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Kidneys come in pairs, but these organs are so hard-working that most people need only one to live a healthy life. So, this month, National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, let’s be twice as good to our kidneys by eating smart foods for both of them.
The kidneys work with every beat of the heart, cleaning our blood of waste, toxins and excess water at a rate of half a cup per minute. That adds up to 150 quarts of blood a day. For context: Picture your refrigerator filled with nearly 38 gallons of milk. (And in the time you have taken to read this so far, your kidneys have cleaned about ¼ cup of blood.)
All that work stimulates an appetite for blood-healthy foods that protect your kidneys from cancer. In 2020, 73,750 cases of kidney cancer are expected to be diagnosed – about 62% in men and 38% in women – according to the American Cancer Society Society. Nearly 15,000 people will die from the disease.
The most common form of kidney cancer, called renal cell cancer, occurs when malignant tumors form in the tiny filters that clean blood. Symptoms include blood in the urine, back or side pain, and a lump in the abdomen.
5 Diet Tips for Cancer-Fighting Kidneys
Everything we consume passes through our kidneys and affects their health. In fact, leading contributing factors of kidney cancer are cigarette smoking and obesity. This is why what we eat is instrumental to good kidney health.
So be ready to serve your kidneys well. Following are five diet tips to treat your kidneys well during Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, and every month.
A Good Diet Keeps Cancer Patients Strong, Too
A balanced diet benefits everyone, but especially those at higher risk of kidney cancer, including men and African Americans. For those diagnosed with kidney cancer, the right food choices could help maintain strength, prevent infections and support the regeneration of normal body tissues.
The key is staying as true to the diet as your two kidneys are to you. Kidney Cancer Awareness Month comes once a year, but the kidneys do their double duty every day.
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