Top 10 Foods for Kidney Health

By Mischa Josephs

World Kidney Health Month, a month to raise awareness to all people far and wide about the importance of kidney health.

Some of you reading this might be thinking why is this important or relevant to you? Well let me give you a fact: Around 10 000 men and women in South Africa die of Kidney Disease yearly!

That’s a scary fact, that’s a lot of people who die just because of the Kidneys.

But what many of you may not know is how important of an organ it is. What does the Kidneys do anyway? You might be thinking.

Think of a glass of fresh orange juice, it has all those orange pieces mixed in with the juice and when you drink it you can feel and taste all those bits and pieces, But if you strain the juice, it will be a smooth consistency and that is basically what your Kidneys do, they filter your blood, removing toxins and excess fluid which is then released through urination, but if your Kidneys are not functioning properly those toxins will remain in your body and you won’t want that as that’s how other illnesses take form.

Remember prevention is better than cure, get checked up by your doctor and drink and eat foods to help aid your health. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and while all these tips are natural and very good for you, always consult a doctor especially if pregnant or using medication.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and while all these tips are natural and very good for you, always consult a doctor especially if pregnant or using medication.

If you are suffering with any Kidney ailments it is important to follow a diet to manage such ailments, and while dietary restrictions vary from person to person it is recommended to restrict the following:

Sodium: Damaged Kidneys cannot filter out sodium and due to that it will cause blood levels to rise. Try alternative foods for flavour like onions and garlic.

Potassium: Potassium is a vital nutrient for many bodily functions, however, if you suffer from Kidney disease it is best to steer clear in order to avoid dangerously high blood levels.

Phosphorus: The same as the previous two, damaged kidneys are not able to remove excess phosphorus and while you may not be able to avoid it all together it is good to keep an eye on what you are eating as to keep your intake bellow 800-1000mg per day.

With that being said, luckily there are many yummy options which are low in Sodium, Potassium and Phosphorus. Here is a list of foods to aid, improve and protect your kidneys:

  1. Cabbage – low in potassium, phosphorus and sodium making it kidney friendly. Its high in Vitamin K, C and B, it’s also high in fiber and folic acid and best of all it is inexpensive.
  2. Pineapples – while many tropical fruits are high in potassium, pineapples are an exception, being low in potassium they are a great sweet treat without harming your kidneys.
  3. Blueberries – they are high in Vitamin C and fiber and are low in sodium, phosphorus and potassium and to top it off they also help with inflammation.
  4. Onions – high in Vitamin C and is a great alternative to salt in many dishes.
  5. Garlic – Very flavorful and fragrant with many health benefits, also a great alternative to salt in many dishes
  6. Egg Whites – The yolk of an egg is very high in phosphorus and is therefore not recommended however the egg whites are very low, so you don’t have to scratch eggs for breakfast off your list completely.
  7. Celery – This fruit helps in removing toxins and harmful materials from the body by increasing urination. With regular celery intake you could prevent kidney stones and infection.
  8. Ginger – Ginger is well known for its natural healing properties, and in this case it helps to flush toxins and harmful materials from the kidneys, it also improves digestion and is good for cleansing the liver. Ginger should be added to cooking and can be drank as a tea.
  9. Buchu – A herb indigenous to South Africa that has long been used in medicinal applications. It is used to treat inflammation, kidney and urinary tract infections and so much more. It can be drank as a tea.
  10. Dandelion – Dandelion has diuretic properties to cleanse the kidneys and liver. It helps to relieve water retention and soothes irritation in the urinary system.

Remember to always discuss your food choices with your doctor to ensure you have the best diet for your needs, this is especially for those on medication, pregnant or has some form of Kidney ailments.

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