The kidney is a small nut-shaped organ that performs many critical functions. These include filtering out wastes from the body, secreting hormones for regulating blood pressure, balancing bodily fluids and producing urine. However, illnesses and conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to renal damage. Obesity, smoking, gender, age, and genetics can also have adverse impacts on kidney health.
Renal diseases affect almost 850 million people around the world annually. Despite the stats, not many are aware of the importance of kidney health. What is alarming is that these afflictions may not be symptomatic all the time.
That being said, what you eat plays a vital role in regulating kidney health. So this World Kidney Day, let us pledge to be more aware of the various renal disorders and stick to a kidney-friendly diet conducive to the health of this all-important organ.
With that in mind, read on to know more about some of the best kidney superfoods:
Cauliflower is a rich source of nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B. It has anti-inflammatory properties and provides the much-needed fibre in your diet. Moreover, the potassium, sodium and phosphorous contents of cauliflower are limited, something that is to be kept in check otherwise should one be suffering from kidney diseases.
With just the right proportions of sodium and potassium, this kidney-friendly food is a powerhouse of nutrients and a great source of antioxidants. The anthocyanin (group of red-blue plant pigments) content of blueberries helps to prevent diabetes, heart diseases, certain cancers, and cognitive degeneration.
Sea bass comprise different species of saltwater fish that are replete with proteins and the healthy Omega 3 fatty acids that have been proven to check fat levels in the blood and regulate blood pressure. While the phosphorous content in sea bass is lower compared to other sea fish, you must keep a check on your consumption.
One of the better kidney-friendly foods, red grapes are packed with healthy nutrients like Vitamin C and flavonoids (plant compounds found across vegetables and fruits). Similar to other phytonutrients, flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties and are good for the immune system. Red grapes also contain resveratrol (a compound with antioxidant properties) that protects against diabetes, heart conditions and cognitive decline.
Egg whites are an excellent source of protein; it is a kidney superfood that contains low quantities of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. These are particularly good for dialysis patients who need a high protein diet with limited phosphorus content.
Garlic can be a flavourful supplement in a kidney-friendly diet. Besides, it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, B6, and manganese. More importantly, garlic is reported to fight plaque, lower cholesterol levels and keep inflammation in check. It makes sense to include garlic in your kidney-friendly foods list.
Many whole grains tend to have high phosphorus quantities; not buckwheat. This healthy exception is highly nutritious, packing in generous proportions of B Vitamins, fibre, magnesium and iron. This is what makes this gluten-free whole carb the ideal kidney-friendly food.
This kidney superfood contains monounsaturated fats, is phosphorous-free and has exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. The content of sodium and potassium is also negligible.
Bulgur is an excellent whole grain that counts as one of the essential superfoods for kidney health. Besides being a rich source of protein and dietary fibres, bulgur contains a good measure of B Vitamins, magnesium, iron and manganese.
Rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and fibre; cabbage is a power-packed vegetable that is a good source of folic acid and Vitamin B6 — nutrients that are essential for many organ systems. Further, the trace amounts of sodium, potassium and phosphorous make it an affordable kidney superfood.
When it comes to kidney health, awareness is the key. Besides a diligent check-up routine, make sure to include the kidney-friendly foods, as mentioned above, in your diet. This way, you can check the onset of renal ailments, if any.
If you experience symptoms relevant to renal conditions, avail medical intervention immediately. Work in tandem with your healthcare provider to narrow down on a kidney-friendly diet.11