15 Best Foods for Kidney Repair: Healthy Kidney Tips

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People suffering from chronic kidney diseases or dialysis patients need to include kidney friendly foods in their diet for a healthy kidney. Check out the top food for kidney repair, many of which contain antioxidants that protect the body from over-oxidation.

Kidneys are important organs for eliminating wastes and toxins from the body, stimulate red blood production and regulate the blood pressure. If you have a kidney problem, the first thing your doctor will do is to give you medications. However, studies reveal that the best thing you could do for your kidneys is take a few servings of fruits and veggies every day. It could save your kidneys and also a lot of unnecessary medical costs.

Related: Organic vs Non-Organic Food: All You Must Know

More than 30 million people in America suffer from chronic kidney disease with another 20 million at an increased risk, and it’s not just about not drinking enough water. In the early stages, your doctor might not impose limits, but for worse conditions, you might be put on a renal diet. It is important to keep to proper levels of sodium, potassium and phosphorus.

Check Out How to Take Care of Kidney Naturally with These Kidney Friendly Foods

foods good for kidneys

  1. Red Bell Pepper – “Kidney Healthy Food”

Red bell pepper contains the maximum amount of vitamins as compared to other colors and is an important part of kidney disease diet.

  • It is an excellent vegetable containing Vitamin C, A, B6, Folic acid along with fiber, which is conducive to good health of kidneys.
  • In addition, it is low in potassium.
  • Jazz up your salad with these brightly colored peppers or just add a crunch to your pizza in order to avoid kidney failure.
  • They are low in calorie and suitable for those suffering from kidney disease. Even a whole cup will only add 45 calories and give you your daily quota of Vitamin A and C.
  • It contains phytochemicals as well as beta carotene giving you antioxidants.
  1. What’s Good for Your Kidneys? Cabbage!

Cabbage is a low-calorie leafy veggie available in red; purple; white and green and is full of phytochemicals.

  • Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants like polyphenols and sulfur compounds that can help destroy free radicals that are harmful for the body, thereby reducing chances of renal dysfunction.
  • It is rich in vitamins as well as minerals that are beneficial for kidney functioning.
  • Cabbage contains potassium, which counteracts sodium effects and helps in sodium excretion through urine, thereby keeping kidneys stronger.

Note: Both green and red cabbage contain antioxidants, but red cabbage contains the maximum with 30% more.

Eat Cabbage raw or cooked. Add it to soups; salads; stews or slaws or just ferment it to make a sauerkraut. It forms part of the best diet for kidney disease.

  1. Kale – “Food Good for Kidneys”

Kale is a curly, green veggie that is considered to be the healthiest vegetable in the world, perfectly suitable for those detected with kidney disease symptoms.

  • Kale contains 45 flavonoids and is a powerful antioxidant as well as anti inflammatory source, which is important for those with kidney disease, chronic inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Kale contains high amount of antioxidants that zap free radicals and can help in detoxification of the kidneys or kidney flush.
  1. Cauliflower – “Great for Healthy Kidney Diet”

Recently, cauliflower seems to have become a craze in vegetarian diets and now even in a kidney diet. You can even make it into a pizza crust!

  • Cauliflower is full of phyto chemicals that can neutralize toxins in the body and improve kidney health.
  • It is high in Vitamin C; folate as well as fiber.
  • Cauliflower’s most important component is sulforaphane, which helps in fighting chronic kidney disease.
  1. Garlic for Kidney Health

If you are suffering from CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) you can benefit from garlic in your diet.

  • Garlic contains diuretic properties. It helps in the elimination of salt/sodium and water from the body, helping the kidneys to flush out more sodium through urine.
  • When kidney vessels are damaged, they are not able to filter the water from the blood on their own.
  • Salt absorbs water from the blood and reduces the fluids in the blood vessels, thereby decreasing pressure on the arteries.
  • Garlic is a food good for kidney repair, as it also protects kidneys from the negative effects of heavy metals, like cadmium, lead etc.

Tip: Since dialysis patients cannot take salt, they can use garlic to flavor food as a substitute!

  1. Asparagus – “Improves Kidney Function”

Asparagus was considered the perfect solution for curing urinary problems in Europe and Asia, its native countries. Asparagus is among the top foods good for kidneys.

  • It contains glycosides as well as saponins, which are diuretic and purify the blood by removing toxins.
  • Regular consumption of asparagus will lead to increased production of urine and it soothes the urinary system, enhancing the cellular activities in the kidneys, dissolving acids, salts in kidneys that can cause kidney stones.
  • The hydroxynicotianamine present in asparagus can help prevent hypertension and improve kidney function.
  1. Onion – “Takes Care of Kidney Naturally”

Boost the flavor of your food and at the same time fight kidney diseases by eating such kidney healthy foods.

  • Onion is low in all the three elements you need to take control of, namely, sodium; potassium; phosphorus.
  • Onion contains plant chemicals like flavonoids; phenols; quercetin, known for anti inflammatory and its antioxidant actions.
  1. Fatty Fish – “Improves Kidney Function”

Protein intake is rather dicey in case of those with CKD, as some need to limit it while those on dialysis must increase it. However, high protein as seen in meat and eggs are also high in cholesterol and fat. Fatty fish treads that thin border line of high quality healthy protein.

  • Fatty fish contain oil in their tissues, which is rich in omega 3s.
  • It is also high in Vitamin D and protein.
  • Damaged kidneys result in more protein appearance in the urine. Fatty fish consumption reduces the protein in urine, decreases blood fat and reduces blood pressure, all benefiting diabetics. Diabetics is the major cause of the end stage kidney disease.
  1. Carrots – “Good Food for Kidneys”

  • Carrots contain Vitamin A in the form of Beta carotene, which is soluble in water. It helps the kidneys in filtering the toxins from the blood.
  • Beta carotene also helps in repairing any damage present in the tubules, which are the filtering structures present in the kidneys.
  • It also works at the gene level inhibiting genes that promote kidney inflammations.

If selecting canned carrots, make sure that there is no additional sugar or syrups and it’s best to opt for a low sodium version as well while you’re at it.

  1. Red Grapes – “Top Food for Kidney Repair”

A Tunisian report states that grape seed and skin could actually reverse damage to the kidneys.

  • It can reverse damage caused due to a high fat diet, which is one of the leading causes.
  • Grapes have a high concentration of antioxidants, which reduce oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals.
  • Red grapes flush out uric acid and other waste products in the kidney, acting as a natural kidney cleanse.

Tip: Consume about 15 grapes a day for maintaining a good kidney health.

  1. Pumpkin Seeds – “Promotes Good Kidney Health”

Image: organicfacts.net

Pumpkin Seeds are known to eliminate kidney stones!

  • They are rich in protein and omega 3 acid.
  • Pumpkin Seeds also contains B complex vitamins; Vitamin K; and Vitamin A.
  • They reduce the toxins in the body, due to the diuretic as well as antioxidant property.
  • It helps improve kidney functions.

Tip: A popular way of consuming them is by roasting them. You can also shell them and eat the inner germ.

  1. Berries – “Natural Kidney Cleanse”

Cranberries; strawberries; blueberries; raspberries;  you name it, they’re good for your kidney.

  • Berries are a great source of Vitamin C as well as fiber, antioxidants.
  • They are low in potassium, so those with CKD and on a potassium limited diet can consume them in moderation.
  • Berries can reduce blood pressure in those suffering from CKD.
  • Raspberry helps dialysis patients by reducing joint inflammation.
  1. Olive Oil Promotes Healthy Kidney’s

The benefits of a Mediterranean diet cannot be overemphasized! People sticking to a Mediterranean diet have a 50% reduced chance of contracting chronic kidney disease.

  • Olive oil is rich in MUFA or monunsaturated fats that are good for the heart.
  • One tablespoon of olive oil contains less than 1 mg of potassium and sodium and zero phosphorus, all of which are to be restricted by CKD patients.
  1. Mushrooms – “Helps Regulate Kidney Function”

The Poria fungus has been used over 2000 years ago in Asian medicine in China and Japan, as it has excellent effects on the kidney. Even today, it is prescribed in traditional Chinese patent medicines, being described as a diuretic and tonic.

  • Mushrooms help in the functioning of kidneys by regulating the body fluid levels.
  • It also helps in balance water throughout the body.
  • Mushroom is also anti inflammatory and an antioxidant and can be considered a scavenger of free radicals.
  • It reduces oxidative stress, thereby holding out hope for those with chronic kidney disease.
  1. Watermelon – “Treats Kidney Disorders”

  • Watermelon is a good source for Vitamin C as well as beta carotene and lycopene.
  • The latter is a phytochemical having antioxidant properties and can help with CKD.
  • If consumed in a small quantity, Watermelon is low in potassium, phosphorus and sodium.

Wrap Up

kidney diet chart
Image: karmaayurvedahospital.com

The foods for kidney health can vary depending on the symptoms, the CKD stage, the age and other related health conditions.   In case of CKD, the kidneys are not able to eliminate excess potassium, sodium and phosphorus, so these must be restricted. The goal of a diet for kidney patients is to protect kidney functioning and avoid progression of the disease to next stages, so that dialysis or transplant is not required.

Create a proper healthy kidney diet to suit your condition by finding a dietitian and also by taking kidney health supplements.  A renal diet can also protect your kidneys from being further damaged, as it prevents certain harmful minerals from building up in the body. These veggies work better than medicines to keep your kidneys healthy.  Avoid protein loaded foods as protein wastes are tough on weak kidneys, and canned foods that are high in sale, go for a walk or a run and follow this list for a healthy kidney. Start Now!!!

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