Kidneys are located at the bottom end of the rib cage, on either side of the spine. What they do is very important to the proper functioning of the body – filter waste products and impurities found in the blood. These impurities and waste products get disposed of later in the form of urine.
Other functions of our kidneys include regulation of blood pressure, potassium, pH, and salt level in our bodies. They also regulate red blood cells production and support hormone production. That is why keeping kidneys in good health is crucial to maintaining the body’s overall health. =
The Role of a kidney-friendly diet
When we say a “kidney-friendly diet,” we mean following a way of eating that protects the kidneys from any damage. In addition, if you are a dialysis patient, you need to take further care. A dialysis patient’s diet will be completely different from a person who wants to keep their kidneys in good condition.
Generally, a kidney-friendly diet puts a limit on the intake of some foods and fluids. This helps in prohibiting the build-up of electrolytes and other minerals that are harmful to kidney health. Also, it helps in maintaining the right balance between minerals, proteins, vitamins, and calories. Here are five diet tips you can follow to maintain good kidney health.
Don’t add extra salt to food items
Health experts say that the best way not to allow kidney disease to worsen or keep your kidney healthy is by keeping a lid on diabetes and hypertension. Over time, both these health concerns invariably lead to kidney damage.
An effective way of controlling hypertension is limiting the amount of salt you consume every day. A lot of people add more salt to their food when they are eating. Instead of following this practice, you can use herbs, spices, and condiments with low sodium content. Another good practice is properly washing and rinse food items, such as meat, fruits, and vegetables.
Reduce potassium intake
Some foods and drinks contain high percentages of potassium, which is not suitable for our health. In most cases, healthy kidneys remove additional potassium that your body can do without themselves. However, if your kidney is damaged or not functioning as it is supposed to, potassium levels in your body can reach alarmingly high levels.
It not only harms your kidney but also puts your heart at risk. Hence, you should keep track of the potassium levels in your body to stay clear of any such harm. You can replace potassium-high foods with chicken, white rice, apple, pineapple, strawberry, grapes, onion, cauliflower, lettuce, and more.
Not protein-rich, protein right
Proteins play a critical role in developing our body and the optimal functioning of almost every organ, including kidneys. So, we must take the suitable protein in the correct quantity. It has been found that a protein-rich diet puts a lot of work on kidneys, which results in their deterioration over time.
As a result, the type of protein and its amount are essential considerations to make. People with a problem with their kidneys should stay away from food items, such as fish, red meat, eggs, etc. They should replace these items with rice, vegetables, fruits, and others.
Go-to food items
Most foods won’t do you any harm if they are taken in the right quantities. However, if you have a health issue, you should be careful in choosing your food. So, if your kidneys aren’t too healthy, you should avoid eating bananas, raw carrots, broccoli, processed meat, avocado, tomato, and potatoes, amongst others. It would help if you ate more pineapples, egg white, blueberries, olive oil, cranberries, onion, and more.
Keep your heart health in mind when choosing foods
Eating foods that are good for your heart will eventually be good for your kidneys and blood vessels too. They will not allow the accumulation of fat in any of these organs. Heart-healthy food includes vegetables, lean meat, yogurt, fruits, and others. Frying food items isn’t the way to go if you are working on your heart or kidney health. Go for roasting, grilling, cooking, or baking your food items. By not frying food items, you are using oil very sparingly, which is good for a healthy heart and kidneys.
Taking these diet tips for healthy kidneys seriously, you will be able to maintain your kidneys in a good, working condition for a long time to come. For dialysis patients’ diet, this list may require a few modifications, but the idea remains the same. It is best to get in touch with your doctor to adopt the best practices regarding nutrition consumption.
Take a supplement like Balance of Nature for even more health-friendly vitamins.