The kidney is a self-regulatory organ that plays a key role in the human body. Indeed, it’s responsible for waste excretion, reabsorption of nutrients, regulate osmolality which is the balance of fluids in the body, regulate blood pressure, urine production and a wide range of other paramount functions.
In spite of its regulatory properties, the kidney remains at risk for damage caused by a certain number of complications such as acute renal failure, ischemia, kidney injury or chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The prevalence of CKD in the U.S is nigh on 14% and gradually increasing. Aging, high blood pressure and growing numbers of patients with diabetes and hypertension are the main risk factors of CKD. However, lupus, genetic disorders, Goodpasture syndrome, Alport syndrome, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, malnutrition and smoking can also increase the risk.
According to a 2008 study on the complications of CKD, the nutritional requirements of affected patients are altered, which affects the metabolism of water, salt, potassium, protein and phosphorus; and lead to more fatigue and less energy generation. Thus, the importance of making dietary changes to people with kidney disease.
It’s true that there’s no magic wand to clean your kidney, but the following 8 foods have a comparable effect.
People with kidney disease are often advised to lower or even limit their salt intake. A highly beneficial alternative to salt is garlic.
Indeed, garlic isn’t only renowned for its culinary uses, but also its medicinal effects. Garlic is a rich source of organic compounds, vital minerals and vitamins (A, B, C and K vitamins) and potassium.
Several sources of evidence recommend garlic for treating cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer and, notably, liver disease
Since lowering salt intake can be tricky for some people, onions are also a good alternative to it.
Onions are packed with vitamin C, dietary fiber that enhances your digestive system, iron, calcium, folic acid. They’re low in sodium and next to no fat (0.1 grams per 100 grams of the onion).
Due to their high content of flavonoids, onions are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that fight against parasitic infestation, help improve your immune system and, according to this study, help treat liver disease on the condition of its incorporation into a well-balanced diet
Cranberries aren’t just a thanksgiving recipe ingredient, they’re beneficial to kidney and urinary tract health.
These tart small red fruits are laden with vitamin A, C and K, dietary fiber, manganese and proanthocyanidins. The latter has been shown to prevent bacteria from binding itself to the bladder walls.
This 2012 study on the dietary effects of cranberry dietary supplements confirms its use for the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections.
Turmeric is one of the most beneficial spices out there. It’s commonly used in Asian food and easily recognizable when you eat curry.
Turmeric is packed with significant amounts of magnesium, iron, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, the most important of which is curcumin.
It has been shown that curcumin has potential anti-inflammatory effects which are beneficial to CKD, kidney stones treatment and even cancer.
A well-known English aphorism says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This is particularly true in the case of people with kidney disease. Indeed, apples are often incorporated into low protein diet meal-plans for kidney disease patients and offer significant amounts of dietary fiber, vitamin C and other important phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Notable benefits on overall human health are an enhanced digestive system and reduced inflammation.
Kidney disease patients should avoid high-inflammation diets which could induce kidney failure and, instead, focus on lowering it. Eating ginger is an excellent way to do so.
Ginger is rich in vitamins B3 and B6, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and other essential nutrients that promote overall human health.
Different compounds in ginger have anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and antimicrobial properties, and, according to this study, show potential beneficial effects on a renal injury.
The Bottom Line…
All in all, it should be recalled that dietary patterns are of paramount importance for kidney disease patients. Thus, if you’re following a renal diet, consult with your doctor before introducing any new food to your diet.
By consuming the mentioned foods in this article you’ll be making significant strides toward maintaining and improving your kidney and your overall health respectively.