The kidneys play a vital role in your body, flushing out toxins and transforming waste material into the urine. Keeping your kidneys healthy is essential for maintaining your overall health. One of the best ways to keep your kidneys working their best is to drink plenty of water. Your diet also plays a crucial role. Learning the best foods for kidney health can help you avoid many problems. We’ll be looking at the best foods to eat for kidney health along with some foods that are especially nourishing to the kidneys such as carrots and cilantro.
A Healthy Diet For Your Kidneys
Finding the ideal diet for your kidneys depends on your current condition as well as any food sensitivities you may have. If you already have an issue such as kidney stones, you may need to follow a specific diet such as low oxalate. Calcium oxalate stones can be made worse by consuming high oxalate foods such as spinach, soy products, and many nuts and legumes. With uric acid stones, you need to reduce meat, alcohol, and other foods that are high in purines, which contribute to uric acid in the urine.
If you have or are susceptible to kidney infections, you can find foods that are useful for preventing this painful condition. Cranberries and cranberry juice, for example, are a fruit good for kidney infections. On the other hand, you should not consume cranberries if you have calcium oxalate stones.
Carrots and the Kidneys
Carrots are renowned for their high beta carotene content. You may have been told as a child to eat your carrots to keep your eyes strong. Carrots and beta carotene have many other benefits as well, especially for the kidneys.
Research shows that beta carotene is one of the best nutrients for helping the kidneys flush out toxins. Beta carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A, also has anti-inflammatory properties and is especially helpful for preventing and managing urinary tract infections.
In addition to beta carotene, carrots are rich in pectin, a nutritious type of fiber often used as a gelling agent in jams and jellies. Studies suggest that pectin can help to prevent kidney failure. Pectin has a diuretic effect, helping the kidneys to remove water and toxins from your body. Pectin also reduces creatinine, which is associated with kidney stress. In addition to carrots, there are several pectin-rich fruits good for kidney health such as apples and lemons.
While carrots are good for maintaining kidney health and for preventing infections, they are moderately high in oxalate. For this reason, you should only consume them in small amounts if you have calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Cilantro and the Kidneys
Cilantro, the leaves of coriander plants, is often used as a seasoning in Asian cooking. Cilantro has also long been recognized as a medicinal plant for its detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties. Cilantro shows promise as a tonic for the kidneys. As a seasoning, it can be easily incorporated into foods such as soups, curries, salads, and other dishes.
Cilantro has powerful antioxidant effects. One study found that cilantro helps to prevent kidney damage in diabetic patients. There’s also evidence that cilantro is effective at removing toxic metals such as lead and mercury from the body. Such metals increase the risk of kidney disease.
If you want to strengthen your kidneys, you can always combine foods and seasonings that have a detoxifying effect. Carrots and cilantro are a good example, as cilantro provides both flavoring and added nutrition to the carrots.
Follow the Right Diet For Kidney Health
In addition to eating kidney supporting foods such as carrots and cilantro, here are some additional guidelines to keep in mind for kidney health.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking water and citrus fruit juices can help lower the risk of kidney problems.
- Eat right for your condition. The best foods to eat for kidney health depend on whether you have a kidney infection, kidney stones, or you are trying to prevent kidney problems.
- Watch your intake of salt. Too much sodium can harm kidney function and contribute to infections and kidney stones.
- Don’t consume excessive protein. Animal protein from meat and seafood contributes to the buildup of uric acid, which can lead to kidney stones.