Our kidneys are one of our body’s biggest natural detox components but we don’t always think about them when we’re keeping or getting healthy. According to The National Kidney Foundation, “1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. What puts you at risk for kidney disease? Major risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older.” Kidney disease often has no symptoms, and it can go undetected until very advanced which is why it is so important to discuss it with your doctor and nutritionist.
Many factors go into keeping your kidneys clean, which is why you want to consult with a professional, but some may also seem like common sense. For instance, following a healthy diet, exercise, drink water, minimal alcohol intake, etc. There are also a few foods and drinks that have been suggested that can help you along the way to healthier kidneys.
Vitamin D is an important mineral for good kidney health and mushrooms are considered the best whole food, plant-based source. Vitamin D has been found to regulate kidney function and may also help prevent kidney disease.
Grapefruits are a good source of Vitamin C, which is an important mineral for the immune system and preventing bacteria development in the body. They’re also one of the fruits that are lower in potassium and sugar, which can make them an excellent source of nutrients and clean up your Kidneys.
Oats are a great source of iron and Vitamin B6, which have both been found to be an important nutrient for preventing kidney stones and preventing nutrient depletion for those with CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease).
I think many of us have heard about drinking cranberry juice to help clear up UTI’s but it’s important to remember to not drink juice blends that are loaded with sugar. Instead, 100% cranberry juice (preferably organic and only fruit and water-based), as it is a great option for clean up your kidneys. Cranberries are excellent sources of Vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and are very low in sugar. Remember, it’s best to choose fresh cranberries, but since they’re not in season all year (unfortunately), you can also choose freeze-dried cranberries or dried cranberries that contain no added sugar. Add these to your oatmeal, smoothies, whole grain porridge, or even salads for a fresh, tart taste.
Typically, potassium is promoted as a healthy ingredient for people to consume because it flushes out the kidneys and eliminates water from the body, however, for those with kidney disease, potassium can make thirst and frequent urination worse because the bladder empties too often. Red bell peppers are one of the best lower potassium fruits to choose and are a good source of protective Vitamin C. They also contain a good amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps ward off certain types of cancers in individuals with a healthy diet.
Kale is a fantastic source of Vitamins A and C to prevent inflammation and protect the immune system. It’s also lower in potassium than some other vegetables and greens and contains a large amount of iron. Iron is important for healthy kidney function since many people with kidney disease have an iron deficiency.
List courtesy in part from onegreenplanet.org.
It’s important to keep in mind that dietary needs can vary greatly from person to person.
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