Kidneys are two powerful bean-shaped organs that perform various important functions in the body. Kidney helps in releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure, filtering waste products, producing urine, balancing fluids in the body and many other important tasks.
There are more than 26 million in the world suffer from acute to chronic kidney diseases. Kidney ailments are silent killers and may cause a lot of damage to health if not treated timely. Kidney diseases are associated with major health issues such as hypertension (High Blood Pressure), diabetes, and heart disease. This problem can also be developed genetically and may carry a number of health risks of its own. However, smoking, obesity, and gender can be a few other factors that may increase the risk of kidney disease. When the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, waste builds up in the blood, including waste accumulation in the blood from food.
Some people prefer medications over limiting their diet. Some drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like hifenac p may cause kidney damage if taken on a regular basis. If the person is experiencing pain such as back pain or arthritis, the one must consult a doctor and find a better way to control the pain instead of putting the kidney at risk.
Although, limiting the consumption of certain food items in the diet may help in decreasing the accumulation of waste products in the blood. It also improves kidney function and protects it from further damage. The dietary limits vary on the stage of the kidney disease. Usually, a kidney-friendly diet includes potassium and sodium to 2,000mg per day and limiting phosphorus to 1,000mg per day. Those who are suffering from chronic kidney disease may need to limit the amount of protein in their diet. On the other hand, people suffering from end-stage kidney problem need to increase the amount of protein in their diet.
Here are some food items that people with kidney problem may take:
- Blueberries: Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants and are packed with enough amounts of nutrients.
contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which helps to protect against certain cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline. They are low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus which make a fantastic addition to a kidney-friendly diet.
One cup (148 grams) of fresh blueberries contains:
- Potassium:114 mg
- Phosphorus:18 mg
- Sodium:5 mg
- Egg Whites: Egg Whites are full of nutrition and contain a high amount of phosphorus. Egg white is a better option to follow a healthy kidney diet. It is considered as a kidney-friendly source of protein.
Two large egg whites (66 grams) contain:
- Sodium: 110 mg
- Phosphorus: 10 mg
- Potassium: 108 mg
- Cranberries: Cranberries are very beneficial for the kidney and urinary tract. This fruit contains phytonutrients known as A-typeproanthocyanidins, which helps in preventing the bacteria from sticking to the lining of the bladder and urinary tract. Thus it is very effective in preventing infection. This fruit is very beneficial for those with kidney disease.
One cup (100 grams) of fresh cranberries contains:
- Sodium: 2 mg
- Phosphorus: 13 mg
- Potassium: 85 mg
- Turnips: This root vegetable is an excellent replacement for veggies that are higher in potassium like winter squash and potatoes. This vegetable is loaded with fiber and nutrients like Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Calcium and manganese.
A half cup (78 grams) of cooked turnips contains:
- Potassium: 138 mg
- Phosphorus: 20 mg
- Sodium:5 mg
- Water: Drinking enough amount of water a day can be the best tool. Always aim for at least 6-8 glasses of water a day depending on body If the person is more active then an additional amount of water is required. Water helps to flush all the toxins that may lead to kidney stones or bacterial infections.
- Onions: Onions are best to provide sodium-free flavor to the kidney-diet dishes. It is very difficult for some patients to reduce salt in their meal. Onions are a good source of manganese, Vitamin B and Vitamin C. It also contains prebiotic fibers to keep the digestive system healthy.
One small onion (70 grams) contains:
- Sodium: 3 mg
- Phosphorus: 20 mg
- Potassium: 102 mg
- Cranberry juice: Cranberry juice is the best option for cleaning out the kidney. Be careful with the choice as some of the juices contain a very little amount of fruit and are full of sugar which can be harmful to overall health.
- Garlic: It is a very good alternative to salt. Kidney patients are advised to limit sodium in their diet. Garlic is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C and also contains a sulfur compound that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Three cloves (9 grams) of garlic contain:
- Phosphorus: 14 mg
- Sodium:5 mg
- Potassium: 36 mg
It is always good to discuss the food choices with the doctor to make sure that the patient will get well balanced and kidney-friendly diet. Dietary restrictions vary on the type and level of the kidney damage of the person. It also depends on the medical interventions such as dialysis treatment or medication. Following a renal diet can be daunting at times. However, working with a doctor to maintain proper kidney health can help the person to design a proper diet to keep the kidneys healthy and fit.