14 Super Foods to Improve Kidney Health

Super Foods for your Kidneys

Super Foods for your Kidneys

Many people know that eating a healthy, balanced diet enhances good health. Scientists have gone a notch higher to pinpoint certain foods and dubbed them super foods.

As you know, oxidation is the standard body function that is part of many chemical changes in a human body. Sometimes oxidation may lead to the manufacture of free radicals. These are unstable molecules, which run wildly inside our body and in the process, they damage cell membranes, proteins, and genes. Studies have shown that these free radicals encourage aging and chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

This is where super foods come in. These foods are rich in antioxidants, which help neutralization of free radicals. The oxidation rate caused by free radicals can slow down as a result. Flavonoids, C, E, beta-carotene vitamins, and lycopene are examples of antioxidants. [1]

Super Foods for Your Kidneys

A healthy kidney diet includes super foods rich in antioxidants and other health-supporting elements. Thus if you have chronic kidney disease or you are on dialysis, know that these foods are available.

Inflammation caused by kidney disease make the patient susceptible to cardiovascular diseases. Consult a renal dietitian and follow a kidney diet if diagnosed with kidney disease. A proper diet including super foods can enhance the intake of nutrients and antioxidants.

The following list of foods is good for everyone, not just people with kidney disease. Including them in your meals gives you and your family a healthier advantage.

Red bell peppers

Red bell peppers are low in potassium. Thus, they are a natural fit for those concerned about kidney health. Rich in the antioxidant lycopene, the peppers protect the body against certain cancers. In addition, the peppers pack a considerable amount of Vitamins A, C, and B6, and contain fiber and folic acid.

For someone following a healthy kidney diet, red peppers are a great addition to your food plan. You can eat red peppers raw, with  dip, or mix them in tuna or chicken. They are a great topping choice in sandwiches or green salads, and when roasted. They are great in egg dishes such as omelets or scrambled eggs, and you can chop the peppers and add them to the dish. You can stuff them with ground beef or add them to kabobs in case you want to grill them.

Olive oil

Extensive research has shown that, in countries where they use olive oil instead of other oil types, the rate of cancer and heart disease is reduced considerably. The components present in olive oil include oleic acid, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that protects against oxidation effects, and polyphenols, a compound that prevents inflammation and oxidation and is good for kidney health. Olive oil can be used in making salad dressing or cooking.

Fish

Both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association, recommend that you include fish in your meal plan. At least three times a week, as it is a high-quality protein source. Besides being rich in protein, fish contains anti-inflammatory fats known as omega 3s. The healthy fats help prevent cancer and heart disease.

They also raise a person’s HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol). This is excellent for improving kidney health. The types of fish that harbor massive amounts of omega-3s include mackerel, albacore tuna, salmon, herring and rainbow trout.

Cabbage

This is a cruciferous vegetable, filled with phytochemical – a compound found in certain vegetables and fruits. It helps in breaking apart free radicals. Studies have shown it combats most cancers and cardiovascular diseases. [4]

Cabbage is kidney-friendly as it is low in potassium, high in vitamin K and C, a good vitamin B6 source, and high in fiber and folic acid.

Egg Whites

Eggs are less phosphorous than other protein sources; thus, they are good food for the kidneys. Along with providing essential amino acids, they provide the highest protein quality.

Red grapes

The several flavonoids present in grapes gives them the red color. The flavonoids prevent oxidation and reduce blood clot likelihood. Resveratrol –a flavonoid in grapes boosts nitric acid production which aid in muscle relaxation in blood vessels and thus, better blood flow.

The purple skin or the red skin grapes have the highest amounts of flavonoids. Grape juice is easily available in markets.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is another kidney-friendly super food. The massive amounts of vitamin C, folate, and fiber help neutralize toxic substances. Cauliflower can be eaten raw and is a substitute for mash potatoes as a dialysis-friendly food.

Garlic

Garlic lowers cholesterol and is a good anti-inflammatory food. It also contains anti-clotting and antioxidants elements. Garlic powder can be used in place of salt to add flavor to a kidney diet plan. By doing this, you reduce the addition of extra sodium in the body.

Onion

Onions are popularly used in food seasoning. Onions are high in the flavonoid quercetin, which is a chemical that prevents fatty materials being deposited in the blood. Quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce heart disease.

Cherries

Filled with antioxidants and phytochemical, cherries help protect your heart and have been shown to reduce inflammation if consumed on a daily basis. [3]

Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in manganese, vitamin C, and fiber, giving them anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties keeping your kidney clean and your heart healthy.

Raspberries

The compound ellagic, massively present in raspberries, helps neutralize free radicals. They contain vitamin C, manganese, and fiber.

Apples

Eating an apple a day reduces cholesterol, and prevents constipation. Renal-friendly apples can be eaten raw. Containing high fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, apples are good for your kidneys.

Cranberries

Urinary tract infections can be alleviated by drinking a daily dosage of cranberry juice. They make the urine more acidic which helps keep the bacteria from attaching itself inside the bladder. [2]

If you are concerned about your kidney health, make sure that the above foods are on your grocery list. A renal dietitian will help you include them in your kidney-friendly meal plan. Remember to get fresh foods!

 

References:

[1]www.yourkidneys.com/kidney-education/Diet-and-nutrition/15-super-foods-for-kidney-health/2924

[2] www.davita.com/kidney-disease/diet-and-nutrition/lifestyle/top-15-healthy-foods-for-people-with-kidney-disease/e/5347

[3] http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/7-best-foods-support-kidney-function/

[4] http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/foods-increase-kidney-function-6538.html

Anthony Alayon
 

Anthony Alayon is a Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Sports Nutritionist with the ISSA. He’s written for Natural Muscle Magazine, Bliss Magazine, Bodybuilding.com, About.com (A New York Times Company), and several other popular fitness websites. He’s taught thousands how to eat better, and build the physique they could only dream of (including numerous pro athletes). Today, he’s here to share his knowledge and experience with you!

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