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Keeping your kidneys healthy

Kidneys are the bean-shaped organs that filter your blood and remove toxins, excess salts and fluids. Healthy kidneys also produce red blood cells, store vitamins and minerals and release them into the bloodstream as needed.
Reducing your risk is a priority if you know you have kidney disease or are at high risk of developing it. Your kidneys are very sensitive to toxins that burden the body. What we eat can directly affect kidney function, but it’s not just about what not to eat – there are certain foods that help reduce stress on your kidneys, improve their function and support overall health. Here are some useful tips from professionals to keep your kidneys happy:

Watch your protein

Protein-rich foods like meat, fish, dairy and eggs are an essential part of any healthy diet. But they also put extra strain on your kidneys – they have to work harder to filter proteins out of the bloodstream. If your kidneys are already under strain, this can make things worse. A healthy daily intake of protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men.

Go for vegetables and beans

A high-protein diet is often accompanied by a low intake of nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. And that can be a problem for your kidneys – they need special support to function optimally, especially in times of stress. Some good sources of vitamins and minerals that can help reduce stress on your kidneys are – Carrots – packed with vitamin A and antioxidants, carrots are great for the immune system. – Broccoli – contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. – Cauliflower – a good source of vitamin B6 – helps the body produce and break down proteins. – Brussels sprouts – Vitamin K is essential for healthy kidneys. – Spinach – vitamin B2, vitamin A and iron are all useful for kidney health. – Potatoes – a good source of vitamin B6 and potassium, plus minerals like iron and zinc.

Get your antioxidants in

In addition to vitamins and minerals, antioxidants have a positive effect on kidney function. Antioxidants are not only essential to help your body fight infections, but also appear to have a beneficial effect on kidney function. Some good sources of antioxidants that can help reduce stress on your kidneys are: – Berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc are all high in antioxidants. – Broccoli – again, broccoli can help reduce stress on your kidneys. – Carrots – carrots can help lower blood pressure and support kidney health. – Spinach – packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants that can help reduce stress on your kidneys. – Potatoes – potatoes are a great source of vitamin C. Visit Sapje for more information on maintaining healthy kidneys.