Kidneys are vital organs that play a critical role in the body’s health as it filters bloodstream every minute. About a half cup of blood is filtered, from metabolic waste and extra fluid, every minute to produce urine. In the filtration process, kidneys also remove acid that is produced by cellular metabolism to preserve the PH of the blood; and do the same for electrolytes and minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus as it excretes the excess electrolytes and preserves the rest by the reabsorption mechanism to bloodstream.
The kidneys perform this filtration process non-stop all your life. There are multiple variables that can affect the kidney’s ability to perform such as high blood pressure, diabetes, dehydration, metabolic dysfunctions, and other conditions, considering that aging naturally requires monitoring kidney functions and health. Dietary elements are known to be the most effective variable in protecting healthy kidneys and even slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Here are 5 spices for kidney boost which could help promote a better life and performace of Kidneys
Parsley is a popular Mediterranean leafy herb with a bright green color. It comes in two major morphologies: flat leaves and curry leaves. The parsley Flat leaves are known to have a stronger flavor. And both flat and curly leaves have the same fresh grassy flavor as celery, and it is popularly served as a garnish on plates and salads.
Nutritional Value of Parsley
One cup (about 60grams) of fresh chopped parsley includes 22 calories, 1.8g protein, 0.1g of fat, 3.8g carbohydrates in which 2 grams of nutritional fiber, and 0.5g of sugar.
Parsley is packed with vitamins & minerals as it contains 332.4 mg potassium and almost the full daily requirement of vitamin A & C in addition to vitamin B9 & Magnesium.
Parsley benefits for kidney health
Parsley contains a high amount of nitrates that works by dilating the vascular system and decreasing pressure in the blood vessel, this action helps lower high blood pressure. Nitrate-containing herbs like Parsley are proven to maintain healthy blood pressure which has a major effect on kidney health as high blood pressure is considered the number one risk factor for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Garlic is one of the most popular spices used in the kitchen, it gives the food an extra boost of flavor and has enormous health benefits, whether it is added raw, cooked, powdered, it delivers flavorful taste and a high profile of benefits for overall health.
Garlic benefits for kidney health
Garlic offers a high range of benefits for overall health such as the antibacterial properties, antioxidant effects, atherosclerosis prevention, and blood pressure control. The most important effect of garlic on kidneys is of allicin on blood glucose. As it is proven in clinical studies that garlic significantly reduces high blood glucose in diabetic individuals and is recommended for supplementation for people with a high risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a major risk for chronic kidney disease as diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of kidney failure.
The major active component of garlic is allicin which is produced when fresh garlic is chopped or crushed. The allicin is formed when the amino acid called allicin is exposed to the enzyme alliinase when the garlic clove is chopped. So it is recommended to leave the garlic clove, after being crushed or chopped, for 10 minutes before using it in cooking so the enzyme takes the time to convert all the amino acids to the most active form (allicin).
Coriander spice is the seed of Coriandrum Sativum plant, which is a part of parsley family. Coriander name refers to the whole plant but speaking on the spice it is mostly the seeds, while the leaves are called cilantro. Fresh cilantro has a pungent taste and it is completely different from the seeds. Coriander seeds are roasted and crushed or ground to get its special flavor. The seeds are characteristic with their lemony flavor and strong aroma which makes it perfect to mix with many recipes as a seasoning especially when combined with cumin. Besides seasoning, the seeds also could be used in pickling.
Coriander benefits for kidney health
Coriander seeds help to improve the urine generation rate and increase the filtration rate of the kidney, thus, it has a beneficial effect on treating urinary tract infections. It also significantly lowers the water retention in the body, which helps to dilute the fluid in the urine thereby decreases the risk of kidney and urinary tract stone formation, keeping the urinary tract system healthy and flush out excess salts and toxins.
Khella is the ripe, dried fruit of the Ammi Visnaga plant. The major active constituent extracted from Ammi Visnaga is khellin which has various medical uses. Khellin has potent vasodilator, antispasmodic, and diuretic effects, so it is prepared in herbal supplementation and prescribed in the case of renal colic.
Khellin benefit for kidney health
Khellin has a dual effect that works perfectly in kidney colic management, the vasodilation effect helps increase the volume of blood passing through the kidney, increasing the kidney supply, thus increasing the urine formation rate. This works in synergism with its antispasmodic effect that helps pass urinary stones and excess calcium salts depositions in the kidneys.
Khellin is found in the form of capsules, pills, and effervescent sachets but it could also be prepared as a tea which could give the same relieving effect. Khlellin not only relieves colic pain but also prevents the new formation of calcium oxalate and kidney stones when combined with proper hydration.
Other renal conditions that khellin is found to be beneficial is hyperoxaluria and schistosomiasis infections
Ginger is a nutritious spice that is widely prepared fresh and added to food recipes to enhance flavor. Ginger has a sweet and citrus-like taste. The citrus flavor makes it a perfect additive to juices/smoothies and also prepared as a powder that is used as a marinade.
There are different ways to consume ginger, but the most popular way is ginger tea. The tea is one of the oldest traditional hot drinks that is known for its health effects for the body. The tea has high levels of micronutrients that provide antioxidant and a tonic effect.
To prepare tea from ginger you will need to boil fresh ginger roots, you can add other citrus fruits like lemon for flavor along with fresh green mint leaves and honey.
Nutritional Value of Ginger
Ginger is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, copper, Vitamine B6, riboflavin, and niacin. The roots and rhizomes of ginger contain the oleoresin gingerols and shogaols which deliver most of the medical and pharmacological effects of ginger. Ginger is low in calories as 100 grams of the rhizome contains 80 calories, and delivers a significantly high amount of nutritional fibers.
Ginger benefits for kidney health
The antioxidant components in ginger works by targeting the free radicals that accumulate and cause inflammation in kidney tissues. These free radicals scavenging effect results in a lower risk of kidney stones formulation by toxins and inhibition of inflammatory mediators that cause inflammatory renal diseases. Ginger boosts kidney functions, lower renal inflammations, helps to flush toxins from the kidneys and reduces the risk of fibrosis.
Ginger active components gingerols and shogaols have also hypotensive and hypoglycaemic actions, which helps to reduce the effect of hypertension and hyperglycemia on kidney functions. Those two chronic diseases are known to be the highest risk factors for chronic kidney diseases (CKD).
Hydrating for optimal effect on Kidneys
All of the above spices and herbs help the kidney in different ways, from reducing inflammation, to increase the renal supply of blood, promote urine formation, remove toxins, expel kidney stones etc. But all need to be supported with optimal hydration state.
The recommended daily intake of water is about 3.5 liters of water per day for men and about 2.5 liters of water per for women. This average estimated water intake varies depending on the total body weight and the overall health state.
The way dehydration affects your kidneys is that when the fluids in your body are depleted, it forces the kidney to preserve more fluids and reabsorb it, leaving urine with a low amount of fluids, the lower volume of water in urine makes it denser in salts and toxins, more sodium and more calcium oxalate which puts more risk to formulate renal stones. Also, the micro-stones formed are less likely to be flushed due to the low amount of water passed through filtration. Severe dehydration leads to kidney damage so it is vital to keep a minimum bare of daily water intake to protect your kidneys, keep them healthy, and help them to function.
We continue to curate spices and herbs from around the world to make an impact in our everyday lives.
Any information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your health care provider before making any health care decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.