Your kidneys have several important functions:
- They help eliminate waste and excess water from the body
- They maintain salt and mineral balance
- They balance red blood cells
- They help metabolize vitamin D, which is essential for bone health
However, the kidneys can be overburdened by environmental toxins and an inflammatory diet. When your kidneys aren’t working properly, you may experience several problems, such as:
- Bone health issues
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Problems balancing potassium levels
- Kidney failure
If you’re worried about your kidney health, avoid the following foods:
- Foods high in potassium or phosphorus – Your kidneys may have trouble balancing these minerals properly.
- Foods high in salt – Foods like canned food, processed meats, and pickled foods are full of sodium, which can cause fluid retention and other kidney health issues.
- Protein-rich foods – Consuming too much protein can strain your already overworked kidneys. (Related: Easily avoid kidney disease by improving your diet.)
Maintain your kidney health by avoiding salty, processed junk foods and incorporating the kidney-friendly foods listed below into your diet.
Apples are not only full of antioxidants, dietary fiber, and vitamin C, they are also low in potassium.
Blueberries are antioxidant-rich fruits that help minimize inflammation. Data from a study on both lean and obese rats suggest that blueberries can boost renal function and support glucose (sugar) metabolism.
Make a blueberry smoothie or eat a cup of blueberries and coconut yogurt topped with almonds every day.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that helps boost your body’s ability to detoxify. This vegetable is full of fiber, folate, and vitamin C, which are nutrients that help eliminate toxins and lessen the stress on your kidneys.
According to a study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, cherries can help minimize gout risk by 35 percent. Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when your kidneys can’t function well.
Boost kidney health by drinking a smoothie made with pitted cherries, chia or flax seeds, and coconut milk.
Cranberries boost kidney health by preventing bacteria from getting stuck in the urinary tract. Drink organic cranberry juice without added sugar or make a refreshing smoothie with frozen cranberries.
Foods that are ultra-hydrating can help cleanse your kidneys.
Cucumbers are perfect for maintaining kidney health because they contain a lot of water. Additionally, cucumbers are low in potassium.
Garlic is an anti-inflammatory vegetable that aids in detoxification.
A compound in garlic called allicin gives the vegetable its unique smell. Studies suggest that allicin can improve kidney health by minimizing hypertension and oxidative stress. Allicin also helps boost renal function. Spice up your dishes by adding garlic.
Mushrooms contain ergosterol, a precursor to vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for kidney health because low vitamin D levels are associated with kidney disease.
The best sources of ergosterol include cremini, maitake, and white mushrooms. Add mushrooms to omelets or stir-fries.
Olive oil is an anti-inflammatory ingredient. Animal studies suggest that it is a healthier alternative to refined vegetable oils, which can cause diabetes and weight gain.
Diabetes, inflammation, and obesity can affect kidney function, but replacing vegetable oil with olive oil can boost your kidney health. Use olive oil as the base for salad dressings.
Onions contain beneficial antioxidants and flavonoids that support kidney health. Flavonoids possess anti-hypertensive properties, which means they can help lower blood pressure.
Add organic, raw chopped onions to salads and stir-fries.
Raspberries are delicious, fiber-rich berries that are low in potassium. These berries also contain antioxidants that help minimize inflammation and lowers the risk of diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the most common causes of kidney failure. If left unchecked, diabetes results in kidney damage.
Add raspberries to your diet by making raspberry smoothies, or serve them with coconut yogurt.
Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers are low in potassium but high in lycopene, a carotenoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Lycopene helps lower high blood pressure, which is linked to kidney disease.
Red grapes contain resveratrol, a flavonoid that functions similarly to antioxidants. Resveratrol helps prevent diabetes by preventing insulin resistance, a common cause of diabetes.
Freeze red grapes and enjoy them as a sweet, refreshing snack.
Wild-caught salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure, which is essential for kidney health.
Consume wild-caught salmon at least twice a week.
Strawberries are anti-inflammatory fruits that boost kidney health. These juicy berries are also full of fiber that helps lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Snack on fresh, organic strawberries, or serve them with a handful of almonds or walnuts.
Boost your kidney health by following a balanced diet and eating fresh fruits and vegetables.