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Tips for Keeping Kidneys Healthy

By Ryan Devon

Kidney disease is the ninth-leading cause of death in the Unites States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To keep your kidneys healthy, maintain a healthy body weight, keep your blood sugar under control and consume a diet rich in antioxidants. Additionally, you may want to consider consuming certain drinks that are good for the kidneys.

Green Tea

Green tea is a popular beverage that can reduce the incidence of kidney stones. Kidney stones affect nearly 5 percent of the world's population, the November 2010 issue of the journal "CrystEngComm" reports. Kidney stones can be painful and difficult and costly to treat. In their research paper, scientists at China's Sichuan University found that green tea stunted the formation of the crystals that ultimately form kidney stones.


Your kidneys are your body's filtration system. Every day they filter out approximately 2 quarts of waste products from your body, the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse reports. For your kidneys to effectively remove waste products, adequate fluid intake is required. Because it contains no calories, sugar or additives water is the ideal choice for reducing the incidence of kidney stones, the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse notes. It recommends that people drink 12 cups of water per day.

Red Wine

Red wine is rich in a unique anti-inflammatory compound known as resveratrol. According to the February 2006 issue of "Clinical Nutrition," red wine can help protect kidney cells from damage caused by high cholesterol levels. In this animal research study, rats with high cholesterol given daily red wine had significantly healthier kidneys than those that did not consume red wine. David J. Hanson, Ph.D., Sociology Department, State University of New York at Potsdam, writes that drinking red wine in moderation decreases your risk for kidney cancer, kidney stones and other health issues. Seven 5-ounce glasses of red wine per week for females and 14 5-ounce glasses per week for males is considered moderate drinking. Rather than providing health benefits, Victoria J. Drake, Ph.D., research associate with the Linus Pauling Institute, reports excessive alcohol consumption is linked to major illnesses, such as hypertension, stroke, some cancers, and liver disease, which results in fluid accumulation and kidney failure. Talk to your doctor before starting to drink red wine to ensure that it's appropriate for you.

Tomato Juice

Tomatoes are abundant in the antioxidant lycopene, best known for its protective effect on prostate cancer. However, lycopene can also keep kidney cells healthy by protecting them from damage cause by oxidation -- a natural byproduct of your body's metabolism -- the June 2007 issue of "Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology" reports. In this animal study, lycopene was found to shield kidney cells from destruction in rats with high levels of oxidation. However, no human studies to date have linked tomato juice consumption and kidney health.

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