Ahead of the World Kidney Day tomorrow, March 10, 2017,
scientists have identified diabetes and high blood pressure
as the leading causes of poor kidney health, which in turn
are caused by a poor diet, lifestyle and obesity.
Several studies recommend that the only real long-term
solution to kidney disease is to drink more clean water, get
more exercise and, most importantly, to reject processed
and unhealthy foods in favour of natural whole foods.
Also, researchers have identified foods that can treat kidney
disease and boost renal function. Top on the list is garlic,
ginger and watermelon.
How garlic, ginger, onions, others prevent renal damage
Researchers have found that eating meals rich in ginger
(Zingiber officinale), onion (Allium cepa) and garlic (Allium
sativum) could be the novel preventive and therapeutic diet
or drug against the menace.
A recent study published in Journal of Renal Nutrition
concluded: “This study concludes that alcohol-induced
nephro-toxicity was attenuated by ginger extract treatment,
thus ginger can be used as a regular nutrient to protect the
The study investigated the nephro-protective effect of ginger
against chronic alcohol-induced oxidative stress and tissue
damage. Results of another study published in World
Journal of Life Science and Medical Research revealed that
Allium cepa has renal protective effects in diabetic rabbits.
Another study published in Science Alert concluded: “This
study shows that cadmium induces nephrotoxicity by
impairing renal functions and stimulating lipid
peroxidation. Pre-treatment and post-treatment of onion
extract in cadmium-treated rats produced mild protective
However, co-treatment with onion extract during cadmium
administration showed significant antioxidative potentials
in preventing cadmium-induced nephrotoxicity.”
Meanwhile, results of an animal study published in Food
Chemistry found that ginger could help protect against
kidney damage, a condition said to threaten one in three
The new study assessed the effects of ginger on the blood
antioxidant levels and kidney health of diabetic rat models.
One study published in Pharmacological Reports in 2008
discovered that garlic could significantly reduce kidney
damage associated with mercury chloride exposure in
laboratory animals (mercury chloride is a potential
carcinogen used in disinfectants, batteries, insecticides and
many other products to which humans are regularly
Another study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology
in 2001, found that garlic in low doses could enhance the
antioxidant status of the kidneys, thus protecting them from
the cell-damaging effects of free radicals.
There are three reasons why watermelons are good for
treating kidney disease. Firstly, they are low in potassium
and phosphorus, which are two minerals that dysfunctional
kidneys can have problems balancing. Secondly, they are
comprised of approximately 92 percent alkaline water,
which helps flush the urinary system of accumulated toxins
(watermelon fasts can even dissolve kidney stones). Lastly,
they help the liver to process ammonia and deliver it to
urea, thus easing the strain on the kidneys while ridding
the body of excess fluids. Unlike garlic, watermelon is high
in natural sugars. For this reason, people with diabetes-
sourced kidney disease should be careful not to consume
too much of it on a regular basis.
Pawpaw seeds offer protection against kidney damage
Nigerian researchers claim that seed extracts of unripe
mature fruits of pawpaw (Carica papaya) can protect the
kidneys from damage and could offer hope for the treatment
of poison-related kidney (renal) diseases.
The study was published in Biology and Medicine.
The researchers concluded: “It is proposed that the
nephroprotective activities of the aqueous seed extract of
the unripe, mature fruits of Carica papaya in carbon
tetrachloride-induced nephrotoxicity may involve its
antioxidant and/or oxidative free radical scavenging
“Also, the results of this study have confirmed the rationale
for the folkloric use of the aqueous seed extract of Carica
papaya in the treatment of poison-related renal disorders.”
Also, among the Yoruba herbalists, hot infusion of the seeds
of the unripe, mature fruits of Carica papaya is employed in
the local treatment of poison related renal and hepatic
Zobo reduces diabetes-induced kidney disease risk
Results of a recent study suggest that aqueous extract of
Hibiscus sabdariffa (HSE) has no harmful effect on the liver
but when consumed in high doses could be harmful to the
Commonly called zobo or roselle in Nigeria, Hibiscus
sabdariffa belongs to the plant family malvaceae. Another
study found that Hibiscus sabdariffa might help treat kidney
stones via uricosuric activity. Uricosuric agents are used to
lower the uric acid level in the blood and to prevent the
formation of uric acid crystals in the joints and kidneys.
These drugs are often used to treat gout, a disease in which
uric acid crystals deposit in joints and cause pain. By
decreasing plasma uric acid levels, these drugs decrease the
deposition of crystals in joints, eventually decreasing
inflammation and thereby reducing the pain of gout.
The study authors concluded that roselle has a uricosuric
effect and they suggested that the chemical constituents
exerting this effect should be identified.
Plantain extract boosts kidney health, sexual functions in
A meal of unripe plantain with local spices like cloves,
onions, garlic and ginger could be the answer to erectile
dysfunction, low sperm count, ulcer, kidney problems,
diabetes, and high blood pressure. According to “Medicinal
Uses of Fruits and Vegetables” written by Mr. Olalekan
Jagun, unripe plantain contains special dietary fibre called
pectin, which increases the number of calories ingested
thus can shed weight or treat obesity
Plantain is also recommended for the treatment of urinary
stones. The stem juices of plantain (Musa paradisiaca) have
been reported for dissolving pre-formed stones and in
preventing the formation of stones in the urinary bladder of
rats. Stem juice is also used in nervous affectations like
epilepsy, hysteria and in dysentery and diarrhoea. Several
oligosaccharides comprising fructose, xylose, galactose,
glucose and mannose occur naturally in plantain, making it
an excellent prebiotic for the selective growth of beneficial
bacteria in the intestine.
Director of Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Centre, Rev Fr
Anslem Adodo, said Plantain Root Juice (PRJ) offers great
hope for all forms of kidney problems and diabetes. “It
promotes the flow of urine and helps in metabolism. PRJ
has proved helpful to diabetics who are lucky enough to
know about it. The dosage is two tablespoons thrice daily,”
Chronic kidney disease patients may live longer on a plant-
Also, a study published in the Clinical Journal of American
Society of Nephrology found that kidney disease patients
who regularly consumed produce, legumes, cereals, whole
grains, and fibre lived longer than those who did not.
The researchers concluded that a healthy, plant-based diet
rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, whole grains,
and fiber and low in red meat, salt, and refined sugars may
reduce the risk of early death in people with CKD.
Traditionally, CKD patients have been taught to restrict
individual nutrients, such as phosphorus, salt, potassium,
and protein, but limited evidence show that these efforts
prevent complications, according to the investigators.
Unlike some previous research, the investigators found no
significant associations between consumption of healthy,
whole foods and progression to end-stage renal disease.
Neither patient age nor country of origin accounted for the
Baking soda prevents kidney disease, renal failure and
A recent study discovered a new use for common household
baking soda. The Journal of the American Society of
Nephrology (JASN) reported that a daily dose of baking soda
could prevent kidney damage and chronic kidney disease
(CKD) in a study entitled, Bicarbonate Supplementation
Slows Progression of CKD and Improves Nutritional Status.
Baking soda prevents kidney disease and dialysis.