March 29, 2023
March is National Kidney Month. Our kidneys are vital to our health to excrete wastes from the blood in the urine. Each kidney gets rid of about 1 to 1.5 liters of urine per day. The two kidneys together filter about 200 liters (about twice the volume of a mini fridge) of fluid per day. It is especially important to keep the kidneys functioning at a high level.
Proper nutrition is necessary to keep all the organs functioning properly, but certain foods that contain special compounds called antioxidants can help keep the kidneys healthy. Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and protect the body. Foods high in antioxidants are a healthy choice for maintaining good kidney function and are also good for people experiencing chronic kidney disease (CKD) or those on dialysis.
Top 8 Healthy Foods for Keeping the Kidneys Healthy
- Blueberries. Blueberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C, and full of compounds that help reduce inflammation. They may help protect the brain from some of the effects of aging. Blueberries can be consumed fresh, frozen, or dried. Try them in cereals, smoothies, and a topping for yogurt.
- Raspberries. Raspberries contain a colorful nutrient, giving the fruit its bright color, which helps reduce and prevent cell damage. Raspberries are a good source of Vitamin C, fiber and folate, and B vitamins. Raspberries also have properties that inhibit cell growth and tumor formation. Raspberries are delicious additions to desserts, salads, yogurt, and cereals.
- Strawberries. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, giving them their red color. These special compounds also help protect the body’s cells and protect against oxidative damage. Strawberries are also a major source of Vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. They may also provide heart and cancer protection.
- Garlic. Seasoning your food with fresh garlic is a delicious and healthy alternative to salt. Fresh garlic has antimicrobial properties that also helps lower cholesterol and reduces inflammation.
- Onions. Onions are also a healthy alternative to salt and add lots of flavors to foods. Onions are low in potassium and can be enjoyed by those experiencing kidney disease. Onions are available in many varieties including white, yellow, and red. Raw onions can be enjoyed on burgers or salads or cooked can be added as a caramelized topping. Cooking onions with meat adds addition flavor, particularly when combined with bell pepper, garlic, and onions.
- Fish. Fish is a major source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and Vitamin B-12. The healthy fats can help fight cancer and heart disease. It is recommended to consume fish twice per week by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Fish with the highest levels of white fish, striped bass, herring, mackerel, and salmon.
- Egg Whites. Egg white are an excellent source of protein, with less phosphorus than egg yolks or meat. Powered, fresh, or pasteurized egg whites. Make an egg white omelet or egg white sandwich, add tuna or salad, or add to salads.
- Red Bell Peppers. Red bell peppers are flavorful and are good for the kidneys. They are also excellent sources of vitamin C and vitamin A, folic acid, and fiber. Red bell peppers are also against certain cancers. To enjoy bell peppers, try pairing them with hummus, or mixing them into tuna or chicken salad. Bell peppers are delicious served raw, using them as a topping on a salad.
Keeping your kidneys healthy can be tasty and colorful by adding a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, while also limiting added salt.