Kidney diseases refer to any ailment or disorder affecting the kidneys, which play a crucial role in filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood. Some common kidney diseases include chronic kidney disease (CKD), kidney stones, kidney infections, polycystic kidney disease, and kidney failure.
While diet alone may not prevent kidney disease, it can certainly help lower the risk and manage existing kidney conditions. Consuming excessive amounts of protein can strain the kidneys, especially for individuals with existing kidney disease. Moderation is key, and consulting with a healthcare professional or dietitian is advised.
People with kidney disease often need to limit their intake of foods high in phosphorus and potassium. This includes reducing consumption of certain dairy products, nuts, seeds, chocolate, and high-potassium fruits and vegetables.
Along with avoiding certain food groups, there are foods that can help improve your kidney health. Certain vegetarian foods can boost your kidney health and lower risk of various kidney diseases. If you are a vegetarian, you can incorporate these foods to your diet for better kidney health.
8 Vegetarian foods to help reduce your risk of kidney diseases:
1. Leafy greens
Rich in nutrients like vitamin C, folic acid, and antioxidants, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard can help protect against kidney damage. They also have detoxifying qualities that helps improve kidney health.
Loaded with antioxidants, berries like blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries can help reduce inflammation and improve kidney health. They are also rich in nutrients that help protect the kidneys from damage.
High in fibre, protein, and essential nutrients, legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans are beneficial for kidney health.
4. Sweet potatoes
These nutrient-dense tubers offer a good source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals while being low in sodium, beneficial for overall kidney health. Sweet potatoes also act as a much healthier alternative to potatoes.
5. Nuts and seeds
Almonds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are packed with healthy fats, fibre, and plant-based protein, offering kidney-protective benefits. Eating nuts and seeds to your diet has been proven to boost overall health as they are abundant in healthful nutrients.
6. Whole grains
Examples include quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread, which provide essential nutrients and fibre, helping maintain kidney health. Whole grains are a way healthier alternative to refined carbohydrates.
7. Cruciferous vegetables
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, supporting kidney function. They are low in calories and extremely versatile.
With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, garlic can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of kidney disease.