10 Kidney-Friendly Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet
Just as you need to take care of your heart and your lungs, you also need to take care of your kidneys, an organ whose function it is to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in the form of urine. If you aren’t getting enough kidney-friendly foods into your diet, such as those listed below, it can lead to chronic renal failure and even renal failure, both of which can be fatal if left untreated. Here are 10 kidney-friendly foods to incorporate into your diet today!
1) Spice Up Your Food
Spicy food is a great way to boost your metabolism and lose weight. Pepper, in particular, has been shown to help support kidney health by improving urinary tract function. Other foods that aid healthy kidneys include ginger, which can ease nausea and inflammation, as well as artichokes and broccoli, which are rich in antioxidants. Additionally, avocados contain potassium an electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance in our body while grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C.
2) Find the Right Combination of Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fiber
Beans, whole grains, and leafy greens are packed with nutrients that aid kidney health. Plus, they’re all full of fiber, which helps your kidneys properly eliminate waste products from your body. In order to aid healthy kidney function, make sure you’re incorporating enough protein into your diet (lean meats and eggs are a great place to start), choosing carbohydrates wisely (think quinoa instead of a piece of bread or sweet potato instead of white potatoes), and eating plenty of vegetables every day.
3) Drink Water
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to keep your kidneys healthy is by drinking enough water. The average person should be drinking eight cups of water a day, but for those who suffer from kidney disease or kidney failure, an even higher amount is recommended. For every cup of caffeinated beverage you consume, it’s suggested that you add an additional 8 ounces of water or other low-calorie fluid into your diet.
4) Take Supplements For Better Nutrition
In addition to a healthy diet, kidney patients need to make sure they’re getting adequate nutrition. Before taking any type of supplements, speak with your doctor first. Certain medications can damage your kidneys so it’s important that you let your doctor know if you’re taking any type of over-the-counter or prescription medicine. Also, don’t take potassium in supplement form unless advised by a medical professional because too much potassium can be harmful for people with kidney disease.
5) Cut Back on Salt
When people eat a high-salt diet, their kidneys filter extra fluid and your body retains excess water. Limit your intake of processed foods that contain high amounts of sodium, including canned soups, frozen dinners and fast food. Additionally, start watching how much table salt you’re using when cooking at home. And instead of adding more at the table, use less and let your food’s flavor shine through.
6) Embrace Vegetables That are Good For The Kidneys
Vibrant veggies like kale, spinach, and beets are all essential parts of a well-rounded diet and they’re also particularly good for people with kidney problems. That’s because they offer many key nutrients your kidneys need in order to stay strong and healthy. Check out our list of 10 foods that are great for kidney health.
7) Eat Legumes Regularly
Beans, lentils, and other legumes are a great source of fiber, which helps keep you regular. They’re also full of protein and good nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Pair them with nutrient-rich vegetables and whole grains for a one-two nutritional punch. Consider adding these kidney-friendly foods to your diet: black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), pinto beans, white beans or navy beans.
8) Give Dairy A Try If You Can’t Tolerate It
If you can’t tolerate dairy, it’s still possible for you to consume kidney-friendly nutrients like protein and calcium. Just be sure to get those nutrients from other sources like beans and fish. For instance, cottage cheese contains casein, which may harm your kidneys; therefore, it should not be consumed by people with kidney disease. On the other hand, hard cheeses that have been aged do not contain casein; in fact, they are often a good source of calcium.
9) Eat Eggs Sparingly or Avoid Them Altogether
Many people are surprised to learn that eggs aren’t as healthy as they think. Overconsumption of eggs can actually be quite harmful. Avoid eating more than one egg per day, or avoid them altogether if you have pre-existing heart conditions or high cholesterol.
10) Prepare Healthy Meals in Advance
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have a big enough food budget to stock up on all of your favorite fruits and veggies every week. When hunger strikes, it can be difficult to resist convenience foods that are loaded with salt and other ingredients we try to avoid when eating well. The solution? Prepare healthy meals in advance so you can grab something good for your kidneys when a craving hits.