If you thought that the only important organs of the body that needs to be kept healthy are the heart and brain, then you are wrong. Another essential organ that must not be ignored is the kidney.
Our kidney has several functions. First among them is its role to filter the toxins that are the result of the oxidation process in our body. If waste products are not removed from our body, it accumulates and the toxins can enter into the blood brain barrier causing several neurological diseases. Another function of the kidney is the regulation of water in our body. If the body needs to conserve water, the kidney function by reducing the water eliminated from the body. If there is too much water, the kidney does the opposite.
Moreover, kidneys produce three important hormones: erythropoietin, renin and calcitriol. Erythropoietin is important in the production of red blood cells. With damaged kidney, there is higher risk of developing anemia because the bone marrow is not triggered to produce more red blood cells. Renin’s role is in the control of the blood pressure, while calcitriol functions in the balance of calcium in the body. Without these due to damaged kidney, the body will have several health complications. It is therefore very essential for anybody to maintain superior health of the kidney. In order to do that, there should be changes in the lifestyle. Included in the lifestyle modification is the inclusion of foods that can actually help maintain the health of the kidneys. Below are some of those foods:
Red bell pepper
Red bell peppers are in fact one of the foods that can help protect the health of the kidney. First, just a cup of tangy and crunchy raw bell peppers can already provide almost 200 percent of the required daily value of vitamin C. Red bell peppers are also rich in vitamins A and B6, as well as folate, fiber and vitamin E. It may be popular vegetable, but it is not well-researched for its health advantages. However, some of the findings indicate that bell peppers have huge advantage being a potent antioxidant in protecting the kidney. As the phytonutrients eliminate the free radicals from the body, the kidney is protected from having to work harder in filtering the toxins that may cause diseases. Red bell pepper therefore must not be missed in any meals for better kidney protection.
Cabbage has been suggested to be part of the dialysis diet because of the amounts of vitamins and minerals it contains. Cabbage is highly rich in vitamin K. Just a cup of raw cabbage can already provide about 66 percent of the vitamin K requirement. It also has high amounts of vitamin C at 42.7 percent daily value. Cabbage also has folate, fiber, manganese and all other minerals, packed with only 17 calories. It is the phytonutrients in cabbage that makes it good for kidneys. Its phytonutrients serve as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Any damage brought to the kidneys due to its excessive functioning can be remedied by nutrients found in cabbage.
Just like its cousin, the cabbage, cauliflower is also beneficial to the kidneys for its high amounts of conventional nutrients and phytonutrients. Being rich in vitamin C is already enough for the kidneys to be protected from the damage caused by the free radicals all over the body. However, cauliflower must be taken lightly for those who have problems with purine synthesis, particularly those who have familial tendencies to develop gout or related diseases. This is because cauliflower has high amounts of purine. If one has problems with purine, eating too much of cauliflower may cause accumulation of purines which can result to not only gout but also kidney stones and perhaps, kidney damage later on. Cauliflower, though, will not harm those who are non-susceptible to purine-causing diseases. In fact, their kidney will receive more nutrients and protection from eating cauliflower.
Garlic may not be loaded with vitamins and minerals but the phytonutrients found in garlic has shown to cause anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral benefits. And these are beneficial to the health of the kidneys. When garlic is taken regularly, any inflammatory problems undergone by the kidney as it continuously performs its function will be prevented. And since garlic helps in the elimination of bacteria and viruses, the kidney will not anymore be subjected to extreme activities, ensuring its constant health. There are indications that garlic’s diallyl sulfide and thiacremonone protects body organs, including kidney from too much inflammation, a precursor of debilitating diseases, such as renal failure. It is therefore wise to include garlic in the diet regularly.
Onion is just similar with garlic when it comes to health benefits it can offer to the kidney. The outer layer of onions has the most concentration of flavonoids that are beneficial to the elimination of free radicals that has been causing several diseases in the body, especially renal failure. Onions are part of the allium family of plants and these types of plants are effective anti-inflammatories. Onion has the sulfur molecule called onionin A, which is effective in stopping the activities of macrophages that is responsible for the inflammatory responses of the body. If the kidney is experiencing chronic inflammation, onions are good in decreasing this condition. Just like garlic, onion must be eaten regularly for the sake of kidney’s health.
Nobody can deny the adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. An apple, just like any other fruits, is actually beneficial in preventing any stone formation in the kidney. In a study published by the Journal of the American Society Nephrology, apples have shown to lower the incidences of kidney stone formation. Apples are rich in fiber, vitamin C and phytonutrients. All these are working together to keep the stones from being formed. Additionally, the health of the kidneys may also be dependent on the polyphenols found in apple which serves as antioxidant. With the polyphenols, the tissues of the kidney are protected from harmful free radicals.
There is an ongoing buzz these days on the benefits of cranberries on the development of kidney stones as well as in protecting the body from developing urinary tract infection. In the case of urinary tract infections, or UTI, those who have the tendency to develop urate stones, such as individuals who have uric acid problems, will greatly benefit by taking cranberries. But for individuals who are forming calcium oxalate stones, which most people do have, they should reduce their intake of cranberries because cranberries can form calcium in the body. But aside from that issue, individuals must always try to consider eating cranberries or drinking the juice. Not only will they receive vitamin C, fiber and manganese, they will also rip the benefits of the phytonutrients found in the fruit.
With the exception of individuals formerly diagnosed with calcium-oxalate stone formation in the kidney, everyone must consider taking blueberries regularly to get those healthy kidneys. Blueberries are rich in vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C and fiber, but they are mostly rich ion phytonutrients that are helpful in protecting the health of the major body organs, especially the kidney. Ingesting blueberries daily will keep away the harmful compounds that will try to damage the kidney. Always remember that among the major organs in the body, the kidney has the most encounters with toxins. It is therefore important to protect it by increasing intake of fruits rich in phytonutrients, such as blueberries.