Your kidneys play many critical roles in your body. They regulate the amount of water that your body retains or excretes for proper hydration. They act as a filter for your blood, keeping the body’s level of minerals in balance and helping in the excretion of waste products.
They release hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells, regulate blood pressure, and preserve calcium for your bones. Your kidneys work hard as your body’s filter, and it is imperative that you eat a healthy kidney diet that will not cause your kidneys to overwork. The foods you eat should not contain an excessive amount of minerals and protein that will cause a strain on your kidneys.
Choose foods that are low in potassium. Potassium is one of the minerals that your kidneys regulate. A weakened kidney will not be able to filter potassium properly. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat and muscle weakness. Vegetables that are rich in antioxidants are particularly helpful. These include red bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage and green beans. Fruits that are rich in nutrients but low in potassium are berries, apples, cherries, and pineapple. Pasta and noodle products are also low in potassium.
It is important to keep sodium levels under control. Avoid packaged meats that have been heavily processed, which are very high in sodium. Processed meals should also be avoided, as well as fast foods. A single serving of canned soup can easily provide half of your daily allowance of salt intake. When eating out, opt for low-sodium options if these are offered.
Consuming a lot of protein from animal sources can overwork your kidneys. Proteins are important building blocks for muscle, but the sources of these proteins should come from a combination of animal and plants. Legumes are an excellent source of plant protein and should be incorporated into the diet. Egg whites are also a great source of protein because they contain important amino acids, and they are considered “complete” proteins.
Foods that reduce the body’s inflammatory process are good for your kidneys. These include foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Cold-water fish and olive oil are two great examples.
Do not forget to drink water. Water flushes out toxins from the kidneys. A build-up of toxins can lead to kidney stones or infections, and it can also contaminate the blood. A body that is well-hydrated should produce urine that is slightly yellow. Usually, six to eight glasses of water per day would suffice, adjustable to your body weight and daily level of physical activity. Avoid hydrating your body with juices because these are usually high in sugar. The exception is cranberry juice with no additives. Cranberry juice is great for your digestion and for your urinary tract. It can help in flushing out toxins from your kidneys.
Before starting any healthy kidney diet, it is important to consult with a physician, especially if you have concerns about your renal health. Nothing can replace a regimen of proper exercise and diet to keep your kidneys strong and healthy.