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8 Foods for your Kidney Health

Your kidneys are responsible for a number of functions including balancing body fluids and processing blood to help remove waste from the body. However, if any of these tasks are even slightly affected, it can lead to a host of issues such as high blood pressure, and kidney stones.

1. Red bell peppers

Red bell peppers are low in potassium, and a wise choice for individuals with kidney problems.  Excess levels of potassium in the blood can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD).  They also are rich in vitamin A, C, vitamin B6, folic acid, and fiber, allowing bell peppers to be used as an antioxidant to help remove free radicals and stop inflammation.  In addition, red bell peppers also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can be used to prevent certain types of cancer.  Red bell peppers are an easy addition to any meal, as you can mix them into a salad, roast them and put them on a sandwich, chop them and use them in an omelet, and more.  Red bell peppers are a helpful and accessible option to promote kidney health.

2. Garlic

Garlic works best at reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.  As it pertains to the kidneys, garlic can lower the absorption of salt into the kidneys as well as increase urine production.  Add garlic to your meals to give your food more flavor and simply to get more garlic in your diet.  If you have a history of high blood pressure, you should use powdered or fresh garlic instead of garlic salt.

3. Apples

Apples are high anti-inflammatories and help reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, and protect you from heart disease and cancer.  Due to them being high in fiber and their anti-inflammatory properties, apples are very beneficial for those with kidney issues.  You can consume apples in a wide variety of ways and still get sufficient benefits.  You can eat them raw, baked, or you can get health benefits by drinking apple juice and/or drinking apple cider.

4. Berries

Various types of berries can have different types of health benefits for your kidneys. For example, blueberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants which help protect the cell structure of the body.  Raspberries are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, folate, and have properties that inhibits cancer and tumor growth.  Cranberries are most effective at reducing your risk of developing urinary tract infections by keeping bacteria from attaching to the inside of the bladder.  Berries are widely accessible and can easily be included a variety of foods in order to get optimal benefits for your kidneys.

5. Cherries

Along with berries, cherries are another effective fruit that can improve the function of your kidneys.  Much like berries, cherries are loaded with powerful antioxidants that protect the kidneys.  Fresh cherries are always a fantastic option as a snack, but there are plenty of other ways to incorporate cherries into your diet.  For example, you can make a cherry sauce and serve it with lamb or pork, and a popular fruit drink is cherry juice.

6. Onion

Onion is a very popular ingredient used for flavoring in cooked dishes.  Onions are stocked with flavonoids, chemicals that prevent build-up of fatty material in blood vessels.  A specific flavonoid in onions, quercetin, is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the chances of developing heart disease and cancer.  Onions also contain high levels of iron, which help increase your red blood cell count and improve kidney function.  Onions are low in potassium and high in chromium, which enables protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism.

7. Egg whites

Egg whites are a pure protein, meaning that they provide the highest quality of protein, and all of the essential amino acids.  In addition to eating egg whites on their own, there are a number of ways to incorporate egg whites into your diet, such as creating an egg white omelet or sandwich, boil them and either eat them as deviled eggs or you can also add them to tuna or green salads, and you can even add them to smoothies and shakes.

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil is an important source of fatty acids, which as we have mentioned, is very beneficial toward the health of the kidneys.  Olive oil also contains oleic acid, which has been shown to have lower risks of heart disease and cancer, while also helping reduce inflammation.  Virgin and extra virgin olive oil are also high in antioxidants and can be used in salad dressing, used with bread in place of butter, and also used as a marinade on vegetables.

Keeping your kidneys healthy can go a long way towards keeping your body healthy.  These 8 foods are perfect ways to keep your kidneys healthy, and improve the function of the kidneys.