Unless you have a kidney infection, you may not give much thought to your kidneys.
Those glands sitting on either side of your lower back actually do quite a lot. They filter and absorb vitamins and nutrients while clearing out phase II detoxification metabolites (substances produced during metabolism).
Hydration is important to keep the kidneys functioning properly. There are also some superfoods that can also improve their health.
These little berries pack a powerful punch full of nutrients. They act as great antioxidants for the kidneys. Cranberries are well-known for their effects on the bladder but it's also true that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice or eating cranberries can help prevent kidney stones.
2) Red Bell Peppers
Those who have chronic kidney disease have to be very careful with their potassium intake. Red bell peppers are a low in potassium and full of nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B vitamins, the antioxidant compound lycopene. These act as antioxidants to the kidneys.
Asparagus does more than make your urine smell funny. It can act as a mild diuretic, clearing toxins and excess fluid out of your kidneys faster. It is soothing to the tubes in the kidneys, alkalinizing to the body, and may help reduce the risk for kidney stones and gout.
This cruciferous vegetable is known to reduce uric acid, lower inflammation, and provide vitamin C to act as an antioxidant. Feel free to eat it raw in coleslaw or cook it for a delicious treat.
5) Red Grapes
These summertime snacks provide antioxidant support with their polyphenols, such as resveratrol, to protect the kidneys. They are also anti-inflammatory which is a particular benefit for someone who has kidney disease and needs that extra protection.
Some people are born with poor-functioning kidneys, while others may develop disease over time. Chronic infection can take its toll on the kidneys' ability to filter and absorb nutrients.
Someone who goes on to develop kidney disease can usually attribute it to the effects of diabetes, high blood pressure or lupus.
When the kidneys begin to fail, then the wastes that build up in the body must be removed by dialysis.
Protect your kidneys by choosing to eat kidney-friendly foods, and work hard to avoid diabetes and control your blood pressure.
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Frasetto, L., and Kohlstadt, I, (2011). Treatment and prevention of kidney stones: an update. Am Fam Physician. Dec;84(11):1234-42.
Hariharan, D., Vellanki, K., and Kramer, H. (2015). The Western diet and chronic kidney disease. Curr Hypertens Rep. Apr;17(4):529.
Janiques, A., Leal, O., Stockler-Pinto, M., Moreira, N., Mafra, D. (2014). Effects of grape powder supplementation on inflammatory and antioxidant markers in hemodialysis patients: a randomized double-blind study. J Bras Nefrol. Oct-Dec;36(4):496-501.
Diet for Gout: What Foods Can You Eat to Keep Your Uric Acid in Check? SingHealth. Health Exchange.com.sg. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
Reviewed March 27, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith