How Diet and Blood Pressure Affect Your Kidneys

Kidneys filter the body's waste, excessive fluids and minerals, and emit them as urine. They create hormones that sustain bone strength and keep blood healthy. Poor kidney function may lead to hypertension, fluid retention and reduced red blood cells, however a proper diet and nutrition may help improve or maintain the health of your kidneys.


Foods such as milk and cheese contain elevated levels of phosphorus and may be harmful in individuals with kidney failure. Although milk and cheese are traditionally a good source of calcium the high levels of phosphorus overshadow the benefits due to the inability of failing kidneys to expel enough phosphorus to maintain adequate levels of calcium.

Individuals experiencing troubles with kidney function may have difficulties with foods high in the mineral boron such as raisins, nuts and prunes. Boron may help build your bones and muscles, but kidneys need to work unusually hard to excrete boron from the body.

The kidneys play a key role in the production of several hormones including vitamin D, supplementing your diet with foods high in vitamin D may help sustain kidney health. Foods such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and fortified foods such as orange juice and cereals are all found to contain high amounts of vitamin D.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is increased pressure inside the arteries that carry blood from your heart to different parts of the body. Untreated, high blood pressure can damage your kidneys, strains the heart and can cause damage to the arteries. If blood pressure is uncontrolled and remains high, it can damage the vessels that supply blood to your internal organs; this can lead to kidney disease, heart attack, strokes and loss of vision. High blood pressure can also develop as a result of kidney disease. The kidneys control the amount of fluid in your blood vessels and produce a hormone called rennin that helps to control blood pressure.

Simple Changes

Making healthy lifestyle decisions can help to keep kidneys functioning well. Eating fruit and vegetables including beans and grain-based food like bread, pasta, noodles and rice, lean meat like chicken and fish each week and limiting salty foods can ensure healthy kidney function. Other simple changes such as drinking plenty of water, maintaining a healthy weight, and doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases your heart rate on five or more days of the week can also be beneficial to one's overall health.

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