World Kidney Day 2023: Foods to eat and avoid for repairing kidneys
World Kidney Day 2023: What we eat can improve or deteriorate our kidney health. Know the right and wrong foods for your kidney function.
World Kidney Day 2023: When it comes to maintaining a good kidney health, eating a balanced diet with the right mix of all the nutrients can do wonders. However, if the kidneys aren't functioning well avoiding fruits, juices, dry fruits and those rich in phosphorous is recommended. A kidney patient needs to keep a close check on the amount of salt and strictly stay away from packaged products that could unknowingly increase your salt intake and further cause damage to kidneys. Kidney damage can also occur due to certain chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure among others. Managing these conditions well can go a long way in repairing and keeping your kidneys healthy. (Also read: Weak kidneys? 6 effective home remedies to help improve kidney function)
Kidneys perform a very crucial function of filtering out waste products from the blood and eliminating them out of the body through urine. They also help balance electrolytes and other fluids. They are usually damaged by a condition called chronic kidney disease. Dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, berries, apples, fatty fish are all considered kidney-friendly while legumes, nuts, dairy products, packaged products, high-sugar foods much be avoided by kidney disease patients.
World Kidney Day is celebrated every year on March 9 to raise awareness about the importance of kidneys to our overall health. Awareness about preventive behaviours, risk factors, and how to live with a kidney disease is crucial.
What we eat can also improve or deteriorate our kidney health. The right kind of foods can help improve kidney function.
"Diet plays a vital role in prevention, treatment and maintenance of kidney health. The kidney is responsible for excretion of salt and water, blood pressure maintenance and acid base balance. Hence as kidney ailment steps in the above functioning gets affected. A kidney-friendly diet will help protect your kidneys from further damage," says Dr Ruchi Samdani, Nephrologist and Kidney Transplant Physician at Bhatia Hospital Mumbai.
"As a doctor, I would like to emphasize that the kidneys are vital organs that play a crucial role in filtering and removing waste products from the body. When the kidneys are damaged or diseased, they can no longer function properly, which can lead to a build-up of toxins and waste products in the body. Therefore, it is important to consume foods that support kidney health and help repair any damage that may have occurred, says Dr Varun Mittal, Senior Consultant, Kidney Transplant, Uro-Oncology and Robotic Surgery, Artemis Hospitals, Gurgaon.
AVOID SALT, SUGAR, CARBS
"First of all, it is very important to consider the overall condition of the patient. In the case that the patient has high blood sugar or is at an early stage of CKD, there are several things to keep in mind, such as having adequate water, low salt intake, and avoiding sugar and artificial sweeteners as much as possible. Also, it is recommended to avoid carbs. Always try and have natural sweeteners like fruits and avoid juices and aerated drinks," says Dr Mittal.
LIMIT SALT INTAKE
Dr Ruchi Samdani says one must limit salt intake to help control blood pressure and limit water retention.
"Eating foods that are higher in sodium can impact your heart and kidney health, especially if you are salt sensitive, by causing your blood pressure to rise and contributing to the narrowing of your blood vessels throughout the body, including in your kidneys, leading to kidney disease," she says, adding, "consuming freshly produced food, limit frozen, canned and packaged food and ‘avoid adding salt’ to cooked food - are some measures for limiting salt intake."
KEEP CHRONIC CONDITIONS IN CONTROL
"As the kidney function declines, one should avoid food high in potassium (certain fruits, fruit juices, dry fruits, nuts) and phosphorous. Protein should also be consumed in limited quantity as kidney disease progresses. Keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar, potassium, water retention and inflammation under control will help repair acute kidney injury and maintain kidney health for all," says Dr Ruchi.
"In today’s world, people are opting for various diet options, including high protein diets. However, to maintain good kidney health, it is important to have a balanced diet as per their lifestyle and body workout. Additionally, natural and plant-based protein is always better than animal protein," concludes Dr Mittal.
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