World Kidney Day is an annual global campaign that aims to raise awareness about the importance of kidney health and reduce the burden of kidney diseases worldwide. Kidney diseases affect millions of people globally, and the number of cases continues to rise each year.
One of the best ways to promote kidney health is through a healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet low in salt, sugar, and saturated fats and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help prevent kidney damage and maintain good kidney function.
On World Kidney Day 2023, it is essential to emphasise the role of nutrition in promoting kidney health. People with kidney diseases or those at risk of developing them should pay close attention to their diet and make informed choices about their foods.
This blog will provide a list of foods that people should avoid and foods that promote good kidney health. Pledge to make small changes this world kidney day to significantly improve kidney health and reduce the risk of developing kidney diseases.
Foods to eat for good kidney health
Here are some foods that are beneficial for kidney health and an explanation for each:
Berries: Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants and low in potassium, making them an excellent choice for maintaining good kidney health. Antioxidants help to reduce inflammation and protect the kidneys from damage, while the low potassium content helps to prevent potassium buildup in the blood, which can be harmful to individuals with kidney problems.
Fish: Fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for kidney health. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of heart disease, and protect against kidney damage.
Garlic: Garlic is a natural diuretic and helps to reduce blood pressure, making it an excellent food for individuals with kidney problems. High blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney damage, and consuming garlic regularly can help to lower blood pressure and protect the kidneys.
Leafy Greens: Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are high in vitamins and minerals that are essential for kidney health, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. These nutrients help to reduce inflammation and protect the kidneys from damage.
Apples: Apples are a good source of fibre, which can help to reduce cholesterol levels and improve overall kidney health. Apples also contain antioxidants, which help to protect the kidneys from damage.
Foods to avoid for good kidney health
Here are some foods to avoid for good kidney health, along with explanations for why they can be harmful to the kidneys:
Processed and canned foods: Processed and canned foods are often high in sodium and preservatives. Sodium is a mineral that can increase blood pressure and cause the kidneys to work harder to remove excess fluids. Preservatives like phosphates can also be harmful to the kidneys, as they can cause mineral imbalances and contribute to the development of kidney stones.
Red meat: Red meat is high in protein, which can increase the workload on the kidneys. When protein is metabolized, it produces waste products like urea and creatinine, which the kidneys must filter out of the blood. Consuming too much protein can cause these waste products to build up in the blood, which can be harmful to the kidneys over time.
Dairy products: Dairy products are a good source of calcium and phosphorus, but consuming too much of these minerals can be harmful to the kidneys. When the kidneys are functioning properly, they can regulate the levels of these minerals in the blood. However, if the kidneys are damaged or not functioning properly, high levels of calcium and phosphorus can build up in the blood, leading to bone problems and other complications.
Sugary drinks: Sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks can be harmful to the kidneys in a few different ways. First, they can cause dehydration, which can strain the kidneys and make it harder for them to function properly. Second, they can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of kidney disease. Moreover, some sugary drinks contain high levels of phosphorus, which can be harmful to the kidneys over time.
World Kidney Day 2023 reminds us of the importance of kidney health and the role that diet plays in maintaining it. By avoiding processed foods, red meat, sugary drinks, and foods high in phosphorus, and instead eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and staying hydrated with water, we can support our kidney health and prevent kidney disease. It’s important to remember that good kidney health is a lifelong commitment and that making healthy choices every day can make a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. So, let’s make a conscious effort to prioritize our kidney health by making healthy food choices and taking care of our bodies.