March is Kidney Health Month: Use this month to make sure your diet includes some foods that help give these hardworking organs a healthy boost.
March and its designation as Kidney Health Month is a good reminder to make sure your diet is full of foods that are beneficial to these vital organs. Your kidneys, bean-shaped and each about the size of a fist, work hard cleaning your blood and keeping your body chemically balanced. Keep yours humming along healthily with some help from these foods.
Cabbage often gets a bad rap — yes, it can make you gassy, but this crunchy veg offers phytochemicals that fight against damaging free radicals. Cabbage is also high in vitamin K and C, fibre and offers a good source of vitamin B and folic acid. Plus, another bonus? Cabbage is inexpensive, so it’s easy on the pocketbook (no excuses about eating healthy being costly!). And there are plenty of ways to make it tasty. Try making cabbage rolls, or enjoy it raw in a crunchy slaw (throw leftover slaw into a wrap for lunch to go).
These ruby-coloured veggies are great for your kidneys and they’ll add a gorgeous hue to any salad, while also providing vitamins A, C, and B6, folic acid and fibre. Red peppers also contain lycopene, the antioxidant that has been shown to offer protection against cancer. It’s easy to eat more peppers: simply dip chopped red peppers into hummus, roast and layer them into a sandwich or wrap, or stuff them with with brown rice and ground meat for a filling main course.
Blueberries, strawberries, cherries — all types of berries are antioxidant powerhouses and have been shown to help reduce inflammation. They also are a good source of fibre and vitamin C, and have been shown to offer heart-healthy benefits. Throw some berries into a salad or cereal, enjoy them fresh or whip some up into a filling smoothie for a snack to take on the go.
Sure, give an apple to your favourite teacher — but be sure to keep some to enjoy yourself. Apples are high in fibre and have been shown to help cut down cholesterol, reduce heart disease risk and lower cancer risk. They’re so easy to keep in your handbag as an emergency snack; to slice and throw into your salad (they’ll add some nice crunch) or stew for a sweet side to your roast pork loin.
Include more oily fish, such as salmon, rainbow trout, mackerel and herring, in your diet so you can ensure you’re getting omega-3 fatty acids, which help battle inflammation (which can damage your kidneys).