"You are what you eat". Consuming a well-balanced diet is key to a healthy life, but at times we simply ignore it. Keeping our kidneys healthy is vital for our overall health. Fortunately, a healthy diet can help keep the kidneys in good shape. Here’s how:
- Choose or prepare food with less salt or sodium: Avoid overly processed foods and stick with natural foods. Don’t consume an excessive amount of salty foods. Keeping a check on the sodium intake will keep your blood pressure levels safe and not lead to any complications with the kidney
- Eat the right amount of proteins: Consuming high amount of proteins can stress the kidneys. However, if you don’t get enough you can become weak. So, it is essential to calculate how much protein your body needs and limit your protein intake accordingly. Be aware of which foods contain high protein including meat, poultry, and seafood and incorporate them into your diet wisely.
- Fluids: Drinking more water is not always good. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) recommends drinking just enough fluids to keep your urine either light yellow or colorless. A standard recommendation is 13 cups daily for men and 9 for women. Also, cranberry juice has a positive association with kidney health for a long time, especially urinary tract infections and can be consumed.
- Watch your Potassium and Phosphorous: A diet high in potassium and phosphorous can thwart the kidney function. A diet with the right amount of Potassium will help your nerves and muscles work the right way. Also, the right phosphorous levels will help protect your bones and blood vessels. It is better to stay away from packaged foods, junk foods and colas that contain high phosphorous and potassium.
- Restrict the Fructose: As with sodium, your sugar levels are also to be watched. Since a high sugar diet can lead to diabetes and increase your risk for kidney disease, avoid high sugar foods. Sweetened beverages like sodas, fruit juices and energy drinks are not recommended.
- Kidney-friendly Superfoods: Adding the following foods to your diet can help promote optimal kidney function:
- Red bell peppers – Low potassium and rich in vitamins, folic acid and fiber
- Cabbage – Rich in phytochemicals that protect against toxins and low in potassium
- Ginger, Garlic and Onion – Anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents
- Kale – Rich in iron which is important for kidney health
- Fruits – Apples, berries, cherries and red grapes are good to maintain kidney health
- Watermelon – Has diuretic properties that help to flush out toxins
Keeping your kidney in good health is essential to lead a happy and disease-free life. So, start out by making small changes to your diet by following the above tips.