It’s time to spill the tea on those bean-shaped organs in your body.
Kidneys support vital functions like waste filtration, regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and hormone production. Their role in maintaining overall health is paramount; they filter toxins, maintain fluid balance, and support cardiovascular health.
Kidneys are essential for well-being, so we’re shining the spotlight on kidney health this Kidney Awareness Week.
Eating to support your kidneys
Kidney problems can arise due to various factors such as ageing, diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease. A well-balanced diet can significantly reduce the risk of kidney damage and support kidney health.
Proper hydration is essential for kidney health. Drinking enough water helps your kidneys flush out waste and toxins. Aim to consume around 8-10 cups of water per day, but adjust this based on your activity level and individual needs.
Limit sodium intake
High sodium intake can raise your blood pressure and strain your kidneys. To reduce sodium in your diet, avoid processed foods, canned soups, and restaurant/fast food. Opt for fresh, whole foods instead and use herbs and spices for flavouring.
If you have kidney disease, monitoring phosphorus intake is crucial as impaired kidneys may struggle to remove excess phosphorus. Limit consumption of high-phosphorus foods like dairy products, nuts, and seeds, and opt for low-phosphorus alternatives.
Kidneys help regulate potassium levels in your body. If you have kidney issues, avoid high-potassium foods like bananas, oranges, and potatoes. Instead, opt for lower-potassium fruits and vegetables like apples, berries, and cabbage.
Opt for lean protein
High-protein diets can be taxing on the kidneys, so choose lean sources of protein like chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes. These options provide essential amino acids without overburdening your kidneys. Your nutrition focus should be on eating a variety of healthy foods to provide you with the right balance of energy and protein.
Include healthy fats
Incorporate heart-healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts into your diet. These fats support overall health and are a great addition to a kidney-friendly diet.
Monitor sugar intake
High blood sugar levels can damage your kidneys over time. If you have diabetes, work on maintaining stable blood sugar levels through a balanced diet and regular monitoring.
Focus on a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This provides essential nutrients while minimising the risk of overburdening your kidneys.
Maintaining kidney health is not about eliminating certain foods all together but rather having a balanced approach to food while ensuring it supports your kidney function. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian, especially if you have underlying kidney issues, to tailor your diet to your specific needs.
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