Your kidneys do a lot of work for very little appreciation. Kidney health is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. Your kidneys play a critical role in your overall health.
For starters, your kidneys filter about 200 quarts of blood each day, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Waste products are continuously removed from your blood by your kidneys. They also control blood pressure, make red blood cells, keep bones healthy and control pH levels.
Keeping your kidneys healthy will help decrease your risk of developing kidney disease, kidney failure, and other problems. A great way to do this is by choosing foods that are good for kidney function. This especially important for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
In exchange for all that hard work, it’s time to start showing these overlooked organs some love.
Seven foods to improve kidney health
This fruit makes a nice sweet treat, but it is also great grilled and served with chicken. What’s more, it’s low in potassium, which is great for people with kidney problems.
2. Red Bell Peppers
Also low in potassium, this kidney-friendly food is high in vitamins A, C, and B6. They’re great on their own or in salads, on pizza or in your fajita.
This cruciferous veggie contains compounds that help your liver neutralize toxic substances. It can also be steamed and mashed into a healthier low-carb version of mashed potatoes. Bonus: this recipe contains garlic, an anti-oxidant which can help reduce inflammation.
Whether dried, fresh or juiced, cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Toss some fresh cranberries into a salad, bake them into healthy muffins or make a traditional cranberry sauce.
This fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are being researched for their potential to battle conditions such as cancer and auto-immune diseases. Omega-3s have also been shown to decrease triglycerides and slightly decrease blood pressure. Now researchers are finding omega-3 fatty acids benefit kidney health as well.
Blueberries are packed with both antioxidants and vitamin C. They’re good for kidney health because studies show they contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. Eat them fresh or mix frozen berries into smoothies. Even better, make a smoothie that combines blueberries with another kidney-booster on this list by blending 1 cup frozen blueberries, a half-cup frozen cranberries, half a frozen banana and a cup of kefir until smooth.
Buckwheat is low in phosphorus and provides vitamin B, magnesium, iron and fiber. Another bonus? It’s gluten-free.
Discuss Your Diet With Your Doctor
If you’re being treated for kidney disease, you’ll want to discuss your diet with your doctor before making any major changes, but the above foods are all part of a healthy diet. They’re also low in potassium, sodium and phosphorous — all of which should be limited by those who are concerned about their kidney health.
The good news is choosing to eat healthy by adding foods like these to your diet will not only help you avoid kidney damage, but will lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will also help control your blood sugar level, too.
Start Improving Your Kidney Health Today
If you’re concerned about any aspect of your health, including high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes, know that we’re here to help. From dietary changes to new medications, you may be surprised at the options you have to help take control of your health.