5 Jobs Your Kidneys Do That You Probably Don’t Think About
You probably don’t think about your kidneys very much. At least, not if you have two healthy kidneys. They’re silently doing important work while you go about your business...work, play, relax.
That’s a different story for an estimated 37 million people in the United States living with kidney disease. For them, kidney health is usually top of mind because of daily dietary restrictions, medications, maybe even dialysis.
If your kidneys are healthy, it’s easy to ignore the fact that they perform a number of critical jobs to keep you healthy.
So what are your kidneys doing while you’re doing other things? Your kidneys perform five critical jobs, according to the National Kidney Foundation:
1. Remove excess fluids and waste
Your diet and lifestyle ultimately has an impact on the blood flowing through your body. And to keep it clean, your blood needs to go through a filter. Your kidneys filter about 200 quarts of blood a day, removing toxins and excess fluids when you urinate.
2. Keep blood pressure in check
You probably think about your heart when you think of blood pressure. But your kidneys play a role in blood pressure too. If your blood pressure is too low, your kidneys can increase fluid retention to raise blood pressure. If it’s too high, the kidneys respond to help lower it. Healthy kidneys also produce hormones that help control blood flow to manage blood pressure.
3. Produce red blood cells
You need red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to your heart, muscles, brain, and other body parts. You also need red blood cells for energy. Red blood cells are made in bone marrow. So how are your kidneys involved? Healthy kidneys produce a hormone the body needs to make red blood cells.
4. Build strong bones
Eat vitamin-rich foods, soak up some sun, and do strength training activities. These things help build strong bones. But that can’t happen without your kidneys. That’s because healthy kidneys create vitamin D to help your body absorb calcium and phosphorus (minerals that build strong bones).
5. Control pH levels
Too much acid in the body or not enough. It’s a balance act that’s frequently impacted by the foods you eat, lifestyle habits, and other factors. And your kidneys keep those pH levels in check to protect your health.
Want to live longer, feel better, and improve your overall health? Eat healthy foods. It’s one of the best things you can do to protect your healthy, reduce your risk for chronic disease, and enjoy a positive quality of life.
And it’s easier than you might think. Just check out our selection of meals made from fresh ingredients that only take minutes to prepare.