Foods That Heal Kidneys – Here Are The Best Ways For A Healthy Kidney
If I asked you to point to where your Kidneys are located and what they do, would you be able to answer both questions? A few years ago I wouldn’t be able to answer either of these questions.
Fast forward to today I’m very familiar with where and what they do. At the time of writing this article my Brother had a kidney transplant 2 weeks ago. Hopefully you will stick to some of my tips and Foods That Heal Kidneys so you don’t ever go through the same thing he did.
You just never know, it can happen to anyone. Kidney disease is a common problem and it affects 10% of the worlds population. There are some things that you can absolutely do to help prevent anything going wrong with your Kidneys. I will also go over what their purpose is and why they fail.
WHAT ARE YOUR KIDNEYS AND WHAT IS THEIR PURPOSE
Your kidney is about the size of a Baseball and is a bean shaped organ. The are found just below your rib cage in the middle of your back.
Here is the crazy part that I find the most interesting. The Kidneys can process about 200 quarts of blood and out of the 200 quarts they filter out about 2 quarts of waste and water that is extra. This waste and extra water becomes urine and continues on to the bladder.
If you are wondering where all this waste comes from like I was. The waste comes from the breakdown from the food you eat and muscle breakdown. Your body basically takes what it needs from the food and whatever it doesn’t use will be sent to the blood.
This is where the importance of kidneys come into play because if they do not remove the waste, then there would be build up in the blood and potentially damage to your body.
If we dig a little deeper into the Kidney you will find what is called Nephrons. This is where the filtering of the blood occurs and there are about a million of them.
Digging even deeper in the nephrons are tiny blood vessels called capillaries which twist together with tiny urine-carrying tubes called tubules. Along with these wastes, your Kidneys release 3 very important hormones
- Renin regulate blood pressure and fluid balance in the body. If Potassium is too high or sodium levels are too low in the body then Renin is released.
- Erythropoietin plays a big role in production of red blood cells which carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
- Vitamin D the active form which helps maintain calcium for the bones in your body.
WHY DO KIDNEYS FAIL?
I mentioned the Nephrons earlier and they get attacked by most kidney diseases causing them to lose their filtering ability. These Nephrons can be destroyed rather quickly if you get injured or from poison.
The other way is a kidney disease that destroys the nephrons quietly and slowly. This is very scary because it can take many years for anyone to notice the damage.
If you are worried at all about your kidneys failing then I recommend you pay very close attention to your blood pressure and make sure you don’t have diabetes. These are the two most common causes of why Kidneys fail.
If your family has any history of kidney problems you may want to get
looked at by your Doctor even if you are not feeling any symptoms. Polycystic kidney Disease also knows as (PKD) is hereditary. PKD is a genetic disorder where the Kidneys will form cysts. These cysts will start taking over the kidneys and stop or reduce the function of kidneys which leads to failure.
As a child sometimes they can show signs of Kidney problems as early as when they are still developing in the womb. If your child is having some back or side pain this could also be an early sign.
The best way to keep track of this is have your Doctor check for high blood pressure or a low amounts of red blood cells. Like any health related situations it’s always best to catch things immediately before it becomes too late.
I had always been told to not overdo it with Aspirin or Ibuprofen. These can be dangerous for your kidneys because there are a good amounts of people that take pain killers on a regular basis. If this is you I would recommend getting a check up with your Doctor.
FOODS THAT HEAL YOUR KIDNEYS
One of the most important things you can do is stay hydrated which will help your kidneys function properly. OK, now to the foods.
These foods can come in 2 different parts because they depend on the level of Kidney damage. People with kidney failure vs people in the early stage of kidney disease.
Unfortunately you can not reverse your Kidneys if they have failed which is another reason why you don’t want this to ever happen.
For most people with advanced Kidney disease you should be watching out for foods that increase the amounts of waste in blood and look to decrease. There is a name for this type of diet and it’s called the renal diet.
The purpose of the renal diet is to increase the kidney function while making sure there is no further damage.
These foods I will list are good choices for your kidneys. They are based off of the following paragraph I will write with nutrients that are bad for your Kidneys. Each one of these foods have low enough levels in all 3 nutrients you should keep at low levels.
- EGG WHITES without the Yolk because the Yolk contains high amounts of Phosphorus. You can get a good source of protein that’s not harmful to your Kidney. They are also a good option for someone who is on Dialysis because they have high levels of protein but a very low level of 5mg of Phosphorus.
- PINEAPPLE is one of the fruits that are not high in potassium. Most fruits like Bananas and Oranges are, so this is a good option if you like fruit. A banana has around 425 mg of potassium but a Pineapple only around 150mg
- BELL PEPPERS have a great deal of healthy nutrients and are actually low in Potassium unlike most vegetables. They are also a great option if you are really trying to keep your sodium levels low since they only have 3mg.
- CHICKEN BREAST WITH NO SKIN I have mentioned you want to keep your protein levels low with kidney problems but you still need quality protein for good health. I would recommend you don’t buy pre made chicken breast because it already has a high amounts of Phosphorus and Sodium.
- OLIVE OIL has NO Phosphorus only .3 grams of Potassium and .5 grams of sodium. Olive Oil is very high in calories which is good for people having trouble keeping on weight with Kidney problems.
- BLUEBERRIES are one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet and still have very low Sodium, Potassium and Phosphorus levels.
These are some great options but keep in mind they cannot do miracles. If you are worried you may be seeing signs of kidney problems or they run in the family, then these would be some great choices.
FOODS THAT ARE HARD ON YOUR KIDNEYS
This can vary a lot since like I mentioned above there are different stages people can be in. In general though I recommend you should stay away from these nutrients.
- Sodium can’t be filtered out by damaged kidneys if the amount is high enough. This is tough because it’s found in many foods. This will cause the blood level to rise. I don’t eliminate all my sale intake but I recommend you stay under 2,000 mg per
- Potassium needs to be limited to avoid your blood levels to be at a dangerously high level. I would recommend keeping potassium to less than 2,000 mg per day
- Phosphorus like sodium can’t be removed if there is too much. In general high levels of Phosphorus can cause damage to your body. I would recommend keeping this even lower than Sodium and Potassium to around no more than 1,000 mg per day.
I have been guilty of possibly over doing it with Protein but now stick monitor how much I take daily. This is something people with kidney disease may need to limit. Waste is metabolized from protein which can’t be removed by damaged kidneys.
Thankfully there are many healthy options that are low in Sodium, Potassium and phosphorus.
CONSIDER BEING A DONOR
I think the Kidney is extremely overlooked until you or someone close to you has or is having problems.
Please consider being a donor if you know someone in need because you are literally saving their live and you can still function just fine on 1 and live a healthy life. Technology has come so far and makes the donor process very simple.
There are nearly 100.000 people on waiting list for a Kidney transplant. More people are on the list waiting for a Kidney than all the other organs combined. As a kidney donor, your risk of having kidney failure later in your life is not any higher than it is for someone in the general population.
The operation can take around 2 hours and most will be out of the hospital 3 days later.