The heart and brain are the two organs that rank highest among all others, but there are other organs that are also important. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are securely tucked away in the abdominal cavity and are in charge of purifying the blood and preserving the delicate fluid balance in the body. If you’ve ever had kidney issues, you know how important this pair can be and why it’s so important to eat foods that are healthy for your kidneys and don’t put them under extra stress.
How those bean-shaped organs work
Your kidneys, which are situated on either side of your spine near the end of your rib cage, are hard at work filtering your blood, doing so at a rate of half a cup every minute. The kidneys contain roughly one million nephrons, which function as a filtration system to separate the blood from waste as it passes in order to separate the clean blood from waste products.
Urine is produced by the kidneys and sent to the bladder via two small tubes before being eliminated from the body. These helpful organs are also maintaining the fluid equilibrium, which is another crucial job they have. What if they failed to perform their job and all that fluid was simply allowed to accumulate until you ruptured?
These two beans are unique because of this. Although its function may not be attractive, it is crucial to your survival.
Did you realize? One famous person who has spoken up about kidney health is Sarah Hyland, who plays the lead character in the popular TV show Modern Family. Due to renal dysplasia, she has had two transplants and has been on dialysis throughout her life.
Then, how can they be kept in good health, and are there any foods that help the kidneys function?
Why your diet matters
Around 14% of people have chronic renal disease, which is a generic phrase for the gradual decrease of kidney function (US). Most folks won’t even be aware that something is amiss in the first phases. Only later, when the kidneys start to fail, do the signs become more obvious.
What to look out for
Watch out for the following signs if you are at risk or have a family history of kidney disease:
- Muscle spasms
- Nausea and diarrhea
- Lack of appetite
- Swelling, especially in your ankles and feet
- Difficulty sleeping
Additionally, make an appointment with your doctor for blood and urine tests, who can help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need.
Already know you have renal disease.
If you already have kidney disease and are aware of it, you are also aware that one of the best methods to guarantee better health outcomes is through a long-term diet. While we would all like a magic pill to make it happen for us, the truth is that it takes dedication, every day.
It’s crucial that you feed these two tiny organs with the proper nutrients because they are in charge of processing waste inside your body. So without further ado, let’s find out which foods are the greatest to eat to support kidney health.
Keeping to it is a great tip. We are aware of how difficult it can be to limit yourself when it comes to your favorite foods and stays on track. However, this is crucial if your health is at stake. Discover new, non-food rewards for excellent behavior, such as a trip, a new wardrobe, or even a relaxing massage, and you’ll quickly find that you miss those pleasures less.
Best kidney-friendly foods
Although there isn’t a definitive list of the “best foods to heal your kidneys,” there are a number of foods and dietary categories that support renal health. By altering your diet, you can either naturally increase kidney function or at the very least stop the progression of renal disease.
One of the best things you can do for your renal health is to add a big dosage of that life-giving H2O every day, provided that you do not have any fluid restrictions because of your dialysis therapy. Although coffee, tea, and fruit juices are all fluids, they also contain additional ingredients that make them a little harder for your body to handle, meaning that your kidneys have to work harder. So, stick to the obvious topics!
To assist prevent kidney stones and lower the risk of infection, some renal patients advise squeezing a little lemon into the water. Adding a slice won’t hurt if you enjoy your water to have some flavor, even if this hasn’t been investigated sufficiently to be shown useful or ineffective.
2. Cranberry juice
You’ve probably heard that cranberry juice is the ultimate go-to beverage to cure all ills if you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI). Warning! If you observe blood in your urine or experience severe pain, visit a doctor right once.
Vitamin C found in cranberry juice can help maintain the condition of your kidneys (and hopefully infection free). However, be careful because many stores sell variants with excessive sugar content, and you can find that more natural ones are a little sour.
3. Omega 3
Unfortunately, your body is unable to produce this fatty acid on its own, so you must look for additional sources to satisfy your craving. Fish like salmon, herring, or sardines are excellent sources, but if you don’t like the taste of seafood, you may always take supplements.
Omega 3 is a crucial component for managing your health because it prevents heart disease, aids in blood clotting and blood pressure, and is particularly important if you have kidney problems.
Few people can resist luscious, juicy blueberries when it comes to fruits. These tiny blue globes have a delightful flavor, but they also include fiber, vitamin C, and few calories. Berries can be a great antioxidant booster and revitalizer for people who have renal issues.
Feel free to indulge on cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, and cherries as well as the other helpful berry buddies.
You either learned to love spinach or detest it as a child, but this straightforward green vegetable can be a useful side dish for any meal. It has low potassium content and low salt content, which is good for kidney health. It also contains plenty of nutrients like fiber, vitamin K and C, and folate.
6. Low potassium foods
(apples, peaches, carrots, white bread, rice, and pasta)
Potassium is a crucial substance that controls how the body’s muscles and nerves work. It contributes to maintaining a proper fluid balance and controls the heart’s rhythm.
You might believe that the more potassium the better, but for people who have kidney issues, a suitable level that isn’t too high is crucial. That’s because the body’s appropriate amount is maintained by those tiny organs called bean tissues.
Pectin, a type of soluble fiber that is abundant in apples and other fruits and vegetables, can help control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They also have significant amounts of vitamin C in them.
What should you avoid?
Now that you are aware of the meals that can improve kidney function, let’s examine the foods that can really damage your kidneys.
This is the kidney’s number one opponent. Salt certainly adds flavor to food, but it also has some rather serious drawbacks. The reason for this is that the salt we use to season meals contains sodium, a substance that can alter your blood pressure. When your BP is too high, your heart and those vital kidneys are put under stress.
Considering the rise in packaged and prepared foods, reducing your salt intake can be difficult, but it is doable. Try to prepare meals at home as often as you can, keep an eye on how much salt you add to your food, taste it before you eat it, and try to stay away from ready-to-eat meals.
2. Be careful with your meats
Red meat’s potential impact on kidney health has been called into question by recent studies. Early findings suggest that red meat proteins can make your kidneys work harder, and people who consume fewer of them have somewhat better outcomes in CKD, even if nothing conclusive has yet been confirmed.
3. Foods with a phosphorus content
It’s best to monitor your phosphorus levels in order to keep your kidneys functioning optimally. Found in dark-colored colas, dairy products, cereals, seafood, beans, meats, and other foods. This substance helps maintain the health of your bones. However, consuming too much can be harmful, so be mindful of your intake and make an effort to limit it.
4. Whole-wheat items
You may believe that whole-grain and whole-wheat goods are healthier for you, and you would be correct in many instances. They are brimming with minerals and fiber that are missing from white goods. But because white bread and grains have lower levels of phosphorus and potassium than other foods. General dietary advice suggests that they may be beneficial for people with renal disease.
5. Potassium-rich foods
While potassium can help to regulate the nervous and circulatory systems. As we’ve already mentioned, too much potassium can be harmful. Watch carefully for the following items if you’re on a renal diet: oranges, bananas, dairy products, apricots, sweet potatoes, and normal potatoes.
This piece is not meant to take the place of medical or nutritional advice from a professional. You should be careful to make sure your diet satisfies your unique demands and requirements. Because renal disease management is very individualized.