Where a kidney disease diet is concerned, it may seem like those two organs have betrayed you. What were formerly your favorite foods and beverages will now be fond memories. Adapting to a whole new lifestyle, including diet changes for kidney disease, is a necessity you'll need to learn to cope with. According to the National Institutes of Health (see http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002442.htm), it is possible as well as beneficial to adapt your daily diet to include the best nutrition available.
For all kidney patients in general, the basic notions of low sodium, low phosphorus, low protein are well-known. A much greater need for fluid intake (preferably water) will also be crucial to flush out toxins. There are, however, eating plans for kidney disease that can be pro-active rather than taking the "Thou-shalt-not" attitude.
Let’s start with omega-3 fatty acids—these anti-inflammatory nutrients can do a lot for reducing the pain and infections associated with kidney problems. For those with stones, the inflammation is greater, thus there is more risk of infection and pain. Omega-3 acids can help protect your cardiovascular system as well; considering the correlation between heart disease and kidney disease, eating cold-water fish such as mackerel, tuna and salmon is a wise protective measure.
Don’t neglect Vitamin D--in addition to the normal amounts needed by the general population, kidney disease patients need more of this vital nutrient. When the kidneys no longer adequately work, they are unable to participate in the process of converting the nutrient into a form used to strengthen bones. In a recent study, Vitamin D was found to help reduce proteinuria (protein in the urine). Eating cold-water fish, as above, while keeping an eye on protein intake, is beneficial, as are mushrooms and fortified skim milk.
Switch to non-animal protein sources (vegan) to reduce the burden on the kidneys. Certain animal proteins such as red meat, organs, eggs and dairy products (other than fat-free) are going to cause more work for them. Soy protein is safer and can be used to substitute for dairy products as well as meat.
Juice or tea, in addition to plain water, is good for those who need to give up carbonated drinks (cola, especially) due to high levels of phosphoric acid and sodium. This is not only a great way to get more fluids going through the kidneys, but has the added benefit of other nutrients everyone needs. Sunflower leaves, as a tea, have been traditionally used by the Cherokee people for treating kidney inflammation. Pomegranate, well-known as a diuretic, is hyped for its anti-oxidant properties. Caution: avoid commercial tomato juice blends, which also have added sodium.
Athough diabetic kidney patients will already be on a low, complex carb regimen, this will now apply to the non-diabetics as well. A diet high in carbohydrates, especially refined, will play havoc with your kidneys as well as your pancreas. Complex carbohydrates will give you the nutrition you require but will be more easily processed by the body. For a good example, pumpkin seeds, a source of complex carbohydrate loved by many as a snack, also have long been known among Native North Americans as helpful with kidney disorders. Warning: avoid the salted variety.
Employing basic, simple changes to your everyday meal plan may seem tedious but it can save the kidneys a lot of misery. A healthy diet benefits everyone; but when parts of the body are under duress, you owe it to them to take whatever steps can assist in their functioning.