Unless you’re predisposed to kidney complications, you probably don’t give due diligence to those tiny organs located on both sides of the spine. Whether or not you think about them all that much, the kidneys play a major role in your digestive health. According to the American Kidney Fund, those bean-shaped organs filter the waste and extra fluids out of your blood to produce urine – their continued health is vital in the cleansing of your digestive tract.
When your kidneys malfunction, an accumulation of waste and fluids build up in the bloodstream; too much buildup can catalyze a nasty slew of heart and bone problems. These health complications can be avoided, simply by being mindful of what you eat. Here is a list of five foods to avoid that might be putting your kidneys at risk.
Potassium-rich foods, like bananas and avocados.
I know, this one’s a hard-hitter; nobody wants to sacrifice their avocados. However, if you experience kidney issues and are trying to maintain a kidney-friendly diet, doctors recommend limiting foods high in potassium. Potassium is a mineral essential in muscle health, but too much potassium places a heavy strain on the kidneys. Avoiding foods like bananas, avocados, beans and brown or wild rice might help limit your potassium intake. Instead, try eating apples, strawberries, cauliflower or white rice.
Foods high in phosphorous, like whole grain bread and oatmeal
Phosphorus is another one of those minerals found in many foods and is vital in the health of your bones in tandem with calcium and vitamin D. However when your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, phosphorus can accumulate in the bloodstream and lead to bone weakness and deterioration. Try swapping out your whole grain bread with Italian or sourdough.
This one will sneak up on you. Dark-colored sodas, like Coke and root beer, contain added phosphorous, used to enhance flavor and maximize shelf life. Additive phosphorous is often found in the form of salt and should, therefore, be limited when trying to stick to a kidney-friendly diet. Instead of grabbing a Pepsi, spruce up your water with some sliced fruit. You’ll be doing both your kidneys and your taste buds a favor!
If you’re trying to stick to a kidney-friendly diet, steer clear of foods high in animal protein. While protein intake is vital, its metabolization is of high impact on the kidneys. Luckily, a vegetarian diet can give you all the protein your body needs; your kidneys will thank you for it!
Everybody should be mindful of their sodium intake, but this is particularly true for those with kidney complications. The kidneys work towards keeping sodium levels balanced, but a malfunction in the kidneys lead to a buildup in the bloodstream and might cause a number of problems in the long run. Be mindful of your soy sauce and table salt intake. Try using a variety of new spices and herbs instead!