Kidney Health

20 Foods To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

20 Foods To Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

Here is a list of some food items that boost the kidney function or prevent further damage, decreasing the morbidity and mortality risks.

1. Egg whites

Egg whites are a good source of proteins for individuals with kidney ailments who need to restrict their protein intake as well as phosphorus, for instance, the ones on dialysis who require a good source of proteins. Containing 110 mg of Sodium, 108 mg of Potassium and 10 mg of Phosphorus, two egg whites are a healthy breakfast option.

2. Cauliflower

Cauliflower contains vitamins like C, K, and B. an excellent source of fiber, the vegetable is anti-inflammatory in nature too. It can be made into cauliflower kebabs instead of using potatoes or grated, seasoned and sautéed as a side dish to accompany a chicken steak or incorporated into boiled rice. A cup of cooked cauliflower contains 19 milligrams of sodium, 176 milligrams of potassium and 40 milligrams of phosphorus.

3. Cabbage

Cabbage is also a sister vegetable of cauliflower and is a good source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins as Vitamin K, B and C. the fiber present in cabbage is the insoluble type, that slows down the absorption of glucose from the gut and regulates the bowel movements, thus aiding a diabetic situation. If you are diabetic and suffer from a declining kidney function, cabbage is a great choice because of its low sodium and phosphorus contents. A cup of shredded cabbage, about 70 grams, contains 13 milligrams of sodium, 119 milligrams of potassium and 18 milligrams of phosphorus.  

4. Garlic

Garlic provides an excellent alternative to salt, which is a restricted item in kidney disease. The tangy vegetable not only delivers aromatic taste to your dishes but it is nutrient rich with manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 and contains sulfur compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. About 9 grams of garlic contains 1.5 milligrams of sodium, 36 milligrams of potassium and 14 milligrams of phosphorus.  

5. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is arising as an excellent alternative to regular whole grains with low amounts of phosphorus, so individuals with kidney ailments can enjoy their cravings for this particular dietary item. Enriched with magnesium, B vitamins, and iron, it is also a great source of fiber. Where it caters to the requirements of patients with celiac disease and gluten allergy, it is a low-phosphorus option for patients with kidney disease too. A half cup of cooked buckwheat contains 3.5 milligrams of sodium, 74 milligrams of potassium and 59 milligrams of phosphorus.

6. Bulgur

Yes, bulgur and not a burger, which is an ancient grain and a great alternative to whole wheat just like buckwheat. Delivering B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and manganese, it is a good source of fiber and proteins from a plant source, which is the preferred choice in case of an ailing kidney. Half a cup of bulgur, about 91 grams, serves 4.5 milligrams of sodium, 62 milligrams of potassium and 36 milligrams of phosphorus.

7. Red grapes

Red grapes are sweet and nutrient enriched treasures out of Nature’s basket. Rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, they deliver an anti-inflammatory benefit in cases of kidney inflammations. Red grapes are also protective in nature to heart and brain health due to resveratrol, a constituent that is present in high amounts in the subject fruit. Red grape juice, preferably fresh, can also be consumed instead of the fruit. Half a cup of red grapes contains 1.5 milligrams of sodium, 144 milligrams of potassium and 15 milligrams of phosphorus.

8. Seabass

Many seafood items like fish are high in phosphorus; however, sea bass is a different story. Delivering a high source of proteins and good fats as omega-3 fatty acids, sea bass has anti-inflammatory properties in addition to a low content of phosphorus.  85 grams of cooked sea bass, almost three ounces contain 74 milligrams of sodium, 270 grams of potassium and 211 milligrams of phosphorus.

9. Blueberries

Blueberries contain a high amount of anti-oxidants that are helpful in protecting the kidneys against oxidative damage. Being low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, they add to the kidney-friendly dietary items. A cup of blueberries contains 1.5 milligrams of sodium, 114 milligrams of potassium and 18 milligrams of phosphorus. Cranberry juice will also serve the purpose. Other fruits that can be incorporated are apples and peaches that are low in phosphorus.

10. Cranberries

If you are concerned about your kidneys’ health, try consuming cranberries in their fresh, dried, cooked form or as a juice. These tiny fruits are enriched with phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins, which are antibacterial in nature. These specific constituents prevent bacteria from infecting the bladder and whole urinary tract thereby keeping guard against any kidney infections. Incredibly low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, cranberries contain 2, 85 and 13 milligrams of each respectively.

11. Olive oil

Olive oil is an all-rounder regarding every body system including the kidneys. It contains healthy fats in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids that are heart-healthy and a healthy heart benefits the functioning of kidneys. The high caloric content of olive oil helps the kidney patients to keep their weight on, which is a problem in the specific case. Phosphorus-free, olive oil also renders anti-inflammatory benefits. An ounce of olive oil contains no phosphorus, 0.6 milligrams of sodium and only 0.3 milligrams of potassium.

12. Skinless chicken

A kidney patient requires good quality proteins so as to meet the nutritional requirements of a diseased body but in an amount that spares the kidney of extra workload. However, chicken is a good quality protein but skin-on or off and the way it is cooked matters a lot in case of a declining kidney function. So if you are craving chicken, opt for skinless chicken and cook it yourself at home with olive oil and better grill it or bake it. Avoid pre-cooked versions of chicken. A three-ounce of a skinless chicken breast (84 grams) contains 63 milligrams of sodium, 216 milligrams of potassium and 192 milligrams of phosphorus.

13. Onions

Onions are high in vitamin C, manganese and B vitamins. They also contain prebiotic fibers for a healthy digestive activity. Onions have the ability to compensate for the low salt requirements of a kidney disease, similar to garlic. Integrating onions and garlic into your meals would add flavor and make up for any salt deficiency as far as taste is concerned. A small onion weighing 70 grams contains 3 milligrams sodium, 102 milligrams potassium and 20 milligrams of phosphorus.

14. Arugula

Do you love your greens but are afraid to select spinach and kales to fit in your renal diet because of their high potassium content. Opt for arugula instead which makes an excellent choice for salads and side dishes that will not burden your kidneys. A nutrient-dense vegetable, low in potassium and a good source of vitamin K, calcium, and manganese, arugula is rich in nitrates that are known for their blood pressure lowering effects. A cup of raw arugula contains 6 milligrams of sodium, 74 milligrams of potassium and 10 milligrams of phosphorus.

15. Radish

Radishes are a significant part of a renal diet because of their many attributes. Some of them are; low potassium, low phosphorus, high in anti-oxidant as Vitamin C, a tasteful salt alternative. 58 grams of shredded radish amounts to about half a cup and delivers 23 milligrams of sodium, 135 milligrams of potassium and 12 milligrams of phosphorus.

16. Turnips

Turnips like radishes are root vegetables that share a fair amount of fiber, Vitamin C, B6, calcium, and manganese. Being low in potassium and they are a superb alternative to potatoes and winter squash. Cooked in a healthy fashion, they deliver their full benefits either roasted, boiled or mashed. A Half a cup of turnips amounts to about 78 grams; delivering 12.5 milligrams of sodium, 138 milligrams of potassium and 20 milligrams of phosphorus.

17. Pineapples

If you look up tropical fruits that are allowed in a renal diet, you would come to know that oranges, kiwis, and bananas are high in potassium. To compensate for your fruit cravings, pineapples deliver their sweetness without high potassium content. In addition to containing bromelain, B vitamins and lots of fiber, a cup of pineapples serve up to 2 milligrams of sodium, 180 milligrams of potassium and only 13 milligrams of phosphorus, over and above delivering anti-inflammatory effects.  

18. Shitake mushrooms

Mushrooms are important protein alternatives based on a plant source in addition to serving fiber and a low potassium. One cup of cooked shitake mushrooms delivers 6 milligrams of sodium, 170 milligrams of potassium and 42 milligrams of phosphorus. Mushrooms provide a good source of proteins for kidney patients who need to restrict their dietary intake of proteins.