Get enough dairy.
“Preventing — or reversing — high blood pressure is essential for good kidney function,” says nephrologist Leslie Spry, M.D., medical director of the Dialysis Center of Lincoln in Nebraska. Left unchecked, blood pressure surges wear out the kidney capillaries that filter blood and remove wastes, he explains.
The Rx: Two cups of yogurt and one glass of milk daily. Together, those foods deliver 1,200 mg. of blood vessel-relaxing calcium.
Take grape seed extract.
Clogged blood vessels in your kidneys can damage and age them, just as they can in the heart. Fortunately, taking a daily 300-milligram dose of grape seed extract helps flush out fatty buildup caused by a less-than-perfect diet.
Find grape seed supplements in health food stores. The bonus: Grape seed helps your kidneys flush out tissue-damaging toxins, slowing skin
aging three times more effectively than vitamin C.
Go for walks.
Walking for 30 minutes, five times weekly, cuts the risk of kidney disease (and the fluid buildup it triggers) 33 percent in two weeks — and doing it daily slashes your risk 59 percent, say Chinese scientists.
Try baking soda.
At least one in nine people already has kidney problems. And if your doctor has said you’re one of them, here’s some great news: Ingesting just a pinch of baking soda daily cuts the risk of more serious troubles
for folks with flagging kidneys by up to 67 percent, a recent British study found.
The kitchen staple neutralizes damaging waste products, such as acids and ammonia. The ideal dose varies, so check with your doctor
before trying this remedy.
Should you get tested?
Kidney disease usually starts out symptom-free. Yet if it’s caught early, it can often be treated with common high blood pressure medications. If you have any risk factors — such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or obesity — you’re smart to get checked. A variety of lab tests are available to check kidney function, but the National Kidney Foundation recommends these two as a great starting point: A blood
test to measure your glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which reveals how well your kidneys are cleaning your blood, or a urine test for albumin, a protein that can leak out through ailing kidneys.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Reverse Aging.