(Natural News) The kidneys are the two bean-shaped organs near your lower back, and they play a vital role in your body’s ability to detoxify as well as overall health. They are responsible for filtering out the toxins and excess wastes from the body and passing them as urine. Eating the right foods can help boost their performance and ensure that they keep working properly.
6 Foods that help boost kidney health
Diets today are not kind to kidneys. They often contain too much salt and other compounds that kidneys have to filter later. Take care of the kidneys by eating more of the foods below:
Apples contain a soluble fiber called pectin. This compound helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, high amounts of which may contribute to kidney disease. Additionally, they make a healthy sweet snack to satisfy cravings.
Many types of berries are beneficial to kidney health, but blueberries are particularly helpful. They are rich in fiber and vitamin C, among other nutritious compounds. Blueberries are also rich in antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. They are low in sodium, phosphorus and potassium – ideal for a kidney-friendly diet.
3. Dark green leafy vegetables
Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are some of the most nutritious foods available. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and other bioactive compounds. Moreover, they are excellent sources of potassium, a compound that can help regulate sodium levels.
However, due to their high potassium content, these vegetables are not advisable for people who are already diagnosed with kidney disease. Like any other compound, too much potassium in the body can have negative effects including nausea and numbness.
4. Fresh fish
Fresh, fatty fish, such as wild-caught salmon, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds help regulate blood pressure and reduce triglyceride levels, high levels of which may contribute to kidney disease.
5. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, which can prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin. This contributes to a better cardiovascular system, which comprises of the heart, blood vessels and the blood. Additionally, they are rich sources of potassium. Once again, they are not advisable for people who already have kidney disease.
Water may not be a food item, but it is a crucial component of kidney (and overall) health. Water is a primary component of urine through which toxins and excess waste are released. Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. (Related: Drink to your kidney health with lemonade to avoid kidney stones.)
Healthy habits for kidney health
Aside from making the right food choices for kidney health, you should also follow healthy eating habits, such as:
- Avoiding foods rich in sodium and saturated fat. The kidneys will have to filter them later and too much of them may cause damage.
- Choosing the healthier option when eating out. For example, when ordering rice, choose the brown variety instead of the white.
- Reducing consumption of fried foods and high-fat foods. One of the best ways to do this is by avoiding fast food chains.
- Cooking your own food. Home cooking is one manageable way to control the ingredients and how your food is prepared.
- Checking the ingredients. Compare the ingredients between brands. Choose the product with less amounts of compounds that can be bad for the kidneys.
- Limiting alcohol intake. For better kidney health, limit your consumption of alcohol to one drink a day.
- Quitting smoking. Smoking damages blood vessels and contributes to high blood pressure. Both conditions inhibit the kidneys’ functions.
Kidney function is essential to your well-being. For better health – not only today but also in later years – it is best to take care of them.