Foods For Good Kidney Health

Good Nutritional Foods for Kidney Health: Signs & Symptoms

Introduction of Kidney Health:

If you have kidney disease, you may need to adopt a specific nutritional plan to preserve kidney health as much as possible. A renal diet typically limits sodium, phosphorus, and potassium consumption. This regimen cannot heal your kidneys but may support their capacity.

When the kidneys fail to function properly, waste, including toxic substances from food, accumulates in the blood. Individuals with kidney illness can benefit from a tailored renal diet that regulates certain nutrients.

In this blog, we explore 20 of the finest nutrition foods for kidney health that specialists commend as parts of a kidney-friendly diet. 

How Diet Impacts Kidney Disease or Kidney Health?

The dietary limits depend on the level of kidney damage. Those with later-stage kidney disease have different restrictions than those with early-stage disease. At any stage, the diet should boost kidney function while lowering the risk of further damage.

While individual needs vary, those with kidney health disease often need to limit:

  • Sodium – below 2gs per day
  • Potassium – limits depend on the stage of the disease
  • Phosphorus – 800-1000 mg per day
  • Protein – limits depend on the stage of disease

Since kidney disease and heart disease are closely connected, combine these diet choices with a heart-healthy diet focused on fresh, whole foods low in saturated fats.

Consult a doctor to discuss your individual dietary needs for your stage of kidney disease.

20 Nutritional Foods for Good Kidney Health

Here are 20 nutritious foods that can support kidney health:

1. Cauliflower

  • Provides many nutrients like vitamin K, folate, and fibre. 
  • Also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Try mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes for a low-potassium side dish.

Nutrition per 1⁄2 Cup Boiled Cauliflower:

  • Sodium: 9.3 mg
  • Potassium: 88 mg
  • Phosphorus: 20 mg
  • Protein: 1 gram

2. Blueberries

  • Packed with nutrients and antioxidants called anthocyanins. 
  • These may help protect against heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
  • Very low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Nutrition per 1 Cup of Blueberries:

  • Sodium: 1.5 mg
  • Potassium: 114 mg
  • Phosphorus: 18 mg
  • Protein: 1 gram

3. Sea Bass

  • Provides high-quality protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Omega-3s promote health for those with long-term conditions.
  • Limit portion sizes, as too much protein can affect the kidneys. 
  • Stick to 2-3 ounces of meat/fish per meal.

Nutrition per 3 Ounces Cooked Sea Bass:

  • Sodium: 74 mg
  • Potassium: 279 mg
  • Phosphorus: 211 mg
  • Protein: 20 grams

4. Red Grapes

  • Good source of antioxidant compounds called flavonoids. 
  • These may reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.
  • Low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Nutrition per 1⁄2 Cup Red Grapes:

  • Sodium: 1.5 mg
  • Potassium: 144 mg
  • Phosphorus: 15 mg
  • Protein: 0.5 grams

5. Egg Whites

  • Provide quality protein that’s low in phosphorus, making them kidney-friendly. 
  • Better choice than whole eggs if you need to limit phosphorus.

Nutrition per 2 Large Egg Whites:

  • Sodium: 110 mg
  • Potassium: 108 mg
  • Phosphorus: 10 mg
  • Protein: 7 grams

6. Garlic

  • Provides flavour without salt and offers health benefits like anti-inflammatory sulphur compounds.
  • Good source of manganese and vitamin B6.

Nutrition per 3 Garlic Cloves:

  • Sodium: 1.5 mg
  • Potassium: 36 mg
  • Phosphorus: 14 mg
  • Protein: 0.5 grams

7. Buckwheat

  • A whole grain that’s lower in potassium than other grains. 
  • Also provides B vitamins, magnesium, iron, fibre, and plant-based protein.
  • It’s naturally gluten-free.

Nutrition per 1⁄2 Cup Cooked Buckwheat:

  • Sodium: 0.8 mg
  • Potassium: 391 mg
  • Phosphorus: 295 mg
  • Protein: 11 grams

8. Olive Oil

  • Provides vitamin E and mostly unsaturated fat. It’s phosphorus-free, so it’s suitable for kidney diets.
  • A key fatty acid, oleic acid, has anti-inflammatory effects. 
  • Suitable for cooking.

Nutrition per 1 Tbsp Olive Oil:

  • Sodium: 0.3 mg
  • Potassium: 0.1 mg
  • Phosphorus: 0 mg
  • Protein: 0 grams

9. Bulgur

  • A whole grain wheat product that’s lower in potassium and phosphorus than other whole grain options.
  • Supplies B vitamins, magnesium, iron, plant protein, and fibre for digestive health.

Nutrition per 1⁄2 Cup Cooked Bulgur:

  • Sodium: 154 mg
  • Potassium: 48 mg
  • Phosphorus: 28 mg
  • Protein: 2 grams

10. Cabbage

Provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant substances. Research shows it can help:

  • Manage blood sugar
  • Reduce kidney/liver damage risk
  • Prevent oxidative stress and obesity

Nutrition per 1 Cup Shredded Cabbage:

  • Sodium: 20 mg
  • Potassium: 161 mg
  • Phosphorus: 29 mg
  • Protein: 1.4 grams

11. Skinless Chicken Breast

  • Has less fat and phosphorus compared to chicken skin. 
  • But limit portions, as protein stresses kidneys.

Nutrition per 1 Cup Cooked Skinless Chicken

  • Sodium: 104 mg
  • Potassium: 358 mg
  • Phosphorus: 319 mg
  • Protein: 43 grams

12. Bell Peppers

  • Provide antioxidants like vitamins A and C. 
  • Antioxidants are key for immune health, which impacts kidney disease.
  • Very low in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.

Nutrition per 1 Medium Pepper:

  • Sodium: <2.5 mg
  • Potassium: 213 mg
  • Phosphorus: 27 mg
  • Protein: 1 gram

14. Onions

  • Offer sodium-free flavour to enhance low-salt kidney diet dishes.
  • Also, it supplies vitamin C, manganese, B vitamins, and prebiotic fibre to feed healthy gut bacteria.

Nutrition per 1 Small Onion:

  • Sodium: 3 mg
  • Potassium: 102 mg
  • Phosphorus: 20 mg
  • Protein: 0.8 grams

14. Arugula

  • Flavorful green that’s very low in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.
  • Provides vitamin K, manganese, and calcium for bone health. 
  • Also offers nitrates to lower blood pressure.

Nutrition per 1 Cup Arugula:

  • Sodium: 5 mg
  • Potassium: 74 mg
  • Phosphorus: 10 mg
  • Protein: 0.5 grams

15. Macadamia Nuts

  • Lower in potassium and phosphorus than most other nuts, so it is more kidney-friendly.
  • Also offers calcium, healthy fats, folate, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.

Nutrition per 1 ounce Macadamia Nuts:

  • Sodium: 1.4 mg
  • Potassium: 104 mg
  • Phosphorus: 53 mg
  • Protein: 2 grams

16. Radishes

  • Provide crunch and flavour for low-salt dishes. 
  • Very low in potassium and phosphorus.
  • Also, supply folate and vitamin A.

Nutrition per 1⁄2 Cup Sliced Radishes:

  • Sodium: 23 mg
  • Potassium: 135 mg
  • Phosphorus: 12 mg
  • Protein: 0.4 grams

17. Turnips

  • Supply fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese. Can roast, boil, mash, or eat turnips raw.
  • Add to salads, soups, and stews for extra nutrition without compromising kidney health.

Nutrition per 1⁄2 Cup Cooked Turnip:

  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Potassium: 159 mg
  • Phosphorus: 22 mg
  • Protein: 1 gram

18. Pineapple

  • Makes a sweet treat that’s lower in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium than many other fruits.
  • Also provides fibre, vitamin A, and the anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain.

Nutrition per 1 Cup Pineapple:

  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Potassium: 180 mg
  • Phosphorus: 13 mg
  • Protein: 1 gram

19. Cranberries

  • Contain antioxidant compounds called A-type proanthocyanidins that may prevent UTIs and kidney infections by reducing bacteria.
  • Closely tied to urinary and kidney health.
  • Low in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. 
  • Enjoy cranberries fresh, cooked, dried, or as juice.

Nutrition per 1 Cup Whole Cranberries:

  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Potassium: 80 mg
  • Phosphorus: 11 mg
  • Protein: 0.5 grams

20. Shiitake Mushrooms

  • Delicious plant-based meat substitute suitable for vegan and vegetarian kidney diets.
  • Also help limit protein intake if needed. 
  • Lower in potassium, sodium, and phosphorus than other mushrooms.

Nutrition per 1 cup Cooked Shiitakes:

  • Sodium: 6 mg
  • Potassium: 170 mg
  • Phosphorus: 42 mg
  • Protein: 2 grams
Conclusion for maintaining Good Kidney Health:

People with kidney problems need to limit the amount of phosphorus, sodium, and potassium in their diet. Restricting protein in later stages is also crucial.

As your needs evolve throughout kidney disease, consult your doctor before changing your diet. They can help craft an appropriate eating plan tailored to your current stage.

Many delicious foods support kidney health, from sea bass to blueberries, cranberries, and cauliflower. With some dietary adjustments, living well with kidney disease is possible.