When the kidneys are working well, the person can follow a healthy diet with a variety of foods to keep the kidneys in good condition. Healthy kidneys keep electrolytes and minerals at optimal levels. Damaged kidneys cannot regulate the levels of potassium and phosphorous in the blood. For people with kidney disease, eating the wrong foods can cause kidney disease complications like abnormal heart rhythms or a heart attack.
Following a kidney health diet involves eating healthy foods and avoiding certain foods that can cause problems for people with kidney disease. Those with chronic kidney disease are often told to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Some people credit a healthy diet of whole foods as playing a large role in their recovery from kidney disease.
Not all foods that are considered healthy are good for kidney disease patients. People who have kidney disease should limit foods that have high levels of potassium since the damaged kidneys cannot regulate potassium levels effectively. Foods that are high in potassium include bananas, carrots, prunes, oranges, pomegranate juice, kiwi, milk, raisins, and baked beans. A renal dietician can provide a list of foods that chronic kidney disease patients should avoid or limit in their diets.
Cranberries are one of the kidney health foods that have low levels of potassium and phosphorous. Cranberries help fight inflammation and infection. Pure cranberry juice has properties that fight bacterial infections. Many doctors recommend pure cranberry juice or dried cranberries for people who are at risk of infection. Cranberry juice cocktail is not nearly as effective in fighting bacterial infections as pure cranberry juice.
Another kidney health food that includes high levels of antioxidants and may help fight inflammation is blueberries. One half cup serving of blueberries can be included in a kidney health diet since they have helpful nutrients while being relatively low in potassium and phosphorous.
Olive oil is the recommended cooking oil for a kidney disease diet. The olive oil contains healthy compounds that protect the body against oxidation. The olive oil is considered a kidney health food due to its ability to protect against inflammation.
Low-fat proteins are suggested as kidney health foods. Egg whites are small servings of fish or poultry are considered some of the best choices. Some resources recommend beans for low-fat protein, but many beans are high in potassium and should be avoided. Before using beans as a protein source, consult the renal dietician or doctor.
With smart choices of kidney health foods, people with kidney disease or at risk for kidney disease can help protect their kidneys' functioning. The diet is an extremely important component of the treatment for kidney disease. People with kidney disease should be able to ask their doctor or renal nutritionist any questions regarding healthy foods for kidneys.
Watch a short video of Kidney Health Videos
Dr. Robert Galarowicz ND is
a New Jersey Naturopath working with residents from Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Morris Counties.
Here he shares some of his expertise on holistic medicine.
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