The 20 Best Foods For People With Kidney Disease
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Kidney disease is a common problem affecting about 10% of the worlds population .
The kidneys are small but powerful bean-shaped organs that perform many important functions.
They are responsible for filtering waste products, releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure, balancing fluids in the body, producing urine, and many other essential tasks .
There are various ways in which these vital organs can become damaged.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common risk factors for kidney disease. However, obesity, smoking, genetics, gender, and age can also increase the risk .
Uncontrolled blood sugar and high blood pressure cause damage to blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to function optimally .
When the kidneys arent working properly, waste builds up in the blood, including waste products from food (
How To Cut A Golden Kiwi
You can cut a golden kiwi in much the same way as other kiwis. Start by rinsing the outside with vinegar and water. Then, cut off the knobby ends with a knife.
How to Peel a Golden Kiwi: The easiest way is to slide a paring knife in between the skin and flesh, removing the peel in strips lengthwise. You can also use a vegetable peeler, but it may remove more flesh than you want since the peel is quite thin on a golden kiwi.
You can cut the flesh into chunks or slice into rounds as you like. Cut kiwi fruit will last up to one day when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Can You Eat the Skin on Golden Kiwis? Many people find the fuzzy skin on green kiwis off-putting, but golden kiwis dont have that problem. So its easy to eat the skin, and youll get the benefit of additional fiber intake too.
Golden Kiwi Nutrition Benefits
A typical golden kiwi has about 42 calories and similar nutrition as other kiwis:
- Vitamin C: one kiwi has 64 milligrams or 71-85% of the recommended daily intake .
- Antioxidants: Along with Vitamin C, kiwis have beneficial antioxidants like choline, lutein and zeaxanthin that help remove free radicals from the body.
- Dietary Fiber: there are 2 grams or 6-9% of the RDI to support digestive health.
- Potassium: there are 215 milligrams or 5% of the RDI to support heart health.
- Folate: there are 17 micrograms or 4% of the RDI which is essential for cell division and pregnancy.
In addition, other benefits are believed to include anti-inflammatory effects, improved sleep and kidney stone prevention.
There are 11 grams of net carbs per 100 gram serving, or roughly 8 grams per kiwi. That means golden kiwis are only suitable for a keto diet in moderation.
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Vitamin E Manages Immune System Response
Vitamin E, like vitamins A and C, is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals. It is vital in the formation of red blood cells to prevent blood clots from forming in arteries.
The body needs vitamin E to help keep the immune system strong against viruses. By reducing inflammation, delivering more oxygen, and fighting infections, vitamin E strengthens the kidneys in eliminating toxins like uric acid.
In addition, certain studies suggest vitamin E plays a role in reducing inflammation by affecting the immune system responses in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients.
The top fruits for vitamin E are shown in the table below. These fruits rank in the top half of the list .
You’ll Keep Steady Blood Sugar
Are you familiar with the glycemic index? This ranking system explains how much certain foods raise your blood sugar on a scale of zero to 100. With a score of about 50, kiwi fall in the low range for fruits. This is a major positive, especially for people with diabetes, according to Minchen.
“Eating low glycemic foods is particularly helpful for diabetics because it means that these foods can help to support natural management of blood sugar,” she says. “Low glycemic foods don’t cause an extreme spike in blood sugar, so you don’t need as much insulin in your bloodstream to manage the surge after meals.”
When you’re craving something sweetbut don’t want to worry about the ups and downs of a glucose rollercoastertry a smoothie of kiwi, Greek yogurt, macadamia nut milk, and a sprinkle of coconut. And for more inspiration, take a look at the 50 Best Foods for Diabetics.
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Food Facts Friday: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been used topically for many years. Recently there has been interest in drinking aloe vera. Products such as aloe juice and aloe water have been popping up on store shelves. These products have claims of improved digestion, weight loss, lowering blood glucose, improved skin, and a boost in immune function. Despite health benefit claims, there is not enough evidence to support these claims.
Phosphorus And Dairy Foods
Phosphorus is a mineral that is good for you but when the kidneys cannot eliminate the excess, this mineral can contribute to low calcium levels and lead to bone fractures. Most dairy foods are very high in phosphorus. People with kidney disease should limit their daily intake of milk, yogurt, and cheese to ½ cup milk, or ½ cup yogurt or 1-ounce cheese. If you do eat high-phosphorus foods, ask your doctor for a phosphate binder to be taken with your meals.
Recommended dairy foods that are lower in phosphorus include: margarine, cream cheese, heavy cream, ricotta and brie cheese, non-dairy whipped topping, or sherbet.
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You’ll Enhance Your Digestion
If we’re talking fiber, we’ve got to discuss digestion. Including plenty of fiber in your diet has proven benefits for decreasing constipation and diarrhea and cultivating a healthy microbiome. But kiwi’s digestive merits don’t stop there. A 2010 study found that an enzyme in kiwi called actinidin specifically helped break down protein in the digestive tract.
For more ways to boost fiber, check out our list of 20 Easy Ways to Add Fiber to Your Diet.
Heart Health And Blood Pressure
Kiwis contain fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, all of which may support heart health.
The American Heart Association encourage people to increase their potassium intake while reducing their consumption of added salt, or sodium.
Potassium relaxes the blood vessels, which helps manage blood pressure, and people with low blood pressure tend to be less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
One kiwi contains
Some nutrients in kiwis may interact with medications or cause other adverse effects.
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Anthocyanins A Powerful Flavonoid
Anthocyanins are a class of flavonoids with high antioxidant properties. Found naturally in a number of foods, anthocyanins are the pigments that give red, purple, and blue fruits their rich coloring.
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral abilities of the body significantly improve when anthocyanins combine with vitamins A, C and E.
There have been many claims about anthocyanins from the health and wellness industry. However, laboratory and clinical studies support only minor benefits regarding decreased cholesterol levels, improved cognitive function, lowered cardiovascular disease risk, and cancer prevention.
Although more clinical trials are needed to support claims on major illnesses, many studies confirm the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of anthocyanins. For gout, researchers have shown eating more fruits rich in anthocyanins lowers uric acid levels.
The top fruits for anthocyanins are shown in the table below.
Only nine fruits from the list were found to contain anthocyanins. Compared other fruits, berries, cherries and grapes contain significantly more anthocyanins and flavonoids. Only these three fruits are shown by a long bar on the chart.
- *Includes chokeberries, elderberries, wild berries, acai
- **Includes most common types
- Several types of berries, cherries and grapes have high amounts of anthocyanins among fruits that help prevent gout
Kiwi Fruit Benefits For Skin
Since the kiwi fruit contains Vitamin C richly, it has been observed to contribute immensely to the production of collagen, which is a key constituent of the cells and the organs in the body. The vitamin also helps to encourage the rapid healing of wounds which largely contributes to the skin being continuous and smooth. The fruit has also been studied to improve the elasticity of the skin, as well as keeping it hydrated, and free from wrinkles.
One kiwi fruit which weighs about 65g can be said to have a total proportion of Vitamin C of 64g that could represent about 71% of the daily requirement of an adult. The fruit also offers Vitamin E, which is also known as tocopherol. The antioxidant effects of this Vitamin help to shield the skin from damage caused by the sun, and other skin disorders. To enjoy these kiwi benefits for skin, ensure you add it to your diet.
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What Do I Need To Know About Phosphorus
Too much phosphorus in your blood pulls calcium from your bones. Losing calcium may make your bones weak and likely to break. Also, too much phosphorus may make your skin itch. Limiting phosphorus can be hard because foods that contain phosphorus, such as meat and milk, also contain the protein you need. You should be careful to eat enough protein however, not so much that you get too much phosphorus. Processed and packaged foods contain especially high levels of phosphorus. You can also find phosphorus naturally in foods such as poultry, fish, nuts, peanut butter, beans, cola, tea, and dairy products. Usually, people on hemodialysis should only have a 1/2 cup of milk per day. Your renal dietitian will give you more specific information about phosphorus.
You may need to take a phosphate binder such as sevelamer , calcium acetate , lanthanum carbonate , or calcium carbonate to control the phosphorus in your blood between hemodialysis sessions. These medicines act like plastic bags with zip tops. The phosphorus binder seals the phosphorus from food and moves it out through stool so the phosphorous does not enter the bloodstream.
Vitamin A Is Necessary For Cellular Growth
Vitamin A is a nutrient important for your vision, bone growth, immune system, reproduction, and cell function. It also assists in the functions of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.
Long-term deficiency of vitamin A may increase your susceptibility to infections, fatigue, infertility, dry skin or hair, and night blindness.
The antioxidant qualities of vitamin A is necessary in cellular growth, which improves the kidneys ability to remove excess fats, salts, sugars and uric acid from the blood. Like vitamin C, fruits with high amounts of vitamin A can alleviate gout symptoms and improve kidney functions.
The fruits with the most vitamin A RAE are shown in the table below. These fruits rank in the top half of the list .
- *Only for elderberries, oheloberries, gooseberries
- **Only for sour red, acerola cherries
- Cantaloupe melons has the most vitamin A of the fruits compared
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Kidney Disease And Aloe Vera
Additional concerns arise when adding chronic kidney disease to the equation. The consumption of aloe vera products is contraindicated in patients with renal disorders. This is because it is associated with electrolyte imbalance and medication interactions. Additionally, aloe vera products lack standardization and consistency meaning you do not know how much of the active ingredient is in the products you purchase.
Studies have shown aloe vera can have the following effects:
- blood sugar lowering
- binding with medications to reduce their absorption
These effects were shown in individuals who did not have CKD. Electrolyte imbalance already exists with CKD, and most individuals with CKD are on a variety of medications. The risks are magnified for those with CKD. The science lacks support for beneficial claims. In fact, aloe latex is no longer recognized as an over the counter drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because there is insufficient data to establish it as a safe laxative.
In summary, uncertainty in both the product and the potential for harmful or undesirable side effects make aloe vera an undesirable oral supplement for those with CKD. It is important to consult your medical team before consuming alternative medicine products. Products are not typically studied on individuals with CKD and their use can be associated with serious risks.
Good Fruits For The Kidneys
Fruit nourishes you with fiber, minerals and vitamins, but some can be better than others for keeping your kidneys healthy. In general, look for fruit that’s rich in antioxidants — such as flavonoids and vitamins A, C and E — and low in potassium. If you have kidney stones or chronic kidney disease, consult your physician about what fruit is best and what to avoid for your particular condition.
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Foods High In Phosphorus
Many people with kidney problems have difficulty getting rid of excess phosphorus, which can lead to weak bones since high levels of this nutrient cause calcium to be pulled from your bones. Foods high in phosphorus include dairy products, nuts, beans, soda, beer and cocoa. Using dairy substitutes can help you limit phosphorus while still getting sufficient amounts of calcium.
Vitamin C Has Many Antioxidant Effects
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has the widest variety of antioxidant effects in the body compared to all other vitamins and nutrients. It plays a large role in preventing or healing cell damage in your skin, bones, connective tissue, and organs. Plus, vitamin C is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system and absorbing iron in the blood.
For these reasons, the first requirement to make the list were fruits with the highest concentration of vitamin C.
Due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C assists in overall kidney functions detoxing waste products , increase production of red blood cells, and lower the risk of kidney stones.
Relative to gout, a long term study indicated patients with high vitamin C diets were less likely to acquire gout or hyperuricemia.
The fruits with the most vitamin C are shown in the table below. These fruits rank in the top half of the 24 fruits .
- *Berries: strawberries, mulberries, elderberries, raspberries.
- Acerola cherries contain highest amounts of vitamin C, but common cherries do not. Therefore, cherries in general did rank in the top half of the list.
- Guavas contain significantly more vitamin C than the other fruits.
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Both Can Have Different Nutritional Contents
Given that there are many varieties of noodles and pastas, they also vary in their nutrient levels. This is why its important for people with CKD to inspect the Nutrition Facts label to ensure the noodle or pasta product fits your nutritional requirements.The National Kidney Foundation says that noodles and pastas have varying levels of salt or sodium. Some pastas can also be made with eggs, which is something you need to watch out for if youre on a low-protein diet.
*Values courtesy of Noodlecat.com
Another consideration is the type of flour used . Note that soy flour can have higher protein content compared to rice or corn flour. Pastas are usually low on potassium and phosphorus. However, you still need to know the specific amounts of these minerals contained per serving to make sure you dont go beyond your daily allowance.
Magnesium Breaks Down Toxins
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for many processes in the body. This mineral promotes healthy muscle/nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and bones.
Although research is ongoing, studies show people with more magnesium in their diets have a lower risk of hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, muscle cramps, migraine headaches, abnormal heart rhythm and chronic kidney disease.
For a gout patient, magnesium is an essential nutrient in reducing uric acid production. Secondly, it makes toxins more soluble to filter out from the kidneys to the bladder. Fruits high in magnesium can provide benefits to the kidneys and gout symptoms.
The top fruits for magnesium are shown in the table below. These fruits rank in the top half of the list .
- *Includes raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, strawberries
- Durian, passion fruit, avocado, and jackfruit contain the most magnesium among fruits that prevent gout
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Eating Right For Your Kidneys
|Sejal Bosnic, RD, DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital
If you or a loved one has had kidney failure or are on dialysis, foods that are typically good for your body may no longer be your allies in health. When kidneys cant do their job of getting rid of waste products through urine a doctor may prescribe a special diet that limits fluids, potassium, phosphorus, and salt. While it may sound daunting at first glance, this so-called Renal Diet still offers many flavorful and popular food choices.
To simplify the Renal Diet, here are a few guidelines to avoid excessive Potassium, Salt and Phosphorus while still eating pleasurable and healthy meals: