The kidneys are bean-shaped organs found under your ribcage, at the back of the abdomen. Kidneys have essential functions in the body. Their main job is to filter waste, produce urine, and secrete hormones that manage blood pressure. Blood vessels in the kidneys can be harmed by high blood sugar levels and uncontrolled blood pressure. Damage in the kidneys can lead to chronic kidney disease. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 10% of the global population has chronic kidney disease. When kidneys are impaired, they cannot do their tasks properly. When this happens, waste products can pile up in the blood. People who diagnose with kidney disease should follow a renal diet. This diet focuses on minimizing the amount of waste in the blood by limiting potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. A renal diet is advised for people with late stages of chronic kidney disease.
Potassium is an electrolyte that plays essential functions for the body. However, people with kidney disease must restrict their potassium intake with less than 2,000 milligrams a day to avoid high blood levels. Sodium should also be limited to 2,000 milligrams per day since impaired kidneys cannot filter extra sodium. Excess phosphorus, just like in the case of sodium, could not be expelled by damaged kidneys. Hence, individuals with kidney disease should limit their intake to 800–1,000 milligrams a day. If you want to know some foods good for kidneys that may help you prevent the disease and keep your kidneys healthy, this article is for you.
Cauliflower is on top of the list among foods good for kidneys. Cauliflower is rich in nutrients like folate and Vitamins B, C, and K. It is also an excellent source of fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds. What makes this vegetable great for kidneys is that it contains low sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. A cup of cooked cauliflower only has 19 milligrams of sodium, 40 milligrams of phosphorus, and 176 milligrams of potassium.
Another food you may add to your kidney stones diet is berries. Dark berries like blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry are good sources of antioxidants and other nutrients that protect body cells from damage. Berries are healthy fruits you can munch on if you are craving sweets. Berries contain only a few sodium, potassium, and phosphorus and are therefore kidney-friendly. A cup of fresh blueberries has 1.5 milligrams of sodium, 114 milligrams of potassium, and 18 milligrams of phosphorus. Blueberries have anthocyanins which fight off diabetes, cognitive decline, and heart disease.
If you are on a kidney stones diet, make sure not to leave out the garlic. Garlic has several health benefits. It also gives meals a rich flavor that cuts down the need to add salt. Garlic contains healthy sulfur compounds, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. A nine-gram clove of garlic has 1.5 milligrams of sodium, 36 milligrams of potassium, and 14 milligrams of phosphorus.
4. Olive oil
Olive oil has zero phosphorous, which makes it an excellent cooking oil for individuals with kidney problems. Olive oil is blessed with healthy fats like oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. This acid lessens body inflammations. The monounsaturated fats that olive oil contains can withstand high temperatures, and so these healthy fats do not easily go away even when cooked. One tablespoon of olive oil only has 0.1 milligrams of potassium, 0.3 milligrams of sodium, and no phosphorus. Although olive oil contains many calories, it can be beneficial for people with severe kidney disease who find it hard to lose weight.
Cabbage belongs to the family Brassicaceae which includes other green, leafy vegetables. Cabbage contains insoluble fiber that is good for your digestive system. It is also rich in vitamins B, C, K, various minerals, and other plant compounds. A cup of chopped cabbage has 13 milligrams of sodium, 18 milligrams of phosphorus, and 119 milligrams of potassium.
Buckwheat is a whole grain food that can serve as an alternative to other whole grains with the high phosphorus content. Buckwheat contains fiber, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B. A ½ cup of cooked buckwheat has 3.5 milligrams of sodium, 74 milligrams of potassium, and 59 milligrams of phosphorus.