Kidney diseases are more common than ever, and that is alarming! With increasing life expectancy and prevalence of life style diseases, US has seen a 30% increase in prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in the last decade. In western countries, diabetes and hypertension account for over 2/3rd of the cases of CKD.
In India too, diabetes and hypertension today account for 40–60% cases of CKD. As per recent Indian Council of Medical Research data, prevalence of diabetes in Indian adult population has risen to 7.1% !
With rising prevalence of these diseases in India, prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease is expected to rise!
Therefore, it is becoming important to make great renal-food choices!
Below are some kidney-friendly foods you would want to start eating from today.
1. Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are a good choice for those concerned about kidney health, because they’re low in potassium. Not only do they add color and taste to any dish, but red bell peppers are loaded with vitamins A, C, B6, folic acid and fiber. They also contain the antioxidant lycopene, which protects against certain types of cancer.
Cabbage is filled with phytochemicals, chemical compounds found in certain fruits and vegetables. Phytochemicals work to break apart free radicals. Many phytochemicals are believed to combat cancer and support cardiovascular health. Inexpensive cabbage is a great addition to your eating plan, because it’s also high in vitamins K and C, high in fiber and a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid, yet it’s low in potassium, so it’s especially kidney-friendly.
High in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, apples help reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease and decrease your risk of cancer. Renal-friendly apples can be eaten raw or cooked. Or get their health benefits by drinking apple juice daily!
Cranberries help reduce the risk of urinary infections while blueberries are anti-inflammatory with high content of vitamin C and fiber. Strawberries are rich in antioxidants along with manganese and fiber. Therefore, all the berries are superfoods to maintain kidney health.
5. Egg whites
Egg whites provide the highest quality protein, along with all of the essential amino acids. Egg whites are easily digestible and have less phosphorus content than other protein sources, such as egg yolks or meats. Therefore, use egg whites for omelettes, scramble or egg white sandwiches.
Another high-quality source of protein is fish. Both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association recommend that you include fish in your meal plan two or three times a week. Besides being a great source of protein, fish contains anti-inflammatory fats called omega-3s. These healthy fats help prevent diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. They also help lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (the good cholesterol).
Recommended protein intake for those suffering from a kidney disease (by the American Kidney Fund) : 40-50 grams per day, to maintain overall kidney function.
Tips to maintain good kidney health:
- Drink sufficient water (at least 8-10 glasses daily)
- Manage stress (using stress management techniques like yoga therapy, meditation etc.)
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Have a balanced diet rich in fruits and veges with a moderate amount of cereals and restricted amount of sugars and fats. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory and protects against oxidation so, it is better to use it instead of saturated fats like butter.
- Stay active !