Today 14th March 2019 is World Kidney Day. 850 million people worldwide are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes such as high blood pressure and heart complications. Chronic Kidney Disease causes at least 2.4 million deaths globally per year and is now the 6th fastest growing cause of disease. In the spirit of World Kidney Day, here is a list of 5 top foods that assist in keeping your kidneys healthy.
- WATER (Uuuhhhm Duh!)
We all know water is amazing for just about anything. About 60 – 70 % of our body weight is made up of water and every part of our body needs water to function effectively. Water helps kidneys to remove waste from the body in the form of urine. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage therefore it is important for you to always stay hydrated. 8 glasses of water is the general recommendation but this rule is not set in stone. There is no hard and fast rule on how much water one should take. Water intake will vary according to your weight, level of activity, age, climate as well as states of pregnancy and illness.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) a day for women.
Although very uncommon, it is very possible to drink too much water. When you drink too much water, your kidneys fail to excrete excess water and the sodium content of your blood is diluted causing a condition known as Hyponatremia, which could be life threatening. Remember, moderation is key.
Keep your kidneys protected and stay water-wise!
As the common saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, this is true in more ways than one. High in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, apples help to reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, and decrease your risk of cancer. Loading up on apples that are rich in vitamin B-6, C and other vitamins and minerals will also help prevent Kidney stones. Have them cooked or fresh, it’s all up to you.
Mushrooms are great source of vitamin D which is extremely important to help regulate kidney function. Remember to know your mushrooms, out of 10 000 species 50-100 are toxic and can cause serious health problems. Avoid eating these at all costs.
Cranberries prevent the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract and bladder. Cranberries make urine more acidic therefore can help manage present ulcers and bacteria. They also prevent development and recurrence of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s). Next time you are in the grocery store don’t forget to add some cranberries to your cart and always pick fresh over dried. Cranberry juice is also a good option but be sure to pick the 100% cranberry juice, organic and water based. Stay away from that other sugar loaded stuff.
If you can get passed the gross taste left in your mouth after a garlic filled meal, you will be able to keep your kidneys working at its best. Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and lowers cholesterol keeping your blood flowing and in turn your kidneys healthy. Garlic also has diuretic properties, diuretics help eliminate excess sodium from the body. Just remember to brush your teeth after that garlic filled meal.
Eat right and stay active to keep your kidneys healthy. Your kidneys are very vital organs and should be taken care of. Join the Move4kdneys campaign by getting up and getting active. Through a good diet and exercise you can reduce your risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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