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6 Foods To Add To Your Diet For Healthy Kidneys!

World Kidney health day

March 14, 2019, is observed as World Kidney Day. The theme for this year is ‘Kidney Health For Everyone Everywhere.’

Kidneys, just like any other part of the body, are essential for the proper functioning of the body. These bean-shaped organs not only play a key role in the filtering of the blood but also aid in eliminating toxins from the body and maintain blood pressure. And to keep these organs healthy and prevent kidney disease, the first and the foremost tip is to eat a healthy diet. Yes, the role of diet and nutrition in keeping the kidneys healthy and fit cannot be underestimated. A diet rich in all the essential nutrients not only promotes kidney function but also lowers the risk of kidney infection and stones. So this World Kidney Day, let’s share a list of few foods for better kidney health.

6 Common Foods For Kidney Health

Here are a few foods that you can include in your diet to promote kidney health and stay healthy.

1. Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are low in potassium and are packed with the benefits of essential vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin C, A, B6, folic acid and fiber. High in antioxidants such as lycopene, these peppers help the body to get rid of free radicals and inflammation and protects the body from different forms of cancer. Bell peppers also stimulate the secretion of saliva and gastric juices and therefore improves a person’s appetite along with lowering the toxic load of a person and keep the kidneys healthy.

Tip: You can include bell peppers in the form of salad along with other vegetables such as cabbage, cucumber, carrots, lettuce, and broccoli. Adding red bell peppers to curries or using it in the form of a mixed vegetable can not only imparts unique taste and flavor to the food but also make it look appetizing. You can even add diced bell peppers to rice while making pulav to reap its benefits.

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2. Cabbage

This cruciferous vegetable is filled with phytochemicals and phytonutrients. These compounds work as antioxidants and help neutralize free radicals which are known to impair the kidneys and also increase the risk of cancer. Moreover, it is loaded with Vitamin C, which helps to flush toxins from the body and boost immunity. It is also rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, folic acid and fiber which exerts a positive effect on the kidneys. Moreover, it is low in potassium which is known to be good for people with kidney disease.

Tip: Most people do not like cabbage because of its smell and bland taste. However, you can add grated cabbage to wheat flour and make delicious parathas which can be eaten as a breakfast or lunch recipe. Add boiled cabbage to soups or salads which is also good for the kidneys and overall health. You can even include cabbage a wide variety of recipes such as frankies, pakoras, and curries.

3. Cauliflower

It is abundant in Vitamin C, folates and fiber which makes it a healthy food for kidney health. Its powerful cleansing and neutralizing properties not only helps in flushing toxins from the body but also helps to maintain the overall health of the kidneys and the body. The antioxidants present in cauliflower, such as indoles, glucosinolates, and thiocyanates, protect the body from oxidation and serves as a preferred food for the kidneys.

Tip: Sprinkle a pinch of black pepper powder on boiled cauliflower florets and enjoy it as a healthy evening snack. You can even add boiled cauliflower along with vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, and corn to make a healthy and filling salad at home. Cauliflower parathas made from grated cauliflower or cauliflower soup can also act as a perfect breakfast recipe to fill you up. Add this vegetable to gravies or to rice to make the most of it and keep the kidneys healthy.

4. Blueberries

Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants such as anthocyanidins, Vitamin C, other minerals such as manganese and fiber. These nutrients help in proper functioning of the kidneys and decrease the load on the organ. It is found to be healthy for the kidneys due to low potassium and phosphorus content. These minerals are best avoided in people with renal failures as they put pressure on the kidneys.

Tip: Blueberries are best enjoyed when eaten in the raw form instead of having it in the juice form. You can even make a healthy fruit salad by adding these fruits to a bowl of other seasonal fruits such as apples, muskmelon, grapes, etc. You can even add a fistful of blueberries to vegetable salads to improve its taste and flavor. Smoothies or ice lollies made from these berries can also help to quench your thirst on a hot summer day and help you reap its health benefits.

5. Apples

An apple a day keeps a doctor away. This old adage perfectly fits the bill when it comes to staying healthy. And the same applies to kidney health. Apples are loaded with pectin, soluble fiber, and low glucose levels which not only improve blood circulation but also decrease the load on the kidneys. Apples are also rich in antioxidants such as quercetin which help flush toxins and protect overall health. This fruit is found to improve the recovery time of the patients with kidney disease and those undergoing treatment for kidney failure.

Tip: Carry an apple in your lunch box as it makes for a perfect evening snack. You can even have it as a mid-morning snack as it keeps you full and prevents you from binging on junk foods. Apples can be added to fruit salads, smoothies, pulav, etc. Available all around the season, apples can be eaten at any time of the day.

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6. Red Grapes  

Red grapes are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants which prevent oxidation and formation of blood clots. It also improves blood circulation in the body and reduces the pressure exerted on the kidneys. Resveratrol, a type of flavonoid found in the grapes, aid the production of nitric oxide which helps in relaxing the muscles and thereby regulate the flow of blood. These are also rich in Vitamin C, which acts as a potent antioxidant and helps flush toxins from the body, thereby lowering the toxic load on the kidneys and promote kidney health.

Tip: You can enjoy a glass of red grapes juice on an afternoon to quench your thirst and satiate your hunger pangs as it makes you feel full. Add a few grapes to a bowl of fruits and enjoy it as an evening snack. It is always advised to eat grapes as a whole than in its juice form to get the most of its benefits.

So, go ahead and add these good to taste foods to your daily diet and aid the process of waste removal of the kidneys. Stay healthy, stay happy!

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)

Recommended Reads:

9 Everyday Habits To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

9 Signs That Suggest Your Kidneys Might Be In Trouble

References:

1. Nazar CM. Significance of diet in chronic kidney disease. J Nephropharmacol. 2013 Jul 1;2(2):37-43. eCollection 2013.

2. W Watson G, M Beaver L, E Williams D, H Dashwood R, Ho E. Phytochemicals from cruciferous vegetables, epigenetics, and prostate cancer prevention. AAPS J. 2013 Oct;15(4):951-61.

3. Huang WY, Zhang HC, Liu WX, Li CY. Survey of antioxidant capacity and phenolic composition of blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry in Nanjing. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2012 Feb;13(2):94-102.

4. Kozłowska A, Szostak-Wegierek D. Flavonoids–food sources and health benefits. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2014;65(2):79-85.

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