The kidneys play a central role in the urinary system regulating your body's fluids. These paired organs are also essential for balancing salts and maintaining blood pressure. While a a daily balanced diet rich in protein, essential fatty acids and fluids is important to maintain proper kidney function, certain foods may even help prevent diseases of the kidneys.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are essential for overall health and they may be particularly important for preventing cancers of the kidneys. A Harvard Medical School study published in 2009 “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention” reported that orange-colored fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of developing kidney cancers. Produce such as carrots, squash, oranges and mangos are high compounds called carotenoids, which may help protect the kidneys from cancerous cells and growths.
Cranberry juice is a commonly used beverage to treat infections of the urinary tract. This fruit contains compounds that prevent the adhesion of bacteria to the inner epithelial lining of the urinary tract. This may explain how cranberry protects against urinary tract infections. They may also be beneficial for kidney health directly; a study published in the “British Journal of Urology International" in 2007 reported that cranberry juice helps to break down and prevent the formation of calcium-rich deposits that form kidney stones.
Selenium is an important antioxidant required for enzyme function found in many meats, plants, eggs, cheeses and nuts. Selenium has antioxidant effects that protect the kidneys from damage and inflammation. Additionally, a study published in the American Heart Association journal “Hypertension” notes that the antioxidant effects of selenium may help prevent high blood pressure, easing the pressure on the kidneys.
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