13 Foods to Help Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

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Your kidneys are like filters that remove all the things you don’t want in your body. These two bean-shaped organs filter your blood and eliminate toxins and excess fluids.

Not only that, but they also keep your levels of potassium, sodium, and more in check. At the same time, they produce hormones that help regulate everything from blood pressure to bone strength.

To summarize: your kidneys do a lot.

So much, in fact, that they can become overloaded. Barely one in seven American adults You have chronic kidney disease, which can cause waste and fluid buildup in your body. Worse yet, most people with CKD don’t know they have it.

Bad eating habits increase your CKD risk. But when you eat the best foods for your kidneys, the opposite may be true. Since certain foods are good for your kidneys, what you eat can help protect your kidney health.

The best foods for healthy kidneys

These are our top picks for foods to add to your diet for optimal kidney health.

1. Fatty fish

Fish provides protein, and when you choose a fatty fish like tuna, salmon, or trout, you’re also getting omega-3 fatty acids. According to the National Kidney Foundationomega-3 fats can help lower blood fat (triglyceride) levels and can also lower blood pressure.

If you have CKD, you may need to watch the phosphorus and potassium levels of the fish you choose. The National Kidney Foundation has a graph you can use to determine levels in specific types of fish. Although, it is best to consult with your doctor.

2. Cabbage

This nutrient-dense vegetables it is low in potassium and sodium while containing fiber, vitamins C and K and more.

Also, cabbage is versatile. You can use it on salads and slaw, but you can also use it as a wrap for tacos, sandwiches, and more.

3. bell peppers

like cabbage, Peppers pack in plenty of good nutrients with low levels of potassium. With them you get vitamins B6, B9, C and K, as well as fiber. And they also provide antioxidants.

You can slice them and eat them with sauces or roast them and add them to dinner.

Red bell pepper on the cutting board with hands and a knife cutting it

Jacobs stock photography/mockups

4. blueberries

blueberries help prevent urinary tract infections. While these usually stay in the bladder, they can travel to the kidney and make kidney problems worse. Fortunately, regular consumption of blueberries can help you avoid this unwanted situation.

Plus, blueberries they have antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and can improve heart and digestive health. As it turns out, these tart berries aren’t just for the Thanksgiving table.

5. Blueberries

We’ve talked about some of the best kidney foods, but you can go a step further. The question is: what Food helps repair the kidneys.? blueberries deliver here.

With high levels of antioxidants and lots of vitamin C and fiber, blueberries are healthy in every way. They can also help reduce inflammation and support bone health, reversing some of the problems that can arise with CKD.

6. Dark green leafy vegetables

There are many reasons to resort to dark leafy greens like spinach or kale. They provide so many nutrients that can help you get key vitamins and minerals, plus immunity-boosting benefits.

However, keep in mind that vegetables can have a decent amount of potassium. If you have CKD, talk to your doctor before adding any more of these to your diet.

7. Olive oil

Rich in antioxidants and healthy fatty acids, olive oil can improve your overall well-being. A study from Harvard University discovered that olive oil can reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and some types of cancer.

Beyond all this, it can help you add flavor to dishes without resorting to salt or butter.

For more antioxidants, choose unrefined or cold-pressed virgin or extra virgin olive oil.

8. Garlic

Another antioxidant-rich food that fights inflammation, garlic also contains a specific compound called allicin. For people with CKD, allicin, an active compound found in garlic, worked just as effectively to help protect kidney health as a prescription drug. If you are looking for the best foods for your kidneys, garlic has to be on the list.

Plus, it’s a great way to add flavor even when you’re skimping on salt.

9. onions

From the same family as garlic, onions gives you another great, salt-free way to add flavor (bonus points if you sauté them in olive oil). Onions also provide important nutrients such as vitamins B6 and C, manganese and copper.

They also contain quercetin, a chemical that can help the body fight cancer, and organic sulfur compounds that can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

10. Cauliflower

Cauliflower brings the crunch, combined with plenty of vitamins C, B6, B9, and K, along with fiber. It also contains compounds that your body can use to neutralize certain toxins, a boon when your kidneys aren’t doing their best job of filtering.

However, cauliflower does contain some potassium and phosphorous, so while it makes the kidney-friendly foods list, people with CKD may want to moderate their intake.

Green, white and purple cauliflowers on cutting board

Thanasis/Getty Images

11. Egg whites

egg whites They are specifically recommended for people with kidney problems. They give you a way to increase your protein levels, which can be important with late-stage CKD, especially if you’re on dialysis.

12. Arugula

arugula it’s full of nutrients your body needs like magnesium, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B9, C, and K. Plus, it’s rich in antioxidants and has glucosinolates, which may help protect your body against a variety of cancers.

You can eat arugula raw (it makes a great base for salads), but you can also sprinkle it on top of whatever you’re whisking. It is great on pizzas, in omelettes and with pasta, for example.

13. apples

Apples provide the cancer-fighting quercetin and fiber that can help keep cholesterol and blood sugar at healthy levels. And they have lots of antioxidants.

Better yet, they’re easy to incorporate into your diet. Leave a bowl of apples on your counter and you’ll have a kidney-healthy on-the-go snack when you need it.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or healthcare goals.

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