When it comes to your diet, unless you know you have kidney problems, you probably aren’t thinking too much about which foods are good or bad for your kidneys. And even if you do have kidney disease or other kidney issues, you may not know or follow the best diet for your kidneys every day.
How strict your meal plan needs to be depends on the stage of your kidney disease. It’s important to understand what you should and shouldn’t eat to help your kidneys.
Your kidneys are vital organs that help balance fluids and electrolytes in your body and remove waste from your blood.
If you have kidney disease, your kidneys are not functioning fully. Eating nutrients your kidneys have trouble processing, like protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, can damage your renal organs further.
Unfortunately, not following a healthy diet for managing kidney disease can cause other health risks too, like higher blood pressure, more protein in your urine, weaker bones and heart disease.
This is because when your kidneys aren’t working as well as they should, waste and extra fluid build up in your body over time, and can cause health problems.
A kidney-friendly meal plan can limit certain minerals and fluids you eat and drink. This helps prevent waste and fluid from building up and causing issues.
So how do you know what to eat for a kidney-friendly meal?
In this video, we’ll highlight 10 of the best foods to detox your kidneys and improve renal health. We’ll also mention the worst foods you should avoid.
As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice.
If you have kidney issues, be sure to consult your healthcare provider to learn what foods and drinks are advised for you, based on your specific kidney problem and treatment plan.
Let’s begin with Number 10. Fish and Meat.
So when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet for your kidneys, you can definitely include some meat and fish. They provide high-quality protein which is important for repairing and building tissues, especially when your kidneys are a little damaged and need to heal.
This is especially important for individuals dealing with stages 3 and 4 of chronic kidney disease (CKD). They need to consume between 60 to 80 grams of protein daily to get the essential amino acids for kidney repair – without overloading the kidneys with nitrogen waste.
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring that are rich in omega-3s can be particularly beneficial because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Research has actually shown that omega-3s can help decrease protein in the urine, which is a common issue with kidney disease.
In contrast, red meat should be eaten in moderation, since it contains saturated fats, which can worsen kidney problems if you eat too much.
Opt for leaner meats like skinless chicken and watch your portions to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need without overloading your system with excess waste.
Also remember that processed meats tend to be high in sodium. Instead, choose fresh cuts of meat seasoned with herbs like garlic or ginger for extra flavor without adding extra salt.
If you plan to supplement with fish oil to reduce inflammation, make sure you choose a high quality Omega-3 fish oil, like the one we recommend below.
Next up, we have Number 9. Egg White.
Egg whites stand out in a kidney-healthy diet. They’ve got awesome protein but not a lot of phosphorus like whole eggs do. When you eat just the whites, your body can use the protein without making as much extra waste. Think of them as clean fuel that won’t overload your renal system. They’re versatile and can be added to various dishes or eaten alone, giving you many options to keep your diet kidney-friendly while still enjoying delicious foods.
Moving on, at Number 8 we have Olive Oil.
Healthy fats aren’t just good for your heart; they’re essential for your kidneys too. Olive oil is a healthy source of vitamin E and mostly unsaturated fat. It’s also phosphorus-free, making it a suitable option for people with kidney disease. Most of the fat in olive oil is 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. Opt for extra virgin olive oil for salads, marinades, and sautéing because they’re higher in antioxidants.
Coming up next is Number 7. Cabbage.
Cabbage is tasty and cheap, but more than that, it’s packed with nutrients that are good for your kidneys and digestion. There’s green cabbage, red cabbage, napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, bok choy and more. In cabbage you get nutrients like calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, and folate.
This leafy green helps to maintain healthy red blood cell production, which is important if you’ve got kidney problems. Plus it’s low in phosphorus and potassium, two minerals you need to watch if you have kidney disease.
You can eat cabbage raw, steamed, or fermented into sauerkraut; there are so many ways to make it part of your meals.
Let’s move on to our Number 6. Apple Cider Vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps prevent oxidative stress on the kidneys by boosting your body’s antioxidants. ACV also helps balance your blood sugar levels and lowers your blood pressure. All of this creates an optimal environment for your kidneys to stay healthy. The citric acid in ACV can even help dissolve kidney stones. Drinking it regularly helps flush toxins out of your kidneys. Just be sure not to overdo it. You’ll also want to dilute ACV with some water before drinking.
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Coming into Number 5, we have Cauliflower and Broccoli.
Cauliflower and broccoli are friends of your kidneys. These cruciferous vegetables are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C and K, calcium, iron, and magnesium. On top of providing anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial effects, they are excellent sources of fiber. They work behind the scenes to help your kidneys repair damage brought on by everyday wear and tear, or more serious conditions.
Eating more fiber can help people with kidney problems. Fiber acts preventatively on some of the risk factors associated with kidney issues. It helps improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut, and reduces excess acidity and inflammation in the blood and tissues.
Include cauliflower and broccoli in your meals regularly! They’re versatile enough to be steamed, roasted, or tossed into stews and soups.
Moving on, we have Number 4. Berries.
Berries, especially blueberries, are a great source of natural antioxidants. They’re also ideal for a kidney diet because they are low in phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and helps reduce inflammation.
These small but mighty fruits pack a lot of punch in supporting your urinary tract health.
Raspberries, for example, offer the sweetness you crave while keeping sugar content low at just five grams per 100g serving. This makes them an ideal choice for maintaining balanced blood sugar levels and promoting overall kidney health.
Cranberries are often associated with urinary tract health because they can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary system. However, it’s important to watch out for added sugars when consuming cranberry products.
Coming into our top 3, we have Number 3. Bell Peppers.
Bell peppers offer a tasty crunch along with low levels of potassium, phosphorus, and sodium, which is precisely what you need when managing stages 3 and 4 chronic kidney disease. Packed with vitamin C and vitamin A yet low in sugar, bell peppers are excellent for maintaining kidney health.
They bring color to your plates and essential vitamins to support your immune system. Those with kidney disease may have a compromised immune system, so the more of these vitamins, the better. You can use bell peppers in all sorts of recipes like stuffed peppers, fajitas, omelets, dips, salads or sandwiches.
Moving on to Number 2, we have Pineapple.
Pineapple can make a sweet treat for people with kidney conditions. It’s lower in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium than oranges, bananas, or kiwis. Pineapple is also a good source of fiber and vitamin A, and it contains the highest concentration of bromelain. Bromelain is an amazing enzyme that reduces levels of inflammation. It’s also effective at digesting large proteins that may be clogging your organs. This helps get your blood flowing smoothly again through your organs.
And at Number 1, we have Garlic, ginger, and turmeric.
Garlic, ginger, and turmeric pack a powerful punch for kidney health. These three natural healers boast anti-inflammatory properties along with anti-bacterial effects that can help cleanse your body.
Garlic is known to combat urinary tract infections, while ginger stimulates urine production, flushing out toxins more efficiently. Turmeric can not only protect, but also potentially reverse existing damage to your kidneys, thanks to its impressive antioxidant capabilities.
Include minced garlic in your pasta sauce, grate some fresh ginger into a stir-fry, or sprinkle turmeric on roasted vegetables. Your kidneys will thank you!
In addition to these kidney-friendly foods, there are certain foods you should avoid, if you have already developed kidney disease.
To detox your kidneys, avoid refined foods, junk food, high-sugar foods, and high-carb foods, as these are all damaging to the kidneys.
If you are in stage 3 and later of CKD, you must limit your consumption of foods high in potassium, as well as phosphorus, sodium, and protein, since you already have elevated levels of these.
The foods to avoid, include dried beans and peas, dairy products, nuts, bran products, bananas, red meat, processed meat, sweet potatoes and white potatoes, tomatoes, and avocado.
However, it is important to eat fruits and vegetables in moderation to reduce inflammation, and treat the underlying cause of kidney disease.
Now, the three most common causes of CKD are #1: diabetes, #2: hypertension, and #3: inflammation in the kidneys.
All these conditions are interrelated, as the core underlying factor is chronic low-grade inflammation.
To get chronic inflammation under control, you should eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Click the link below to get your free anti-inflammatory diet plan, prepared by our nutritionist.
And finally, if you would like to follow a proven natural program for reversing kidney disease and living a normal healthy life, check out the link below.