We all know that for our body to function properly and stay healthy, it is important that all or organs function to the full of their potential. The World Kidney Day is observed globally on the 8th of March every year. We all should come together in raising awareness on the importance of our kidneys and the healthy kidney diet. Our kidneys are a vital organ to us, and performs some of the most crucial functions in our body to keep us alive and healthy.
The most important of all is, that they keep the body composition or makeup of the blood stable so that our body could perform the following:
- Prevents the built up of unwanted and harmful wastes and extra fluids by extracting them
- Keep the levels of electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and phosphate stable.
- Produces some vital hormones that are important for –
- Regulation of blood pressure.
- Keeping the bones strong.
- Making RBC (red blood cells).
The Importance of Healthy Kidney Diet
A healthy and balanced diet is essential for proper functioning of our kidneys, especially when they are damaged and conditions are deteriorating. We all know that eating healthy is important, and only good nutrition can provide the body with the necessary energy it requires to perform optimally like maintaining healthy weight, build-up of muscles and prevent infections. The basis of a healthy kidney diet plan is to provide it with the right amount of calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- Proteins: feeding the body with the right amount of protein that it need is crucial for our overall health and wellbeing. Red meat (veal, lamb, and beef), poultry, eggs, fish and other seafood, grains and vegetables are rich sources of proteins. Proteins helps built, repair and maintain every cell in our body.
- Calories: are the fuel for the body to carry with the regular activities. It also helps in maintaining ideal body weight and allows the body to repair the muscles and tissues of the body. The quantity of calorie required by a person varies from one individual to another.
- Vitamins and Minerals: the amount of minerals and vitamins that our body needs changes as a result of kidney ailments. As also because of the same you might be put on a special diet where you might have to take mineral and vitamin substitutes as your body do not get it from the special diet food that you eat.
Steps to eating right for your kidneys – The Healthy Kidney Diet Plan
- Prepare and eat food with less salt and sodium to control blood pressure.
- But fresh food items and avoid packaged and processed foods that contains sodium and salt.
- Use spices, herbs and sodium-free seasoning instead of salt to cook food.
- Properly rinse canned vegetables, beans, meats and fish with water before eating.
- Check for nutrition labels before you buy any food products.
- Choose heart healthy foods to eat to keep out fat from building in the blood vessels, heart and kidneys.
- Instead of deep fried foods, prefer to eat grilled, broiled, roasted or stir-fried foods.
- Cook in non-stick pans with healthy oils instead of butter.
- Remove skin from poultry and trim excess fats from meats before cooking.
- Read labels for saturated and trans fats and avoid them.
Heart healthy foods – Fish, Beans, Vegetables, Fruits, Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese, Skinless poultry and Lean meats.
- Eat the right amount and type of protein to protect the kidneys. Consumption of proteins creates wastes, hence more intake of protein is equivalent to more waste, thereby more efforts for your kidney to remove these wastes.
- Eat smaller portions of protein foods.
- Protein is present in both plant and animal based food. Take guidance from a dietician to decide on the amount and type of protein.
Protein foods – Chicken, Fish, Meat, Eggs, Dairy, Beans, Nuts and Grains.
- Select foods and drinks with less phosphorous, as excess phosphorus in the blood pulls out calcium from your bones, making your bones thin, weak, and vulnerable to break.
- Many packages foods contains phosphorous, check label before buying.
- Some fresh meats and poultry contains added phosphorous. Always chose to have organic fed meats and poultry.
- Go for foods with the correct amount of potassium to aid the muscles and nerves work the right way. Damaged kidneys allow potassium to build up in the blood, which can cause serious heart problems.
- Salt substitutes are often high in potassium, check label before buying.
- Always drain canned fruits and vegetables before consuming.