Ever wonder what those two little bean-shaped organs are that are found around our midsection? Those are kidneys, and even though they are small (each of them are about the size of a small fist), kidneys and kidney health is essential to our daily bodily functions. Kidneys are responsible for keeping up the composition and makeup of our blood stable.
If you suffer from chronic kidney disease or are on dialysis, you will need to know about food for kidney health. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy and delicious foods that can be included in a kidney-friendly diet to keep your kidneys strong and in good health.
Top Foods for Kidney Health
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are great for your blood and kidneys because they are low in potassium and pack a large amount of vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, B6, folic acid, and fiber. They also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against certain types of cancer. Incorporate some red peppers into your diet by:
- Mixing them in tuna or chicken salad.
- Add them raw into a dip.
- Roast some red bell peppers and place them atop your sandwiches or green salad.
- Chop up red bell peppers and put them into egg dishes, such as omelets or other breakfast dishes.
- Add them to kabobs during the summer or into a baked entrée.
Cabbage is a delicious vegetable that is filled with phytochemicals that are used to break apart free radicals. Phytochemicals are believed to be able to combat cancer, and are used to support cardiovascular health. It is high in vitamins: K, C B6, folic acid, and fiber. To make it even more appealing, cabbage is an inexpensive food option and can easily be incorporated into your meal plan.
- Use cabbage as coleslaw or as a topping for fish tacos or any other taco dishes.
- You can boil, steam, or microwave cabbage and add a touch of butter or cream cheese for flavor.
Cauliflower is another kidney-friendly vegetable food that packs a great deal of vitamin C, foliate, and fiber into your diet. Cauliflower also contains certain compounds that will help your liver neutralize any toxic substances that enter your blood stream. To incorporate this vegetable into your diet:
- Steam, boil, and season cauliflower for a delicious side-dish.
- Consider mashing cauliflower into a mashed potato consistency for a mashed potato replacement.
- Eat raw with dip or in salads.
While you might end up warding off some vampires as well, garlic is a super-food for reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol. It also serves antioxidant and anti-clotting properties. Some tips to follow with garlic are:
- Use garlic powder instead of garlic salt to add flavor to your dishes or meals.
- Cook with garlic when making any types of meat, vegetables, or sauces.
An apple a day will keep the doctor away and it will also help to keep your kidneys healthy. Apples are high in fiber and contain anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease, and decrease the risk of cancer.
- Apples are a great snack, juice, or baked treat.
These berries are blue because of the antioxidant compound known as anthocyanidins, which give this little fruit great nutritional value. Blueberries help reduce inflammation, have a lot of vitamin C, fiber, and also contain manganese.
- Eat blueberries for breakfast, in your cereal, or whip them up into a smoothie.
- Blueberries are also great for baking muffins, breads, or crisps.
Egg whites are 100% pure protein, and are great option for people watching their kidney health. They also have all the essential amino acids and less phosphorus that other protein sources.
- Make some delicious egg white omelets or egg sandwiches.
- Add egg whites into your smoothies or shakes to boost protein.
- You can also use egg whites in tuna, salads, or egg salad sandwiches.
Fish is great for anyone, but especially for people with kidney problems because of their anti-inflammatory fats (aka omega-3’s). Omega-3s help prevent against cancer, heart disease, help lower bad cholesterol, and help raise good cholesterol in your blood stream. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish about 2 to 3 times each week.
- Consider salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, herring, or rainbow trout for the best omega-3 sources.
Studies have shown that people who use olive oil tend to lower their chances of developing cancer or heart disease in their life time. Olive oil carries many good components, such as: an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that protect against oxidation, polyphenols, and antioxidant compounds.
- Use virgin or extra virgin olive oil in cooking or baking, as these two are high in antioxidants than regular olive oil.
- Pour your olive oil over salads, dip your bread it in, or use it as a marinade.
- Each day, your kidneys will filter anywhere between 120 and 150 quarts of blood. This will produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine that is composed of wastes and extra fluids.
- Kidneys help to keep your blood stable and allows the body to function normally.
- Each of your kidneys is made up of a million filtering units known as nephrons.
- Nephrons work in a two-step process. The glomerulus in the nephron allows fluid and waste products to pass through it, and they prevent blood cells and large molecules from passing. The filtered fluid is then passed through the tubule, and sends the essential minerals it needs back into your bloodstream – thereby removing any excess wastes.
- Kidneys help keep your levels of electrolytes stable, such as your: sodium, potassium, and phosphate levels.
- Kidneys help make hormones that regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells, and help your bones stay strong.
Develop Healthy Kidney-Strengthening Habits
With these foods for kidney health, you will be helping you body stay strong and healthy as well as pinpointing certain needs for optimal kidney health and well-being. To transform your diet and health in 30 days, enroll in this course to help you develop healthy habits for life.