Kidneys are small organs in the lower abdomen that play a significant role in the overall health of the body. A major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body through the urine. The kidneys remove drugs from the body, release hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells. They also produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones. Renal disease can result in bone loss and fracture, heart disease and stroke and too much acid in the blood.
Water is not classified as food, but it deserves an honorary mention. It is the most important drink in the body and cells use it to transport toxins into the bloodstream. The kidneys then use the water to filter the toxins out and create urine which then transports them out of the body. Drinking water supports healthy kidney function.
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It’s rich in vitamins, fibre, and phytochemicals which help maintain the digestive system and prevent constipation. The Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Cabbage
Blueberries are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants essential for the body. The powerful antioxidants in them help prevent diseases that affect the kidneys. They have trace amounts of minerals beneficial for kidney health including phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Other beneficial berries that can function as a healthy snack include cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, red grapes and cherries. Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Berries And Some Of The Important Berries To Eat
Red peppers have vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and fibre. Vitamin C is an antioxidant crucial for overall immunity. It also plays a role in energy production, blood flow and metabolism. Folate and B6 contribute to the formation of red blood cells. Red peppers also have an antioxidant called lycopene that keeps kidneys healthy and prevents renal failure.
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Cauliflower and broccoli
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli are high in vitamin C and are a good source of folate and fibre. The florets are also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. They are beneficial for healthy or slightly sluggish kidneys but are to be avoided if the kidneys are really struggling or you have gout.
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Garlic and onions
Garlic and onions are highly effective in reducing inflammation. It promotes kidney function by eliminating toxins present in the bloodstream. It also promotes healthy kidneys by regulating sodium levels when used as a replacement for salt and also helps manage hypertension. Lifestyle: 10 Health Benefits Of Adding Garlic To Your Food
Egg whites supply the body with essential amino acids. The yolk however is very high in phosphorus which is why only the egg whites are recommended for healthy kidneys.
Fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are a beneficial addition to any diet. Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce fat levels in the blood and also slightly lower blood pressure. This is important because high blood pressure is a risk factor for kidney disease so finding ways to lower it may protect the kidneys. Lifestyle: 8 Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Fish
Sweet potatoes have more fibre than white potatoes which causes them to break down slower. This decreases the spike in insulin levels after eating them. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamins and minerals including potassium which help balance the levels of sodium in the body reducing its effect on the kidneys. Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes
Apples have a low potassium content which prevents an increase in potassium in the blood. They also help prevent kidney damage. Health: 6 Reasons To Include Apples In Your Diet
Celery made up of almost 95% water does a great job at removing toxins, waste and contaminants from the body. Studies have shown that regular consumption of celery helps promote kidney health and prevent the development of kidney disease. 12 Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Celery
Bitter gourd, also known as Karera is a highly nutritious vegetable with detoxifying properties which helps reduce the burden on the kidneys to some extent. Its antioxidants protect the kidney from damage and its diuretic properties increase the frequency and flow of urination thus helping in the efficient removal of toxins from the body. Bitter gourd also breaks down kidney stones and reduces the high acid load that causes them thus protecting the kidneys from potential disease and damage. Health: The Benefits Of Bitter Gourd (Karela)
Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens including kale, spinach and chard contain a wide variety of vitamins, fibre, and minerals. Greens are rich in vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K. They also contain protective antioxidants. Other greens to consider adding to your diet include mustard greens, dandelion greens, and turnip greens. Dandelion increases urine production, cleans out the kidneys and reduces blood pressure. A word of caution though, leafy greens tend to be high in potassium and so may not be suitable for people on a restricted diet because of kidney disease or those on dialysis.
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