The kidneys are responsible for cleansing the blood of toxins, helping produce red blood cells, and maintaining blood pressure. The chance of developing kidney disease increases with age, and seniors are at the highest risk of acute kidney failure and end-stage renal failure (ESRD), also known as end-stage kidney disease. Eating a diet that promotes healthy kidney function is one way to lower the risk of kidney problems. Here are 5 foods that promote kidney health, present by Home Care Assistance of North Houston.
Cauliflower is high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber and folate. It’s also rich in thiocyanates, glucosinolates, and indoles, all of which help the liver neutralize potentially harmful substances that can cause damage. Cauliflower can be enjoyed raw with a dip, in salad, or it can be boiled and seasoned.
Cranberries are a true power food. These tart, tangy berries guard against bladder infections and protect the stomach and kidneys from ulcers while also protecting the lining of the GI tract. When fresh cranberries aren’t in season, add dried cranberries to salad or frozen cranberries to smoothies. Drinking real cranberry juice also offers these protective benefits.
3. Red Bell Peppers
When kidneys begin to fail, they have trouble removing potassium from the blood. High potassium is a common condition among people with chronic kidney disease. Red bell peppers are naturally very low in potassium and they are high in fiber and vitamins A, C, and B6. Try adding them to omelets, tuna salad, sandwiches, or stuffed with ground turkey.
4. Egg Whites
Egg whites are pure protein and a source of all essential amino acids. Egg whites are an important part of a healthy kidney diet because they contain high-quality protein. Low-quality proteins found in many other foods create urea nitrogen, which must be discharged by the kidneys. Egg whites are less burdensome on the kidneys by producing less waste when they are metabolized.
While oatmeal is high in potassium–a nutrient that should be avoided for people with kidney disease–it does contain lower levels than most fruits and vegetables. Oatmeal is also a good source of vitamin B6 and iron, both of which can guard against kidney stones and prevent the nutrient depletion that is common among seniors with kidney disease.
For some seniors, maintaining a healthy diet becomes more challenging with age. Find the in-home support your loved one needs and deserves through Home Care Assistance. Our experienced North Houston caregivers help with everything from light housekeeping and meal preparation to transportation and cognitive stimulation. Learn more about our flexible care services by calling 832-412-1345 and scheduling a free in-home consultation today.