Top tips to keep your kidney healthy

“Prevention is better than cure”, and prevention lies in including a few management tips in your health routine like-

1) Limit the work load on the kidney: You can action this by making certain changes in the diet to lower harmful toxins. This ensures that the kidney eliminates the harmful, waste ingredients from the blood as well as expels it out from the body through urination. In the course of your day, the entire blood in the body gets strained more than 20-25 times. For this reason, it’s crucial that you decrease the amount of work on the kidney.

2) Drink plenty of fluids: Do you wonder why is it essential to have 8-10 glasses of water per day? Imagine a reservoir with low water levels. It may look dry, dusty, or shallow, with many objects bobbing on the surface that otherwise might be carried off downstream. This grim image is a picture of your bloodstream and kidneys when you don’t drink enough fluids. Although the kidneys act as more of a filter than a reservoir, toxins can build up if there isn’t enough water pressure to push them through to the urinary tract for excretion.

3) Eat cleansing foods: Fruits and vegetables help the kidneys remove excess acid from the body and excrete it in urine. Foods that contain antioxidants can help prevent damage to cells caused by free-radicals in the body.

a. Egg whites provide protein, addition to being the highest quality of protein with all the essential amino acids with less phosphorus than other protein sources such as egg yolk or meats.

b. Cabbage- High in vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber, cabbage is also a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid. Low in potassium and low in cost, it’s an affordable addition to the kidney diet.

c. Red bell peppers- Red bell peppers are low in potassium. This tasty vegetable is also an excellent source of lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as vitamin B6, folic acid and fiber.

d. Grapes – are an excellent choice for detoxifying the kidneys as they help to flush out excess uric acid from the system.

e. Cranberries -contain an essential nutrient and antioxidant called proanthocyanidin. They are also rich in quinine, which converts to a substance called hippuric acid that helps to eliminate toxins from the body.

4) Magnesium Intake: Due to high blood pressure and toxic overload when magnesium is deficient, kidney function can be largely affected. To ensure that your body is getting enough magnesium, which keeps the kidneys functioning well, make sure you eat as many dark green vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains.

5) Cut the Sodium, salt and protein: The body spends a lot of energy eliminating unnecessary things like excess protein, salt and even water. The kidneys being the body’s filter in removing waste will have to work harder if any of these are consumed in excess. Sodium is essential in maintaining fluid balance, but if it is consumed in excess and then not properly filtered out in someone with a kidney disease, it can cause high blood pressure and may lead to heart attack and stroke. Kidney malfunction may also occur if it has to handle excess protein (more than 1 gm. / kg of body weight), as they have to work harder to remove the blood urea nitrogen from the body. Drinking too much water when it’s not needed also puts extra stress on kidneys and can lead to renal damage.

6) Calcium mineral supplements: The Kidney performs a crucial role in calcium supplement supply in the body. Up on reduced calcium intake, a hormone is actually released. This hormone in conjunction with vitamin D encourages release of calcium through bones which is soaked up from the intestine. However though, kidney is actually actively involved in staying away from osteoporosis, excess calcium supplement in kidney stones. As a result it is essential to have an organic diet that is full of calcium and to steer clear of supplements unless informed to do so by a competent physician.

Renal friendly recipe for world kidney day ( 14th March )

Vegetable patties
Portions: 6
Serving size: 2 cutlets

Ingredients-
1 cup grated carrots
2 cups grated cabbage
2 cups  french beans, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
4  brown bread slices

Preparation-
Steam cabbage and carrots in a pan. When half cooked, add the chopped french beans and cook until completely done.

When cool, add spices, flour and bread slices (soaked in water and drained by squeezing between the palms), coriander leaves and the lime juice.

Make 12 balls and flatten each into a patty (the size of a small burger).

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and place patties in the saucepan, two or three at a time without crowding.

Flip patties over when cooked, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

Source: Dr. Vandana Mathur, PhD (Nutrition), Consulting Nutritionist, Metropolis Healthcare Limited
Image: Thinkstockphotos.com

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