We normally don’t think about the workhouses of our body, our kidneys much. We fail to understand why the yoga instructor tells us to breathe into the kidneys. Kidneys detoxify our body by removing the wastes and filtering it out of the body. Its more than essential to keep them healthy & functioning. Sadly, there are a lot of foods that we consume normally that keep our kidneys from functioning smoothly. Meat: Diets that are very high on animal protein cause damaging effects to the kidney as the protein metabolism puts a heavy load on the kidneys causing difficulty in the elimination of the wastes. These diets can lead to kidney stones from uric acid that is mostly present in foods like meat, fish & seafood. Animal protein diets leave acidic residue in the body. Our body favors alkaline state, therefore with the presence of this acidic residue, it extracts the calcium & mineral salts from the bones that forms calcium oxalate kidney stones. Consumption of veggies, seeds, grains & nuts etc. is recommended to give your body the protein it needs. Salt: For a stable fluid balance your body do needs little sodium which one can also get from various fruits & vegetables too. Table salt is most commonly used salt. When we have consumed too much salt, our kidneys respond by retaining water to dilute this electrolyte into the bloodstream for a proper heart function. This in turn places a lot of load over the kidneys. Therefore, long term consumption of salt leads to damaging effects of kidneys, heart & aorta. Salt intake triggers blood pressure causing harm to the kidney’s nephrons. Artificial Sweeteners A common belief that people have is the consumption of artificial sweeteners is healthy as these are low on calorie as compared to the actual sugar. Popular studies in the recent past show that these artificial sweeteners have detrimental effects on the kidney as with the consumption of just two diet sodas a day may leave you with damaged kidneys. Caffeine Your favorite tea, coffee, soda & foods that contain caffeine lay a huge amount of load on your kidneys. Caffeine basically stimulates the flow of blood, increasing the blood pressure stressing the kidneys. Caffeine increases the calcium excretion in urine leading to kidney stone. Dairy products The effects of dairy products are similar to that of the animal proteins. If dairy products are highly consumed, they lead to the excretion of calcium in urine which is associated with the generation of kidney stones. Risk of kidney failure and other associated diseases can be avoided with the lowered consumption rate of dairy products making the filtering function of kidneys easier. Unsweetened almond milk can be consumed as an alternative. Avoid these deadly scavengers and save the workhouse of your body!