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Freeze | Kidney-friendly food

This story appears on Page 10 of the June 26, 2019, issue of Mindanao Times. To download a copy, visit www.bit.ly/MindanaoTimes

Last Monday’s news report in Mindanao Times by Rhoda Grace Saron said, “The Police Regional Office (PRO) will educate its personnel on their health maintenance as more than 130 cases of kidney diseases affecting officers were recorded last year.”

“This is one of the diseases that is considered a ‘silent killer’ as many with the condition experience no symptoms until their kidneys fail completely. The Department of Health considers Chronic Kidney Disease V as one of the primary causes of mortality among Filipinos… Obesity and hypertension are said to be the drivers of this disease. Lifestyle plays a major role – an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle can lead to diabetes, which makes one vulnerable to kidney diseases,” according to yesterday’s editorial in Mindanao Times.

Eating healthy foods, working with a renal dietitian and following a renal diet made up of kidney-friendly foods is important for people with kidney disease. Let’s take a look at some foods that are considered to be kidney-friendly.

Red Bell Peppers. Red bell peppers are low in potassium and high in flavor, but that’s not the only reason they’re perfect for the kidney diet. These tasty vegetables are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as vitamin B6, folic acid and fiber. Red bell peppers are good for you because they contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against certain cancers.
Cabbage. A cruciferous vegetable, cabbage is packed full of phytochemicals, chemical compounds in fruit or vegetables that break up free radicals before they can do damage. Many phytochemicals are also known to protect against and fight cancer, as well as foster cardiovascular health. High in vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber, cabbage is also a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid. Low in potassium and low in cost, it’s an affordable addition to the kidney diet.
Cauliflower. Another cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower is high in vitamin C and a good source of folate and fiber. It’s also packed full of indoles, glucosinolates and thiocyanates—compounds that help the liver neutralize toxic substances that could damage cell membranes and DNA.
Garlic. Garlic helps prevent plaque from forming on your teeth, lowers cholesterol and reduces inflammation. Garlic provides a delicious flavor and garlic powder is a great substitute for garlic salt in the dialysis diet.
Onions. Onion, a member of the allium family and a basic flavoring in many cooked dishes, contains sulfur compounds which give it its pungent smell. But in addition to making some people cry, onions are also rich in flavonoids, especially quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that works to reduce heart disease and protects against many cancers. Onions are low in potassium and a good source of chromium, a mineral that helps with carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism.
Apples. Apples have been known to reduce cholesterol, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer. Apples are high in fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Strawberries. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and a very good source of fiber. They are known to provide heart protection, as well as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory components.
Red Grapes. Red grapes contain several flavonoids that give them their reddish color. Flavonoids help protect against heart disease by preventing oxidation and reducing the formation of blood clots. Resveratrol, a flavonoid found in grapes, may also stimulate production of nitric oxide which helps relax muscle cells in the blood vessels to increase blood flow. These flavonoids also provide protection against cancer and prevent inflammation.
Olive Oil. Olive oil is a great source of oleic acid, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. The monounsaturated fat in olive oil protects against oxidation. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols and antioxidant compounds that prevent inflammation and oxidation (davita.com).
Sweet Potatoes. These super spuds are packed with beta-carotene and are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin B-6 and potassium. One medium (5-inch long) sweet potato contains 112 calories and nearly 4 grams of fiber, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. You can eat them mashed or even make your own oven-baked fries (kidney.org).
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