By Dr. Shikha Sharma
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Diet for Healthy Kidney


Kidneys are the bean-shaped organs of the excretory system. The main function of kidneys is to filter out the waste from the body in the form of urine. The other functions include regulation of blood pressure, synthesis of hormones for RBCs production, filtration of blood for heart. The need to maintain kidney health is for the proper functioning of the body. To ensure kidney health there should be a right balance of protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals. The aim of diet for the healthy kidney is to prevent diabetes, heart disease, reduce blood pressure and other conditions associated with kidney disease.

Listed below are a few points that help to choose a diet for healthy kidney:

  • Drink plenty of water. Water is the natural detoxifier as it helps the body to flush out all the toxins from the body. It also lowers the workload of kidneys and makes it easy to remove toxins with urine. Cells in the body use water to transport toxins into the bloodstream. The kidneys then use this water to filter out the toxins and to create the urine that removes them out of the body.

  • Eat complex Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, the first source of energy for the body. One should prefer complex carbohydrates over simple ones as it takes time to digest and keep full for long that helps to eat less and control the body weight. Some of the complex carbohydrate sources are Legumes (beans), peas, sweet potatoes, whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, barley), and vegetables.

  • Balance the Proteins. Protein is required for overall health, muscle maintenance, and to fight infections. Protein can be obtained from both animals as well as plant-based sources. Animal or biological sources of proteins have all the essential amino acids, but some sources can be very high in unhealthy (saturated) fats. Fish, eggs, chicken, and low-fat dairy products have the lowest amounts of unhealthy (saturated) fats and are considered better choices for everyone. Proteins that are derived from plant sources are low in saturated fats and high in fiber. Plant-based protein includes beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

  • Choose healthy Fats. Healthy fat provides energy and is a building block of membranes throughout the body. It also carries the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K, and carotenoids, and helps to regulate blood pressure and other heart functions. Some of the sources of healthy fats are Almonds, walnuts, olive oil, canola oil, mustard oil, sunflower oil, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, avocado, and salmon.

  • Monitor the Sodium Intake. Sodium is a mineral found in most foods. It is a vital mineral in the fluids that surround cells. Most sodium in the diet comes from processed foods and salt. Sodium works with potassium to regulate blood pressure and the amount of fluid in the body, balances how much fluid the body keeps or eliminates and helps in regulating nerve function and muscle contraction. Sodium can also build up in cells and cause fluid to accumulate in the tissues and results in edema. It is very important to monitor sodium intake as too much sodium in the diet can contribute to damage to the kidneys and aggravates swelling. Avoid processed foods, choose fresh fruits and vegetables or no salt added canned and frozen products. Using a shaker for salt can help lower sodium intake. It is recommended to take 5 g of salt in a day.

  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables help to remove toxins and increase the quantity of fiber in the diet. Not only detoxification but fruits and vegetables are also a good source of vitamins and minerals that keep the kidneys healthy. Grapes, apples, pineapples, cranberries, strawberries, onions, Cauliflowers, peppers, radishes, lettuce, etc. are some of the examples to maintain the health of kidneys.

These dietary tips help you to boost kidney functions and prevent disease. Apart from these tips always try to maintain a healthy body weight so as to minimize the chances of getting kidney issues. 

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

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  1. What to do people who are on dialysis?

    1. While on Dialysis, one needs to be on a high protein and high calories diet which should come from eggs, chicken, fish, meat, milk and its products etc. For better understanding of one's case, one needs to consult a Doctor for prescribed parameters.

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