The kidneys are an important part of the excretory system of our body. The kidneys filter and excrete waste products into the body’s bloodstream. However, this is not the only function of these organs. Kidneys help to release the hormones that are necessary to manufacture red blood cells in the body. These bean-shaped organs also ensure bone health and regulate the blood pressure in the body.
There are some food products that can damage the kidney and hinder its ability to perform the aforementioned functions in the required way. Here are 5 foods that can actually damage your kidneys.
Sodium and potassium work together to help the kidneys maintain the fluid balance in the body. However, excessive consumption of salt causes the kidneys to retain water, which makes it harder for these organs to dilute the salt that is present in the bloodstream. Consuming a lot of salt over a long period of time may damage the nephrons present in the kidneys. It is these nephrons that help the kidneys to filter waste. So try to control your consumption of salt as much as possible.
Consuming too much caffeine can also damage the kidneys. Caffeine acts as a mild diuretic that adversely affects the kidneys’ ability to absorb water. Reasonable consumption of caffeine is okay, but if you are having too much caffeine, it could impact your kidneys.
Dairy products add calcium to your diet. However, a high level of calcium in urine has been linked with a high risk of kidney stones. Butter is a dairy product that is extremely high in saturated fats and saturated fats have been linked to heart disease and kidney disease.
Nuts are a rich source of fatty acids that are very beneficial for the body. But consuming too many nuts has its own risks as well. Nuts contain minerals called oxalates and these oxalates are the key component of the stones that form in the kidneys. To ensure the health of your kidneys, have nuts in moderation. If you have a history of kidney stones, it is recommended that you avoid nuts altogether.
If you rely on artificial sweeteners to keep your sugar consumption in check, you may actually be harming your kidneys. Though there is still some confusion about the benefits of artificial sweeteners, these sweeteners have been found to lead to a decline in kidney function. The best option for you in this case is to use stevia, which is a natural herbal extract that has not had any reported adverse effects yet.
Making these small changes in your diet can be very beneficial for your kidneys in the long run. So make a note of these foods and try to control your consumption of the aforementioned foods.
Sources: BBC Good Food, CNN.com, Diet Doctor, Health & Human Research, Medical News Today, PBS.