Foods for Kidney Health
According to National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) (A service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH)), one in 10 American adults, more than 20 million, have some level of chronic kidney disease. So what can we do to protect our kidneys? Head to the supermarket of course, as antioxidant rich foods are a top choice for protecting our kidneys.
Here are some foods to add to your shopping list today!
Red bell peppers: low in potassium and high in flavor, these tasty vegetables are also an excellent source of vitamin C and A, as well as B6, folic acid, and fiber. Red bell peppers are good for you because they contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against certain cancers. Chop up red bell pepper and toss in just about anything from chicken salad to an omelet.
Cabbage: a cruciferous vegetable packed full of phytochemicals and antioxidants; many known to protect against and fight cancer, as well as foster cardiovascular health. Sulforaphane, a phytochemical in cruciferous vegetables, may prevent or stop cancer cell growth in lung, colon, breast, bladder, prostate and ovarian cancers. Cabbage is high in vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber, as well as being a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid.
Onions: a member of the Allium family and a basic veggie in many cooked dishes are rich in sulfur giving it its pungent smell. Onions are also rich in flavonoids, especially quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that works to reduce heart disease and protects against many cancers. Onions are low in potassium and a great source of chromium, a mineral that helps with macronutrient metabolism, especially with carbs.
Apples: known to reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer, and taste good - are great for our kidneys. High in fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds, an apple a day may really keep the doctor away.
Blueberries: high in the antioxidant phytonutrients, anthocyanidins, which give them their blue color, are bursting with natural compounds that reduce inflammation. Blueberries are a good source of vitamin C; manganese, and fiber, and may also help protect the brain from some of the effects of aging.
Raspberries: contain ellagic acid, a phytonutrient which helps neutralize free radicals in the body to prevent cell damage. They also contain flavonoids called anthocyanins, antioxidants which give them their red color. An excellent source of manganese, vitamin C, fiber and folate, a B vitamin, raspberries may have properties that inhibit cancer cell growth and tumor formation.
Omega-3 rich fish: a combination of high-quality proteins and anti-inflammatory omega-3s that help fight diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Omega-3s also help lower low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol, and raise high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol. The American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association recommend eating omega 3 rich fish like salmon or sardines two to three times a week.
Shopping for kidney health is similar to shopping for general health, choosing fresh produce (seasonal if possible) and making most meals at home, minding the salt, are two tips that will have you headed in the right direction.
Please contact your health care provider if you currently suffer from kidney issues before making any changes to your diet.