The human body can be compared to a car. If you take good care of it, it will serve you well. If you neglect it, it’ll park up when you least expect it to. I know that despite the harsh economic situation in Nigeria, most of us want to live long. We also know that we have not the power to determine our length of days on earth. Still, we eat what we consider good food, we exercise, take drugs, research and do whatever else they say is necessary to enjoy the good health and the long life that we desire.
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Well, caring for the renal system is an important part of the body care routine. Our discussion today centres on the kidneys, the bean-shaped organs in the renal system. The kidneys help the body to pass waste as urine. They release hormones that regulate blood pressure and they help to filter blood before sending it back to the heart. The kidneys need to be cared for as certain food choices, habits, diseases can damage them. Our focus today is on foods that promote the health of our kidneys.
Members of the sweet tooth club will be happy to see this fruit on the list. Apple is a good source of vitamin C. More importantly, this fruit contains pectin, a soluble fibre that can lower cholesterol and glucose level. These are risk factors for kidney damage.
I don’t have to tell you that the sustainability of all forms of human life on earth is dependent on water. Seventy percent of our body fluids is water and this water helps the body to perform its daily functions. The cells, for instance, need water to transport toxins into the bloodstream. The kidney uses water to filter these toxins out and to create the urine that transports them out of the body. Thus, if you want to make the kidneys’ job easy, drink lots of water.
For centuries, this ingredient has been used in cooking and healing. Garlic has a pungent smell but it adds a unique flavour to food. Recent studies reveal that it can be used to promote overall kidney health due to its diuretic properties. Garlic is also a good source of manganese, and vitamins C and B6. So, forget the pungent smell. Just go ahead and cook with this ingredient and enjoy its nutritional benefits.
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Egg yolk is both nutritious and delicious. But egg white is a better choice for people on a renal diet. It provides high quality, kidney-friendly source of protein. Two large egg whites contain 110mg of sodium, 108mg of potassium and 10mg of phosphorus.
This cruciferous vegetable is great for the digestive system; it provides insoluble fibre which promotes regular bowel movement and adds bulk to stool. Cabbage is a cheap addition to a renal diet. It is loaded with fibre, folic acid and vitamins C, K, and B6. Need I say more? Just, go ahead and make that salad, coleslaw, or vegetable sauce with good old cabbage. I’m sure your kidneys will love it.
This provides a sodium-free flavour to renal diet meals. Onions are rich in vitamin C, B-vitamins, and manganese. It also contains prebiotic fibre which is good for the digestive system. A small onion contains 3mg of sodium, 102mg of potassium and 20mg of phosphorus.
Chicken has a special place in my heart. It’s a good source of quality protein which the body needs. However, the calories in chicken come mainly from its fat and some of its protein. Thus, people on a kidney diet are encouraged to go for skinless chicken.
Finally, it’s obvious that we can’t grow a new pair of kidneys even if we eat all the animal kidneys in the world. So, let’s make an effort to eat more kidney-friendly meals for they can go a long way in preserving our kidneys.
Featured Image Source: Sentinel Assam
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