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Diet For Healthy Kidneys

Submitted by Nick on October 11, 2011

The kidneys are vital organs in the body, as they perform the important function of filtering the blood and getting rid of any toxins or impurities that may be present in the bloodstream, through the urine. It also removes any excess water that is there in the body. Unfortunately, there are several factors that could cause the condition of the kidneys to deteriorate rapidly; some of the main causes of poor kidney health include diabetes, high blood pressure, deficiency of water, low blood volume, the use of certain drugs and so on. In case a person suffers from kidney problems, severe symptoms, such as fatigue, itchiness, spots on the skin, loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea may be evident. At the same time, the amount of urine passed each day may also reduce and the color could be different (darker) or traces of blood and pus could be present.

While there is no sure way of preventing kidney problems, health experts claim that by following a healthy kidney diet, a person can reduce the possibility of any Chronic Kidney Problems (CKD). A healthy diet for kidney function is ideal for those who suffer from CKD and are required to eat smaller amounts of protein, potassium and sodium. At the same time, a healthy diet for kidney patients, who are also diabetic, should be low in carbs.

The recommended list of healthy foods for kidney problems may vary a bit, based on the patient’s overall health and medical condition. Also read about diet recipes for kidney failure

Foods To Avoid For Healthy Kidneys

Given below are a few guidelines on the nutrients that should be avoided or consumed in order to follow a healthy kidney diet:
  • Sodium: The blood pressure and the fluid in the body are controlled by this nutrient. High amounts of sodium in the body cause water retention, where an excessive amount of water accumulates in the kidneys.

    Therefore, sodium should be eaten in limited quantities. Patients are asked to reduce the intake of table salt and preferably avoid processed food, chips, crackers, condiments and so on.
  • Protein: A high amount of this nutrient could lead to impairment in kidney function. Excess protein increases the stress on the kidneys, thereby also elevating the risks of kidney dysfunction.

    Hence, the consumption of meat, eggs, certain nuts, beans, legumes and whole milk should be limited.
  • Potassium: Foods that are high in potassium should be limited as the nutrient could collect in the blood in case of a kidney failure, thereby affecting the heart and the muscles adversely. Foods that are rich in potassium and should be avoided include bananas, papaya, raw garlic, oat bran and white bread. More information on diet for kidney pain 
  • Glucose: Diabetic people are at a much higher risk of developing kidney problems and therefore, it is important to restrict the consumption of foods that are high in sugar. This could include all foods that are sweet, such as chocolate, cookies, pie, candy, aerated drinks or other types of desserts. Fruits that contain a high amount of glucose should also be strictly avoided.
Foods Good For Kidneys

At the same time, there are certain food items, which are good for maintaining the health and function of the kidneys. Some of the healthy foods for kidney stones and other kidney problems include:
  • Eggplant
  • Turnips
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Strawberries
  • Cauliflower
  • Apples
  • Cottage cheese
  • Radishes
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Bell peppers (red, yellow and green)
A healthy diet for kidney stones or any other kidney problems is incomplete without the consumption of a high amount of water. Health experts advise people to drink around 14 glasses of water a day. Moreover, there are many fruits and vegetables that are high in water, such as watermelon, cucumbers and zucchini; therefore, their consumption should be increased too.

In fact, a healthy diet for kidneys is also good for those people who are already suffering from kidney problems, but want to prevent further deterioration of the organs. However, it is important for people to realize that eating healthy foods for kidney disease only reduces the risks of a decline in kidney functioning. This means that eating healthy foods for kidney health is not always enough; it is also very important for people to maintain a healthy body weight, get an adequate amount of rest and exercise each day, keep their blood pressure in check and avoid habits like smoking.

The healthy diet for kidney disease mentioned above is fairly safe for most patients, but it is best to consult a doctor, before following it. In fact, there are several online resources that have tips on a healthy diet for kidney problems, but these tips should only be tried after checking with a doctor, who is aware of the patient’s medical history. In case the healthy kidney foods trigger off any side effects, it is necessary to stop using them immediately and visit a health care provider.
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