The best fruits for kidney disease which will help your body in providing the necessary nutrients to fight diseases. These best fruits for kidney are very easy to cook and enjoy with other foods. there are many fruits that can be eaten in patients with kidney disease to prevent and reduce the symptoms. The fruits include berries, apples, peaches, grapes.
The 20 Best Foods for People with Kidney Disease
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Kidney disease is a common problem affecting about 10% of the world’s population.
The kidneys are small but powerful bean-shaped organs that perform many important functions.
They are responsible for filtering waste products, releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure, balancing fluids in the body, producing urine, and many other essential tasks
There are various ways in which these vital organs can become damaged.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common risk factors for kidney disease. However, obesity, smoking, genetics, gender, and age can also increase the risk
Uncontrolled blood sugar and high blood pressure cause damage to blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to function optimally
When the kidneys aren’t working properly, waste builds up in the blood, including waste products from food
Therefore, it’s necessary for people with kidney disease to follow a special diet.
The 10 Best Foods for People with Kidney Disease
Many people with kidney disease to follow a special diet to help decrease the amount of waste in the blood. Watch this video to learn the best foods to eat if you have kidney disease.
Diet and kidney disease
Dietary restrictions vary depending on the level of kidney damage.
For example, people in the early stages of kidney disease have different restrictions than those with kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
If you have kidney disease, your health care provider will determine the best diet for your needs.
For most people with advanced kidney disease, it’s important to follow a kidney-friendly diet that helps decrease the amount of waste in the blood.
This diet is often referred to as a renal diet.
It helps boost kidney function while preventing further damage
While dietary restrictions vary, it’s commonly recommended that all people with kidney disease restrict the following nutrients:
- Sodium. Sodium is found in many foods
and a major component of table salt. Damaged kidneys can’t filter out
excess sodium, causing its blood levels to rise. It’s often recommended to
limit sodium to less than 2,000 mg per day
- Potassium. Potassium plays many critical
roles in the body, but those with kidney disease need to limit potassium
to avoid dangerously high blood levels. It’s usually recommended to limit
potassium to less than 2,000 mg per day
- Phosphorus. Damaged kidneys can’t
remove excess phosphorus, a mineral in many foods. High levels can cause
damage to the body, so dietary phosphorus is restricted to less than
800–1,000 mg per day in most patients
Protein is another nutrient that people with kidney disease may need to limit, as damaged kidneys can’t clear out waste products from protein metabolism.
However, those with end-stage renal disease undergoing dialysis, a treatment that filters and cleans the blood, have greater protein needs
Each person with kidney disease is different, which is why it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about your individual dietary needs.
Luckily, many delicious and healthy options are low in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.
Here are 20 of the best foods for people with kidney disease.
Cauliflower is a nutritious vegetable that’s a good source of many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and the B vitamin folate.
It’s also full of anti-inflammatory compounds like indoles and is an excellent source of fiber
Plus, mashed cauliflower can be used in place of potatoes for a low potassium side dish.
One cup (124 grams) of cooked cauliflower contains
- sodium: 19 mg
- potassium: 176 mg
- phosphorus: 40 mg
Blueberries are packed with nutrients and one of the best sources of antioxidants you can eat
In particular, these sweet berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which may protect against heart disease, certain cancers, cognitive decline, and diabetes
They also make a fantastic addition to a kidney-friendly diet, as they are low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium.
One cup (148 grams) of fresh blueberries contains
- sodium: 1.5 mg
- potassium: 114 mg
- phosphorus: 18 mg
3. Sea bass
Sea bass is a high quality protein that contains incredibly healthy fats called omega-3s.
Omega-3s help reduce inflammation and may help decrease the risk of cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety
While all fish are high in phosphorus, sea bass contains lower amounts than other seafood.
However, it’s important to consume small portions to keep your phosphorus levels in check.
Three ounces (85 grams) of cooked sea bass contain
- sodium: 74 mg
- potassium: 279 mg
- phosphorus: 211 mg
4. Red grapes
Red grapes are not only delicious but also deliver a ton of nutrition in a small package.
They’re high in vitamin C and contain antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation
Additionally, red grapes are high in resveratrol, a type of flavonoid that has been shown to benefit heart health and protect against diabetes and cognitive decline
These sweet fruits are kidney-friendly, with a half cup (75 grams) containing
- sodium: 1.5 mg
- potassium: 144 mg
- phosphorus: 15 mg
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5. Egg whites
Although egg yolks are very nutritious, they contain high amounts of phosphorus, making egg whites a better choice for people following a renal diet.
Egg whites provide a high quality, kidney-friendly source of protein.
Plus, they’re an excellent choice for people undergoing dialysis treatment, who have higher protein needs but need to limit phosphorus.
Two large egg whites (66 grams) contain
- sodium: 110 mg
- potassium: 108 mg
- phosphorus: 10 mg
People with kidney problems are advised to limit the amount of sodium in their diet, including added salt.
Garlic provides a delicious alternative to salt, adding flavor to dishes while providing nutritional benefits.
It’s a good source of manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 and contains sulfur compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Three cloves (9 grams) of garlic contain
- sodium: 1.5 mg
- potassium: 36 mg
- phosphorus: 14 mg
Many whole grains tend to be high in phosphorus, but buckwheat is a healthy exception.
Buckwheat is highly nutritious, providing a good amount of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and fiber.
It’s also a gluten-free grain, making buckwheat a good choice for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
A half cup (84 grams) of cooked buckwheat contains
- sodium: 3.5 mg
- potassium: 74 mg
- phosphorus: 59 mg
8. Olive oil
Olive oil is a healthy source of fat and phosphorus-free, making it a great option for people with kidney disease.
Frequently, people with advanced kidney disease have trouble keeping weight on, making healthy, high calorie foods like olive oil important.
The majority of fat in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties
What’s more, monounsaturated fats are stable at high temperatures, making olive oil a healthy choice for cooking.
One tablespoon (13.5 grams) of olive oil contains
- sodium: 0.3 mg
- potassium: 0.1 mg
- phosphorus: 0 mg
Bulgur is a whole grain wheat product that makes a terrific, kidney-friendly alternative to other whole grains that are high in phosphorus and potassium.
This nutritious grain is a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and manganese.
It’s also an excellent source of plant-based protein and full of dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health.
A half-cup (91-gram) serving of bulgur contains
- sodium: 4.5 mg
- potassium: 62 mg
- phosphorus: 36 mg
Cabbage belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family and is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant compounds.
It’s a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and many B vitamins.
Furthermore, it provides insoluble fiber, a type of fiber that keeps your digestive system healthy by promoting regular bowel movements and adding bulk to stool
Plus, it’s low in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium, with one cup (70 grams) of shredded cabbage containing
- sodium: 13 mg
- potassium: 119 mg
- phosphorus: 18 mg
Good Fruits for Kidney Disease Diets
Most fruits make for great additions to your kidney-friendly lifestyle because they are delicious, rich in fiber, low in sodium, and contain essential nutrients. The specific dietary needs for someone with chronic kidney disease (CKD) depend on multiple factors, so it’s important to have an idea of what fruits are good for people with kidney disease. As always, check with your doctor or dietitian about your specific needs.
The Benefits of Fruits in a Kidney Disease Diet
Fruits contain fiber, which has many health benefits, including improved gastrointestinal health. Additionally, people who consume high amounts of fiber tend to be at a lower risk for stroke, hypertension, coronary heart disease, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases.1
8 Great Fruits for Kidney Disease Diets
Every fruit has a special set of qualities—they look and taste unique and offer different nutritional benefits. Understanding what each type of fruit provides will help you plan your kidney-friendly meals. Note that portion size is key for a kidney-friendly diet and, in general, a serving of fruit is equal to about one-half cup of raw fruit. Here are 8 tasty fruits to consider working into your CKD diet:
- Berries (all types): Low in potassium and high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, berries are low in sugar when they are consumed in modest portions, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes.
Suggested recipe: Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal
- Lemons and limes: Low in potassium and high in vitamin C, lemons and limes have a lower sugar content when consumed in a modest amount. They can be used in cooking instead of salt to bring out the natural flavors of a dish.
Suggested recipe: Lemon Orzo Spring Salad
- Pineapples: Low in potassium, pineapples contain bromelain, a plant enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce swelling and pain in your joints.
Suggested recipe: Vegan Smoothie Bowl
- Apples: Low in potassium and rich in fiber and vitamin C, apples also contain plant polyphenols, which are disease-fighting compounds found in plants.
Suggested recipe: Apple and Cheddar with Jalapeño Slices
- Cherries: High in fiber and vitamin C and rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, cherries may also lessen the symptoms of gout, which can be a concern for people with CKD.
- Grapes: High in vitamin K, grapes are also a good source of B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and B6. B vitamins can increase your energy.
- Watermelon: While most melons are high in potassium, watermelon is a low-potassium fruit. It is also high in vitamins A and C, magnesium, and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Watermelon can contribute a significant amount of natural sugar and fluid to your diet, so stick to a 1/2 cup serving if you are watching your fluid.
Suggested recipe: Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad
- Avocados: Although high in fiber, magnesium, and healthy monounsaturated fats—which lower LDL cholesterol—avocados should only be eaten in small portions because they’re high in potassium.
Suggested Recipe: Egg Salad Avocado Toast
The one fruit you should avoid is star fruit—it contains a neurotoxin that can cause neurological problems and toxicity for people on dialysis.
Managing Potassium in Fruit
Fruits sometimes get a bad rap because of their potassium content, which some people living with CKD have to limit. While some fruits do have high potassium, you can still enjoy many of them in small portions so you can benefit from their nutrients while keeping your potassium level under control. Your own potassium level will determine if you need to be more careful when selecting the best fruits for you.
Chronic Kidney Disease
If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), it’s important to watch what you eat and drink. That’s because your kidneys can’t remove waste products and fluid from your body the way they should. A kidney-friendly diet can help you stay healthier longer.
What’s a Kidney-Friendly Diet?
A major function of the kidneys is to get rid of waste and extra fluid from your body through your pee. They also:
- Balance your body’s minerals, like salt and potassium
- Balance your body’s fluids
- Make hormones that affect the way other organs work
A kidney-friendly diet is a way of eating that helps protect your kidneys from further damage. You’ll have to limit some foods and fluids so other fluids and minerals like electrolytes don’t build up in your body. At the same time, you’ll have to make sure you get the right balance of protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals.
If you’re in the early stages of CKD, there may be few, if any, limits on what you can eat. But as your disease gets worse, you’ll have to be more careful about what you put into your body.
The doctor may suggest you work with a dietitian to choose foods that are easy on your kidneys. They might recommend:
Cut the Sodium
This mineral is found naturally in many foods. It’s most common in table salt.
Sodium affects your blood pressure. It also helps to maintain the water balance in your body. Healthy kidneys keep sodium levels in check. But if you have CKD, extra sodium and fluids build up in your body. This can cause a number of problems, like swollen ankles, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, and fluid buildup around your heart and lungs. You should aim for less than 2 grams of sodium in your daily diet.
Take these simple steps to cut the sodium in your diet:
- Avoid table salt and high-sodium seasonings (soy sauce, sea salt, garlic salt, etc.).
- Cook at home — most fast foods are high in sodium.
- Try new spices and herbs in place of salt.
- Stay away from packaged foods, if possible. They tend to be high in sodium.
- Read the labels when shopping, and choose low-sodium foods.
- Rinse canned foods (veggies, beans, meats, and fish) with water before serving.
Limit Phosphorus and Calcium
You need these minerals to keep your bones healthy and strong. When your kidneys are healthy, they remove the phosphorus you don’t need. But if you have CKD, your phosphorus levels can get too high. This puts you at risk for heart disease. What’s more, your calcium levels begin to drop. To make up for it, your body pulls it from your bones. This can make them weak and easier to break.
If you have late-stage CKD, your doctor may advise you to get no more than 1,000 milligrams (mg) of phosphorus mineral each day. You can do this by:
- Choosing foods with low levels of phosphorus (look for “PHOS” on the label)
- Eating more fresh fruits and veggies
- Choosing corn and rice cereals
- Drinking light-colored sodas
- Cutting back on meat, poultry, and fish
- Limiting dairy and processed foods
Foods that are high in calcium also tend to be high in phosphorus. The doctor might suggest you cut back on calcium-rich foods. Dairy foods that are lower in phosphorus include:
- Brie or Swiss cheese
- Regular or low-fat cream cheese or sour cream
The doctor might also tell you to stop taking over-the-counter calcium supplements and suggest a phosphorus binder, a medicine that controls your phosphorus levels.
Reduce Your Potassium Intake
This mineral helps your nerves and muscles work properly. But when you have CKD, your body can’t filter out extra potassium. When you have too much of it in your blood, it can lead to serious heart problems.
Potassium is found in a lot of fruits and veggies, like bananas, potatoes, avocados, oranges, cooked broccoli, raw carrots, greens (except kale), tomatoes, and melons. These foods can affect potassium levels in your blood. Your doctor will let you know if you need to limit this mineral in your diet. If so, they may recommend you try low-potassium foods, like:
- Apples and apple juice
- Cranberries and cranberry juice
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- Boiled cauliflower
- Beans (green or wax)
As your CKD gets worse, you may need to make other changes to your diet. This might involve cutting back on foods that are high in protein, especially animal protein. These include meats, seafood, and dairy products. You may also need extra iron. Talk to your doctor about which iron-rich foods you can eat when you have CKD.
What Are the Best Foods for Kidney Health?
When you eat and drink, your body absorbs nutrients needed for your body to work properly. Most of the nutrients and minerals your body doesn’t need are carried through your blood to your kidneys. Your kidneys filter out those excess nutrients and make urine. But if you have kidney disease, some nutrients can build up and damage your kidney, causing further kidney failure.
A renal diet is a diet that becomes increasingly more restrictive as your kidney function declines. It starts out with having you limit your salt and the amount of protein you eat. A full renal diet is designed for people who have advanced or end-stage kidney disease and need dialysis or when their kidneys are temporarily damaged and may recover over time.
Overall, eating lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and moderate amounts of protein while exercising on a regular basis and addressing underlying medical conditions are the best ways to keep your kidneys working properly. But if you do have kidney disease, a renal diet can help slow down the disease before it progresses and worsens.
Registered dietitian Susan Meyer, MS, RD, shares which foods are good for you in a renal diet and which foods you should completely avoid.