What to Eat for Kidney Health

Most people have two kidneys.  The kidneys are located on either side of the spine, just below the rib cage.  Each kidney is about the size of your fist and shaped like a ‘kidney bean’.  Your kidneys are connected to your bladder by tubes called ureters.

What Your Kidneys Do

Think of your kidneys like a pasta strainer or filter.  Your kidneys keep some things in your body that you need, and get rid of other things that you don’t.  The kidneys also do many other jobs that you need to live.

Your Kidneys:

  • Make urine
  • Remove wastes and extra fluid from your blood
  • Control your body’s chemical balance
  • Help control your blood pressure
  • Help keep your bones healthy
  • Help you make red blood cells

Below are the super foods to keep your kidneys happy and protected from disease.

Top 15 Kidney Friendly Super Foods

 1. Red bell peppers

Red bell peppers are low in potassium. In addition they are rich in vitamins A, C, B6, folic acid and fiber. They also contain the antioxidant lycopene, which protects against prostate cancer.

 2. Cabbage

Crunchy cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable filled with phytochemicals which work to break apart free radicals. Many phytochemicals are believed to combat cancer and support cardiovascular health.  It’s also high in vitamins K and C, high in fiber and a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid, yet low in potassium, so it’s especially kidney-friendly.

 3. Cauliflower

Another kidney-friendly super food is cauliflower. This cruciferous vegetable brings lots of vitamin C to your plate, along with folate and fiber. In addition it contains compounds that help your liver neutralize toxic substances.

 4. Garlic

Garlic is good for reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol. It also has antioxidant and anti-clotting properties. (Cooking garlic will not affect its antioxidant properties, but it will reduce its anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effects.)

 5. Onion

Onion is full of flavonoids, particularly quercetin. Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that is believed to help reduce heart disease and protect against many forms of cancer. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Low in potassium, onions are not only kidney-friendly; they also contain chromium, a mineral that assists your body with the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

 6. Apples

High in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, apples help reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease and decrease your risk of cancer.

 7. Cranberries

Cranberries are great for preventing urinary tract infections, because they make urine more acidic and help keep bacteria from attaching to the inside of the bladder. They’ve also been shown to protect against heart disease.

 8. Blueberries

Get their blue color from antioxidant compounds called anthocyanidins. Blueberries get high marks for nutrition, thanks to natural compounds that reduce inflammation and lots of vitamin C and fiber. They also contain manganese, which contributes to healthy bones.

 9. Raspberries

Raspberries contain a compound called ellagic acid, which helps neutralize free radicals. The berry’s red color comes from antioxidants called anthocyanins.

 10. Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in two types of antioxidants, plus they contain lots of vitamin C, manganese and fiber. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and also help keep your heart healthy.

 11. Cherries

Cherries are filled with antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect your heart. When eaten daily, they have been shown to reduce inflammation.

 12. Red grapes

Choose those with red or purple skin grapes for the highest flavonoid content.

 13. Egg whites

Use egg whites for omelets or egg white sandwiches. You can also add them to smoothies or shakes. Hard boil eggs and use the whites to use in tuna or green salads.

 14. Fish

They also help lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (the good cholesterol). The types of fish that have the most omega-3s are salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, herring and rainbow trout. (NEVER FARM raised).

15. Olive oil

The main active molecules in olive oil have shown antioxidant activity. Virgin olive oilcontains the highest levels of these molecules.  Oleic acid has shown activity in cancer prevention, while squalene has also been identified as having anti-cancer effects. Research has shown that consuming olive oil is beneficial for colon cancer as well as breast cancer.

Other things you can do

  • Limit Salt
  • Eat foods with low phosphorus content
  • Limit protein
  • Drink more fluids
  • Control your blood glucose level
  • Keep your cholesterol levels in the target range
  • Exercise

~ Be Well!


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