Fruits For Healthy Kidneys


There are fruits for healthy kidneys, with the most effective one being watermelon fruit. An increase in the consumption of this fruit will keep your kidneys healthy and prevent renal diseases. Your kidneys serve a very important purpose: to filter your blood and remove any toxins, excess water or salt which can cause serious health issues if not regulated. Let’s take a look at the best fruits that help to support healthy kidneys.

What foods are good for kidneys?

The kidneys, which are tiny organs in the lower abdomen, are crucial to the body’s overall health. While some meals may improve kidney function, others may put undue strain on them and harm them.

Waste materials are removed from the blood by the kidneys and excreted from the body through urine. They are also in charge of maintaining proper fluid and electrolyte balance.

The kidneys carry out these functions on their own. Many illnesses, like diabetes and high blood pressure, might impair someone’s capacity to operate.

Chronic renal disease may eventually result from kidney injury (CKD). Diet is the most important risk factor for CKD-related death and disability, according to the authors of a 2016 articleTrusted Source, making dietary adjustments a crucial component of treatment.

A diet that is good for the kidneys can help them work correctly and shield them from harm. In spite of the fact that some foods generally support a healthy kidney, not all of them are appropriate for those with renal disease.


woman drinking a glass of water which is good for kidneys

Water is the most important drink for the body. The cells use water to transport toxins into the bloodstream.

The kidneys then use water to filter these toxins out and to create the urine that transports them out of the body.

A person can support these functions by drinking whenever they feel thirsty.

Fatty fish

Any diet can benefit from including salmon, tuna, and other cold-water, fatty fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids must come from the diet because the body cannot produce them. An excellent natural source of these good fats is fatty fish.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, omega-3 fatty acids may drop blood fat levels and modestly lower blood pressure. Finding natural strategies to lower blood pressure can assist to protect the kidneys because high blood pressure increases the risk of renal disease.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are similar to white potatoes, but their excess fiber may cause them to break down more slowly, resulting in less of a spike in insulin levels. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, that may help balance the levels of sodium in the body and reduce its effect on the kidneys.

However, as sweet potato is a high-potassium food, anyone who has CKD or is on dialysis may wish to limit their intake of this vegetable.

Dark leafy greens

Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and chard, are dietary staples that contain a wide variety of vitamins, fibers, and minerals. Many also contain protective compounds, such as antioxidants.

However, these foods also tend to be high in potassium, so they may not be suitable for people on a restricted diet or those on dialysis.


Dark berries, which include strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are a great source of many helpful nutrients and antioxidant compounds. These may help protect the cells in the body from damage.

Berries are likely to be a better option than other sugary foods for satisfying a sweet craving.


An apple is a healthful snack that contains an important fiber called pectin. Pectin may help reduce some risk factors for kidney damage, such as high blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Apples can also often satisfy a sweet tooth.

Foods to avoid

There are several foods that people should avoid if they want to improve their kidney health or prevent damage to these organs.

These include the following:

Phosphorous-rich foods

The kidneys may experience stress from too much phosphorus. According to research from ResearchTrusted Source, a high phosphorus intake is associated with a higher chance of kidney injury over the long run.

More investigation into this subject is required because there isn’t enough information to conclusively show that phosphorous is to blame for this harm.

Foods high in phosphorus for those trying to cut back on their phosphorous intake include:

  • meat
  • dairy products
  • seeds
  • most grains
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • fish

Red meat

The kidneys and the body as a whole may have a tougher time processing some forms of protein. Among them is red meat.

According to preliminary studies, folks who consume more red meat than those who consume less of it are more likely to develop end-stage kidney disease. More research is necessary to examine this risk, though.

10 Best Foods for Kidney Health

Looking for foods to keep your kidneys healthy? We’ve got you covered.

Paper kidneys in hands

Consider your kidneys as filters that remove everything from your body that you don’t want. Your blood is filtered by these two bean-shaped, fist-sized organs. They achieve this by eliminating waste products and extra fluids while maintaining healthy levels of potassium, salt, and other substances. They also create hormones that assist control everything from your blood pressure to the strength of your bones. To cut a long tale short: Your kidneys work hard.

So much so that they risk becoming overburdened. A accumulation of waste and fluids in the body can result from chronic renal disease, which affects around one in seven Americans. Even worse, the majority of CKD sufferers are unaware of their condition.

Your risk of CKD is increased by poor dietary habits. The opposite, however, may be true if you consume the right meals for your kidneys. What you eat can help to safeguard the health of your kidneys because some foods are beneficial for kidneys.

Best foods for healthy kidneys

These foods are our top recommendations for including in your diet to promote kidney health.

Fatty fish 

Fish delivers 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 Foundation, omega-3 fats may help reduce fat levels (triglycerides) in the blood and may also lower blood pressure.

If you have CKD, you may need to keep an eye on the phosphorus and potassium levels of the fish you choose. The National Kidney Foundation has a chart you can use to determine levels in specific types of fish. Although, it’s best to consult with your doctor.


This nutrient-rich vegetable is low in sodium and potassium but high in fiber, vitamins C and K, and other nutrients.

Cabbage is also adaptable. It can be used as a wrap for tacos, sandwiches, and more, as well as in salads and slaws.

Bell peppers 

Like cabbage, bell peppers pack in lots of good nutrients with low levels of potassium. With them, you get vitamins B6, B9, C and K, plus fiber. And they deliver antioxidants, too. 

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


Cranberries help to prevent urinary tract infections. While these usually stay in your bladder, they can travel up to your kidney, making kidney problems worse. Fortunately, regularly consuming cranberries can help you avoid this unwelcome situation. 

Plus, cranberries have antioxidants that can help to fight inflammation, and they can boost your heart and digestive health. It turns out, these tart berries aren’t just for the Thanksgiving table. 


We’ve talked about some of the best foods for kidneys, but you can take it a step further. The question is: what foods help repair kidneys? Blueberries deliver here. 

With high levels of antioxidants and loads of vitamin C and fiber, blueberries are all-around healthy. They can also help to reduce inflammation and support bone health, reversing some of the issues that can come with CKD. 

Dark, leafy greens 

Still wondering what foods help repair kidneys? You can turn to dark, leafy greens like spinach or kale. They deliver so many nutrients that they can help you get key vitamins and minerals, plus immunity-boosting benefits. 

Be advised, though, that greens can come with a decent amount of potassium. If you have CKD, talk to your doctor before adding more of these to your diet. 

Olive oil

Rich in antioxidants and healthy fatty acids, olive oil can boost your overall wellness. A study from the University of Harvard, found that olive oil may lower 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 turning to salt or butter. 

To get more antioxidants, choose unrefined or cold-pressed olive oil that’s virgin or extra virgin. 


Another antioxidant-rich, inflammation-fighting food, 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’re looking for the best foods for kidneys, garlic has to make the list. 

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


From the same family as garlic, onions give you another excellent and salt-free way to add flavor (bonus points if you saute them in olive oil). Onions also deliver important nutrients like vitamins B6 and C, manganese and copper. 

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


Cauliflower brings the crunch, paired with plenty of vitamins C, B6, B9 and K, along with fiber. It also contains compounds your body can use to neutralize certain toxins — a big help when your kidneys aren’t doing their best filtration work. 

Cauliflower does contain some potassium and phosphorus, though, so while it makes the list of foods good for kidneys, people with CKD may want to moderate their intake. 

Eating Right for Your Kidneys

Foods that are normally excellent for your body may no longer be your allies in health if you or a loved one has had renal failure or is receiving dialysis. A doctor may recommend a specific diet that restricts fluid intake, potassium, phosphorus, and salt when the kidneys are unable to perform their function of eliminating waste items through urine. Although it may appear difficult at first, the so-called “Renal Diet” still offers a wide variety of tasty and well-liked foods.

Here are a few tips to make the Renal Diet easier to follow so that you can still enjoy tasty and healthful meals while avoiding too much potassium, salt, and phosphorus:


Potassium is a mineral found in many of the foods you eat. It plays a role in keeping your heartbeat regular and your muscles working right. It is the job of healthy kidneys to keep the right amount of potassium in your body. If your potassium levels are too high, it can cause an irregular heartbeat or even a heart attack. When your kidneys are not healthy, you need to limit certain foods such as nuts, tomatoes and chocolate that are high in potassium.  You may feel some weakness, numbness and tingling if your potassium is at a high level. 

All fruits and vegetables have some potassium so serving sizes are important to monitor because a large quantity of a low-potassium food can turn into a high-potassium food. If you are on dialysis or have kidney disease, it’s best to choose foods lower in potassium, or ask your dietitian how to leach the potassium out of your favorite vegetables like potatoes through a soaking-and-boiling method.

Examples of Low-Potassium Foods for a Renal Diet


choose ½ cup

  • Cabbage, Carrots,Cauliflower, Celery,Cucumber, Eggplant, Green Beans, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms (white, raw), Onions, Peppers (all types and colors), Radishes, Yellow squash, Zucchini squash

Limit or avoid these vegetables:

  • Acorn Squash, Baked or refried beans, Butternut squash, Beets, Black beans, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Carrots (raw), Greens, except kale, Lentils, Mushrooms (cooked, white), Okra, Potatoes (white and sweet), Spinach (cooked), Tomatoes/tomato products


choose ½ cup or 1 small fruit or 4 ounces of juice daily from these fruit options

  •  Apples, Berries, Cherries, Fruit cocktail, drained, Grapefruit (1/2 of whole fruit), Grapes, Peach (fresh=1 small, or canned= ½ cup), Pear (fresh=1 small, or canned= ½ cup), Pineapple, Plums, Tangerine, Watermelon (limit to 1 cup)

Limit or avoid these fruits:

  • Oranges and orange juice, Kiwis, Nectarines, Prunes and prune juice, Raisins and dried fruit, Bananas, Melons (cantaloupe and honeydew)

Always avoid star fruit (carambola), which has 121 mg of potassium.


Choose ½ cup unless otherwise specified

  • Rice, Noodles, Pasta, Bread (not whole grain), Cake (angel or yellow), Coffee (limit to 8 oz. a day), Pies (without chocolate or high-potassium fruit), Cookies (without nuts or chocolate), Tea (limit to 16 oz. a day) 

Phosphorus and Dairy Foods

Although phosphorus is a healthy mineral, when the kidneys cannot get rid of the excess, it can lower calcium levels and cause bone fractures. Most dairy products contain a lot of phosphorus. Milk, yogurt, and cheese should not exceed one ounce of cheese or two cups of milk per day for those with kidney disease. Ask your doctor for a phosphate binder to be taken with meals if you do consume foods high in phosphorus.

Margarine, cream cheese, heavy cream, ricotta and brie cheese, non-dairy whipped topping, or sherbet are suggested dairy products that are lower in phosphorus.


Even though we often think of salt as a spice, salt is really a mineral called sodium chloride that occurs naturally in many foods. It is highest in processed foods or pre-packaged foods, and in table salt. Sodium attracts and holds water in your body and causes water weight gain. If your kidneys are not working well, you may have swelling in your legs, arms, and hands. In some people, too much sodium can also increase blood pressure. Excess salt will also put an undue stress on other organs.

Like the minerals of potassium and phosphorus, a kidney that’s unhealthy can’t remove excess sodium from the body.  “Pre-packaged  and processed lunch meats like bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs all have a lot of sodium, “ notes Sejal Bosnic, RD, a dietitian at DMC Sinai-Grace who counsels patients on dialysis. “If salt or sodium is listed as one of the first five ingredients, it’s not a good choice,” Bosnic advises.  She also recommends that people who have kidney disease buy fresh meats and cook them at home to avoid the extra salt.

Limit your Fluids

A person with failing kidneys is unable to eliminate fluids. A dialysis patient can only tolerate so much fluid because they are unable to urinate and have no other way for the fluid to exit the body, according to Bosnic. She continued, pointing out that a “fluid” is anything liquid at room temperature, including water, soda pop, juice, ice cream, soup, jello, and ice. “Patients need to limit their fluid intake to six cups a day, or as prescribed by their nephrologist,” she said.

Add Extra Protein 

Due to the protein losses experienced during hemodialysis, patients need to increase their protein intake to roughly 60 grams for women and 65 grams for men. Eat 8–10 ounces of a high protein food per day, such as beef, eggs or egg substitutes, fish, pig, or chicken, depending on your size. Other high-protein foods exist, such as nuts, seeds, dried beans, peas, and lentils, but because they are also high in potassium and phosphorus, they are typically not advised in a renal diet. A dietician can design a customized meal plan for you if you are a vegetarian.

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