How are you treating your kidneys?
If answering this question was a struggle for you, this month is a perfect time to start taking a deeper examination of these fist-sized organs! Every second Thursday of March (10th for this year) observes World Kidney Day, a global campaign aimed at promoting kidney health .
A much needed day of recognition, too, since the kidneys play such an important role in our health: they filter the blood by removing wastes and controlling its substance balance; maintain a healthy pH level within the body; and thus keep our nerves, muscles, and other tissues functioning properly .
As with most organs in the human body, regular exercise and a healthy diet is crucial to maintaining healthy kidneys. More specifically, a diet consisting of low-cholesterol and low-sodium foods is highly recommended —a Borges specialty! Join us as we learn how to keep our kidneys safe and strong, featuring healthy natural foods from Borges.
What to Look For (or Against)
First and foremost, how are your kidneys? Monitor your kidney health through regular checkups with a healthcare professional, accompanied by a simple checklist of risk factors. Here are four major “warning signs” of potential kidney failure, illness, or chronic kidney disease :
- Diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to develop a kidney abnormality.
- High blood pressure. A high blood pressure is a risk factor not only for heart failures and strokes, but also for kidney stones and chronic kidney diseases.
- Frequent or painful urination. If you’re experiencing more frequent urination than usual, especially at night; or having difficulty during urination, it may be a sign of unhealthy kidneys.
- Puffy eyes, and swelling of hands and feet. This occurs due to fluid imbalance, which may signal malfunctioning kidneys.
The Do’s and Don’ts
How should we treat our kidneys? Exercise and healthy eating are a must, but over all else, experts recommend the following four rules for kidney health :
- Watch your blood sugar levels. This includes lowering your carb intake, eating more fibre, and going whole-grain. Instead of starchy carbs like white bread and flour pasta, opt in for low-gluten alternatives like Borges Durum Wheat Pasta.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water helps manage healthy sodium levels as well as the body’s fluid balance. Try to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily.
- Cut down on cholesterol and sodium. The best way to lower cholesterol is to substitute your unhealthy fats with healthy ones! Olive oil is one of the most common dietary sources of healthy fat and Borges has a lot of variants to choose from. Substituting your salt in cooking with vinegars like Borges Balsamic Vinegar is also a good way to cut down on sodium.
- Opt in for a plant-based diet . Eat more vegetables, fruits, and grains than red meat. Try also to eat less dairy products, which are high in potassium and phosphorus that may inhibit recovery for those with reduced kidney function . Swap out your milk and cream easily with the sugar-free, 100% plant-based Borges Natura Nut Drink.
What to Eat, and How to Eat Them
Incorporating these rules to the daily diet is not as difficult as it seems! Here are a few kidney-friendly meal ideas to get you started.
Vegan Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms 
Mushrooms are one of the few plant-based sources of vitamin D, an essential prohormone that supports kidney, lung, and heart function. It also helps lower cholesterol levels in the body, allowing us to keep healthy blood pressure !
Tip: use Borges Specialty Vinegars in place of salt to flavour them up without sodium! It makes this dish not only kidney-friendly but also wildly versatile. Serve as an appetizer, a side dish, or a light meal in itself.
Ingredients (4 servings):
12 button mushrooms, destemmed
¼ cup Borges Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. chives, chopped
A pinch of ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms with Borges Balsamic Vinegar, Borges Apple Cider Vinegar, chives, and ground black pepper.
- Once thoroughly mixed, cover and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 2 days. Shake every so often to redistribute the marinade.
- To serve, separate the mushrooms from the vinegar and sprinkle with extra chopped chives. Feel free to add an extra drizzle of the vinegar marinade on top.
A healthier carb option for those watching their blood sugar levels is whole grains. With the rich content of dietary fibre, antioxidants, and minerals preserved, whole grains help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. It’s also naturally low in sodium !
Enjoy these benefits with one of the quickest, easiest meals to make: pasta! Fresh or hearty, hot or cold, any type of pasta dish can be made kidney-friendly with the help of Borges Durum Wheat Pasta.
Vegan & Low-Sodium Pasta and Cheese 
…And that includes this classic comfort food! It’s gluten-free, low-sodium, and still super creamy and cheesy even without dairy.
Ingredients (3 servings)
1 cup cooked white beans
5 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
⅛ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. Borges Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. Borges Classic Olive Oil
3 servings of Borges Durum Wheat Pasta of choice
- In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the pasta, and blend.
- Transfer the mixture to a pot and heat on low, stirring occasionally. Cook Borges Durum Wheat Pasta according to package instructions.
- Stir the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce. Add more Borges Natura Almond Drink for texture, if needed.
Some other foods that are beneficial to kidney health include cranberries, cauliflower, red bell peppers, and cabbage . This March, start incorporating them into your own creative diet to treat your kidneys with well-deserved care!
 Recipe adapted from https://www.kidney.org/recipes/balsamic-marinated-mushrooms
 Recipe adapted from https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/vegan-cheese-sauce-low-fat-no-cashews/