World Kidney Day 2022: Taking care of kidneys and improving their function requires a dedicated effort. Staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet free of sodium and salt can support kidney health in a big way. If you are someone who’s addicted to junk food, it’s high time you get rid of these faulty eating habits, as it can play havoc with your kidneys. Homemade food is the best choice for those who are undergoing treatment for kidney disease as it can regular your sodium levels. (Also read: World Kidney Day 2022: Diabetes can damage your kidneys; watch out for warning signs)
“There are simple things that we can do to improve kidney health. Start with staying hydrated. Regular and consistent water intake improves kidney functions. It helps clear sodium and toxins from the kidney and lowers the risk of chronic kidney diseases. Be mindful about the quantity of the water intake as both under and overhydration can deteriorate kidney health. It is advisable to drink as per your health requirements and lifestyle,” says Luke Coutinho, wellness expert and co-founder of You Care Lifestyle.
Coutinho advises people to limit their salt intake and do away with processed foods as even one serving can contain a lot of refined salt and sodium that can put pressure on the kidney to process and flush it out of the body.
“A kidney-friendly diet should be low in sodium, cholesterol, and fat. It should rather focus on naturally grown fruits, vegetables, along with low-fat dairy ad lean meats. Also, be mindful of protein intake. Having too much protein may cause waste to build in the blood, and the kidneys then have to work harder to remove it,” says Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist, Co-Founder- Food Darzee.
Here are top foods for your kidney suggested by Coutinho and Dr Bhargava.
1. Cabbage: Low in sodium, cabbage is a good source of vitamin K, C, B6. It also contains fibre and folic acid and has abundant phytochemicals to help keep kidneys healthy and foster cardiovascular health. This cruciferous vegetable tastes best in soups, salads, or even alone with just salt and pepper.
2. Coriander seeds: Coriander seeds improve kidney functioning. It works as a diuretic and helps flush toxins from the body. They are also effective in treating urinary tract infections as they improve the filtration rate of kidneys enabling quicker urine generation.
3. Cranberry: Unsweetened cranberry, rich in flavonoids and other polyphenols having antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties is a great food for handling and managing UTIs as recurrent and chronic UTIs can harm kidneys in the long run.
4. Cauliflower: Cauliflower is one of the most important vegetables for the kidney. Just one cup of cooked cauliflower contains 19 mg of sodium, 176 mg of potassium, and 40 mg of phosphorus, ingredients which are most vital to help maintain kidney function. Rich in vitamin C, K, and B and a good source of many nutrients, cauliflower is also full of anti-inflammatory compounds and is an excellent source of fibre. Savour some cauliflowers either raw, steamed, or in soup. One can also, mash cauliflower and have it as a low potassium side dish.
5. Nettle leaf: Nettle leaf infusions are a natural way to treat kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. A power diuretic and depurative, nettle leaf is helpful in enhancing blood purification, reducing creatinine levels, improving urination, and controlling inflammation of the kidneys.
6. Berries: These delicious berries like cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries are high in nutrition and multiple vitamins. They are a great source of antioxidant phytonutrients that reduce inflammation in the body and help prevent cell damage to aid good kidney health. There are infinite ways in which berries can be consumed. Eat them with cereal, smoothies, salads, or slices and serve. Be creative with them.