What Foods Help Repair Kidneys? 9 Surprising Choices

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Have you been told that you have kidney disease? Or would you like to prevent it? Do you want to keep your kidneys healthy? Discover what foods help repair kidneys with 9 surprising choices and learn how diet choices can improve your overall kidney health.

Kidney disease is quite prevalent. 37 million Americans have it, and most don't even know it. The thing about kidneys is that if both of your kidneys fail, if they both stop working, you cannot live unless you have some form of kidney replacement therapy, like dialysis or a kidney transplant. Kidney management is multifactorial, and yes, it can involve medicines, lifestyle changes like exercise, and drinking more water. But it can also involve your food choices. So today I'm sharing 9 excellent food choices that can help to repair your kidneys.

kidney disease diagnosis

I'm Dr. Frita, I'm a medical doctor who has been board-certified in nephrology, which means that I am a kidney doctor and high blood pressure specialist. So yes, day in and day out, taking care of kidneys and helping people to have healthy kidneys. That's what I do. This is my wheelhouse.

Now diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure is the number two cause. And there are many, many, more causes. But one thing that's kind of a hidden secret that can help to prevent kidney disease, and actually help to repair kidneys, well, it's the foods you eat, it's your food choices. So today, let's just get into it, and let's talk about these 9 surprising food choices for better kidney health.

 

What Foods Help Repair Kidneys? 9 Foods To Include In Your Kidney Diet

1. Red Bell Pepper

Isn't this just a beautiful food? But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Red bell peppers are actually excellent for your kidney health because they are low in potassium, they're high in vitamins A, vitamin B6,  and vitamin C. In fact, red bell peppers have twice as much vitamin C as many citrus fruits. That's a little-known fact.

The other thing that's really great about red bell peppers is that they have beta-carotenes, and they also are loaded with lycopene, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are wonderful because they're anti-inflammatory. They help to get rid of free radicals, they help to prevent cancer, and they're also good for vascular flow, and good for your kidney health.

 

cranberries for kidney health

 

2. Cranberries

Now cranberries are a tangy and tasty treat. Oh, but beyond being delicious, they can also help with your kidneys. One way is that they help to reduce bladder infections or urinary tract infections. So if you've ever had cranberries, like pure cranberries, or even cranberry juice that's 100% organic, you'll notice that there's often a gritty resin. Well, the resin in the cranberries, that grittiness, is what helps to bind to bacteria that try to crawl up into your bladder and cause you urinary tract infections.

So once they bind to the cranberry resin, the bacteria are flushed out in your urine, and you have a lower chance of having a urinary tract infection. Beyond that, cranberries are actually loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. So this is wonderful for your kidney health and the vascular flow to your kidneys.  Cranberries also promote gut health and heart health.

 

what foods help repair kidneys

3. Cabbage

I'll tell you right now, I love red cabbage. I use it in my day-to-day life. I juice it, sometimes I'll juice it with pineapple, put it in salads, or saute it lightly with garlic and onions. It's a wonderful, wonderful vegetable. It's one of the cruciferous vegetables, and it's excellent for helping to repair your kidneys.

Cabbage also has phytochemicals, it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It's also loaded with vitamins A, B6, vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. And we know that fiber can help to lower your bad cholesterol.

Cabbage is also good for your digestion. It is good for your eyes, your bones, your teeth, and your immune system, and it's great for your kidneys.

 

4. Garlic and Onions

When I'm asked, "What foods help repair kidneys?" I would be remiss if I didn't mention garlic and onions. Yes, now your breath might not be minty fresh after having garlic and onions, but you will have better kidney health. And it's amazing because when I share this with my patients, and they start listening and using some of these foods, a lot of times I get such great results when we repeat their kidney tests and their blood pressure tests.

Garlic

Now garlic is wonderful, number one, it tastes delicious. Not when you overcook it, you want to just saute it lightly. You don't want to denature some of the health benefits. Two, garlic has vitamin B6 and vitamin A. It has antioxidant properties, it helps to reduce inflammation, and it helps to reduce cholesterol. Garlic also has a substance called allicin. And allicin helps to relax the blood vessels, which allows them to dilate, and that can increase your blood flow to your kidney. So they're certainly great for kidney health. Garlic also has some antimicrobial factors, so it can be good for your immune system, and it can help to prevent infection.

onions for kidney health

Onions

But garlic is not alone, honey, because onions are delicious as well, and they're also great for helping to repair your kidneys. Onions have flavonoids, they can help to reduce inflammation, and they're good for heart health as well. And, of course, they're healthy for your kidneys. Another thing about onions is that they contain chromium, which is a mineral that helps to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

 

5. Apples

An apple a day just might keep the doctor away. But it won't keep me away because I love apples, and this is why. They're excellent as part of a healthy kidney diet. Apples are loaded with antioxidants which help to reduce cancer risks. They're also loaded with fiber and help to reduce cholesterol. Remember that fiber is going to mostly be contained in the skin of the apple. Now I'll tell you, I do like juicing, and I will use apples for a lot of my juices, but if you want to maximize the kidney benefits of your apple, then you do want to incorporate the peel.

 

apples

 

Apples also have vitamins like vitamin C, and they have potassium, so these things are also good for kidney health. They have no sodium. How about that? And of course, we know that having a low-sodium diet, or a no-sodium food, can really help to reduce your blood pressure. High blood pressure is the number two cause of kidney failure.

Apples are low in calories and they're filling, so they can help you to eat less, which can reduce your risk of living with obesity. And we know that living with obesity can put you at risk of having poor kidney health.

 

6. Fatty Fish

If you're going to eat meat, make sure you eat fatty fish such as wild salmon, tuna, halibut, and mackerel. These foods are filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, they have antioxidants, and they're excellent for heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce inflammation, they help to lower bad cholesterol like LDL, and they help to raise your good cholesterol like your HDL.

 

how to incorporate fish into a healthy diet

 

They're good for your vascular flow, they're good for unclogging your arteries naturally, and they're excellent for promoting kidney health. If you have been told that you have poor kidney health, or that you have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) stage something, please be sure to watch my video on the CKD stages explained. I go into detail about the chronic kidney disease stages. Watch that video after you finish reading this article.

 

7. Citrus Fruits and Berries

Citrus Fruits

So when we're talking about citrus fruits, of course, we're talking about lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits. These fruits are not only delicious, but they're great for your kidney health. They're loaded with vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties. They are also good for your immune system. And the citrus fruits have citrate which can aid in your digestion, and the citrate can help to prevent kidney stones.

Berries

Berries like blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are loaded with antioxidants.  They can help to reduce free radicals, they're cancer-fighting, and they can help to promote vascular flow. Berries are also loaded with phytochemicals and anthocyanins. They're delicious, and honestly, they're very good for helping to repair your kidneys.

 

egg whites to repair kidneys

 

8. Egg Whites

Let me tell you something about egg whites. They're actually an excellent source of protein. They have all of the essential amino acids, and in my humble opinion, they're quite delicious. As far as egg whites, they are a source of protein that has less phosphorus than other sources like egg yolks. And let me tell you why that's important. For my patients with very advanced kidney disease, like the patients I take care of on dialysis, it's important that they have a low-phosphorus diet because if they don't, they can get other complications like bone disease and other things of the like.

Well, if they eat the egg white, then they're able to get all the benefits of protein, which is very important, without having the excess phosphorus. Eggs also happen to be low in salt, which we know again helps to lower your blood pressure. And so it's a great protein source, and it's something that can be helpful for kidney disease.

 

chia seeds

 

9. Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds

Chia seeds and flax seeds are an excellent source of protein. They have all of the essential amino acids. Chia seeds and flax seeds are really easy foods to incorporate into your diet. You can sprinkle them on your salad, you can sprinkle them into your juices, into your smoothies, and they are loaded with fiber, so they can help to reduce your cholesterol naturally.

They're also good for gut health and they aid in digestion. Chia seeds have Omega-3 fatty acids, they have antioxidants. Oh, here's a trick. If you mix chia seeds with water, and let them sit for a while, so you can let them swell, well.  When you eat them that way, it's like this gel a little bit gooey, but here's the thing, it'll swell up in your stomach, and it'll help you to stay full for longer, decrease your appetite, which could potentially help you to maintain a healthy weight and prevent being a person who's living with obesity.  Bottom line, chia seeds, and flax seeds are great for heart health and kidney health.

Conclusion

So these are nine of the food choices that can help to repair your kidney health. There are many more. If you found this article to be helpful and informative, be sure to share it with the people you care about. Also, I want to know how you incorporate these foods into your diet. If you have any great recipes, please put them in the comments down below.

Also, be sure that you go to my playlist on this YouTube channel, and click the kidney health-related videos. I have a wealth of information on how to keep your kidneys healthy.

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Dr. Frita - Frita McRae Fisher, M.D.

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