The foods that you eat can either help or hurt your kidney health. By picking the ones that are most likely to provide benefit while minimizing harm, you can keep yourself healthier and feel better. These are a few of our top picks for a kidney-friendly and enjoyable diet.
Omega-3 Rich Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients that our body needs for blood clotting, building cell membranes keeping your skin clear and maintaining brain health. They have the power to lower blood pressure, decrease triglycerides and lower your risk of abnormal heartbeats. Our bodies cannot make omega-3s themselves, so we have to consume them from food sources. While most people think immediately of salmon when they think of omega-3 rich fish, you can also get plenty from albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines and herring. Sardine and avocado toast makes a filling and nutritious breakfast that keeps you sated until lunch. Steam or poach salmon and then cool it in the fridge so that you have a simple and easy addition to meals.
Fresh, crisp apples make a great snack. They contain pectin, a soluble fiber that helps you feel full and helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. The peel is rich in antioxidants and fiber, as well. Apples also contribute vitamins B-6, C and other vitamins and minerals. A simple baked apple with cinnamon makes a delicious dessert. Also try making homemade applesauce. Its tart flavor and chunky texture is miles away from store bought in quality.
They’re America’s favorite berry for good reason. One cup of halved berries contains your complete required daily allotment of vitamin C for the day and 3 grams of fiber. Try them sliced on toast in place of jam to cut down on sugar. They are also great on top of your morning yogurt or cereal.
Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. Their anti-cancer and heart health benefits have been shown in a number of studies. It does not matter whether you eat fresh or frozen blueberries. You can get benefit from both. Keep a bag in your freezer so that you have them to add to yogurt, oatmeal or just to eat out of hand.
Cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are all from the cruciferous family of vegetables. They’re on the alkaline side, making your diet less acidic and providing less pressure on your kidneys. Plus, they are loaded with vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and other important minerals. Try cauliflower or Brussels sprouts roasted to bring out their natural sweetness. Raw cabbage can be tossed with a simple vinaigrette for a low calorie and flavorful side salad. You can also replace salty and fatty snacks with healthier alternatives like kale chips.
By keeping these convenient and healthy foods on hand, you can enjoy a wide range of meals and snacks that are good for your kidney health. It is also important to keep to a varied and healthy diet that avoids the foods that can negatively affect your kidneys. By watching what you eat, you can improve your kidney health and avoid complications.
Would you like dietary advice about managing your kidney care? Make an appointment today.
Are you concerned about your kidney function? Talk with your primary care physician about seeing a nephrology specialist.