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Published on November 17th, 2020 | by Michaelw

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30 foods to REPAIR the KIDNEYS

Hi everyone, Katherine from 00kidney here! Welcome to our journey together to a better kidney health!
If you want to lower your creatinine levels, a healthy renal diet should be your top priority.
Today’s video is exactly what you asked for: the 30 best foods in the world to lower creatinine levels!
Yes, every single food of today’s video can help you stop the progression of kidney disease and maybe even reverse it!
Because these foods are not just low in potassium and phosphorus, they’re also packed with vitamins, fiber and powerful antioxidant compounds!
So, there are 30 foods you should eat – at least weekly – if you want to improve you kidney health – and I’ve put them in 6 categories:
best snack, best source of vitamins, best carbohydrate and more.
And each category is going to have a winner!
It’s like the Oscars but for kidney friendly foods!
Let’s see the first top 5 … first category is … best snack for kidney health!

Watch on Youtube

Number 5 is rolled oats
a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
Also rich in beta glucan, a type of dietary fiber with powerful blood cholesterol-lowering properties.
A daily dose of at least 3 grams of beta glucan may reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 5 to 10%.
Now, oats are a bit high in phosphorus, so the fifth place

Number 4 is… popcorn! Yes, a very healthy snack, even for people with kidney disease.
Even healthier than rolled oats, because it has less potassium and phosphorus!
Popcorn is a whole grain, meaning that it’s a good source of healthy fiber and healthy carbs.
Always make air popped pop corn on the stovetop, avoid packaged and microwave popcorn.
But also remember that
It’s a misconception that snacking is unhealthy! You can snack in a healthy way to keep blood sugar levels steady during the day & to improve the health of your kidneys.
Especially with these 5 foods.
Number 3 Barley flakes
I’ve talked about this superfood in my video about the healthiest breakfast for people with kidney problems.
It tastes almost like rolled oats, but it has way less phosphorus, so you can make a healthier version of your favorite oatmeal recipes.
What’s even healthier than this?

Number 2, frozen fruits
Did you know that you can freeze several healthy fruits? Such as grapes, blueberries or other berries, citrus fruits wedges but also peaches, pears…
then you can eat them still frozen, like an ice lolly but healthy!

number 1, the winner of the snacks category is…
an apple with the peel! Yes, I know it’s technically a fruit, but, you know, apples are amongst the healthiest foods on the planet.
Eating apples regularly can help you lower your cholesterol levels, prevent constipation, protect against heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer.
And this is why apples are our first winner!
Also, if you eat 1 medium apple with the peel you are going to get just 158 mg of potassium and 10 mg of phosphorus. It’s one of the best fruits for people with kidney problems.
So let’s recap our 5 best snacks:
5 Rolled oats, a real staple food
4 Popcorn, tasty and healthy,
3 Barley flakes, even healthier than rolled oats
2 Frozen fruits, a great way to snack
And apples. Apples are our first winner today because you can snack on them even every day, whenever you want, and they will always be healthy.
Second top 5, one of the most useful!
foods rich in …

Vitamins
Vitamins are essential for everyone, but people with kidney disease do really need some special vitamins:
vitamin C, vitamins of the B group and above all vitamin D3. Vitamin D deficiency is something almost 80% of kidney disease patients have at some degree.
Yes, you heard it right, it’s totally plausible that you, right now, need more vitamin d in your diet – unless you are supplementing it or eating foods especially rich in it.
Like

shitaki mushrooms

Excluding fortified foods, mushrooms are the only good plant source of vitamin D.
This would make many mushrooms a great addition to a healthy diet. Unfortunately, most mushrooms are too rich in potassium – and not everyone can have them.
But one cup (145 grams) of cooked shiitake mushroom contains just 170mg of potassium.
Yes, Shiitake mushrooms are lower in potassium than portobello and white button mushrooms, for example, making them a very smart choice for those following a renal diet.
You can eat them 2 or 3 times per week and they will help avoiding problems with vitamin D.
Now, shitaki mushrooms are also an excellent source of B vitamins like our next food

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans):
Legumes are most notable for their high folate, or vitamin B9 content. They also provide some other B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and B6
Now guys, I know that a lot of doctors are forbidding kidney patients from eating legumes, but:
First of all, it has been proven that you don’t absorb all the phosphorus in legumes. Just 50%.
One serving of garbanzo beans or 1/4 cup dry contains just 96 mg phosphorus. So it’s safe.
and 173 mg potassium.
now, even if you eat 2 servings per day you are not going to make your phosphorus levels worse.
Same for potassium, in fact many researchers are starting to doubt the association between potassium in foods and potassium in blood.
But this is not 100% proven yet, so keep focusing on foods with low potassium levels.
But what about adding a serving or two of chickpeas once or twice per week? I don’t think your doctor will disagree, knowing how many benefits these legumes have.
However, talk to your doctor before adding any of the foods I show you in my videos, alright?
Ok, let’s see our number 3 healthiest vitamin rich food

Number 3, tangerine
Richer than oranges in vitamins A and C, they also provide healthy iron – absolutely a must for people with kidney disease.
Another bonus: tangerines are lower in potassium than oranges!
1 medium sized tangerine contains just 140mg of potassium – less than an apple!
Now, the most well-known source of vitamin C is citrus fruit, but you can also get vitamin C from strawberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts and kiwifruit, just to mention a few.
Actually, when it comes to vitamins, the more the variety the better.
But don’t forget our number 2

Red bell pepper
Red bell peppers are low in potassium, just 88 mg per half cup serving, but they really pack a lot of vitamins – especially vitamin C and vitamin A, but also vitamin B6 and folic acid.
Red bell peppers are good for you because they also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects organs from damage.
But that’s not the only reason they’re perfect for the kidney diet. These tasty vegetables have a lot of nutrients you need and very few you don’t want.
Also consider that some vitamins are destroyed by heat during cooking. But you can eat bell peppers raw or lightly steamed, to maximize the vitamin absorption.
Eat bell peppers regularly!

Also add our number 1
Salmon
This all-around nutritious fish is high in several B vitamins. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) cooked serving of salmon contains a serious amount all the vitamins of the B group, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, there’s everything in salmon, including vitamin D3.
A lot of it, actually. It really looks like salmon is the perfect food for people with kidney disease.
Yes, I wasn’t expecting fish to win the vitamins category, but salmon is rich in all those vitamins people with kidney disease are going to need the most.
Because it is relatively easy getting enough vitamin C and vitamin A, but vitamins of b group and especially Vitamin D are those people following a renal diet are more often missing.
And salmon contains the active form of vitamin D, called vitamin D3. You can only get this one from animal-based foods, alright?
This is not the only reason why I recommend eat salmon and other fatty fish regularly – 2 or 3 times per week.
The other reason is omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon is full of wonderful omega 3s, an essential part of any healthy diet.

Ok, now you may ask, is eating these foods really going to work? Is the diet really so important when kidney disease is already in the advanced stages?

Well, let me answer this question in the words of one of you guys following me here on 00kidney.

I was diagnosed 5 years ago and it was like a death sentence. It’s so unfair.
even my doctor told me you can’t reverse kidney disease.
+
Yes, I really feel for you.
+
BUT I’ve turned my diet around. I eat healthy vegetarian foods or no food at all.
It’s hard but it is a lot better than watching your life go down the drain without a fight.
And it worked for me!
Today, based from my last laboratory, my CREATININE dropped from 104 to 80!

Oh, ok, that’s amazing! thank you very much for sharing your story with us! I’m so glad to read that you’re doing well thanks to an improved diet!
And also resilience, right? People with kidney disease like Michael from our comment here have character, they have something you only see in people who are really facing a lot of adversities every day.
If you can face kidney disease, you can face anything in life.
Guys, you can do the same alright?
It does not matter how slowly you go, OR IF YOU MAKE MISTAKES, as long as you do not stop.
You shall Never give up!
You can improve as much as Michael from our comment here!
+
I’m really convinced the diet is the most important thing if you want to improve your kidney health.
So, let’s see immediately our next category of foods to improve creatinine levels!

Antioxidant POWERHOUSE foods!
Number 5, Kale!
One of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Very rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C and vitamin A, Kale Is also Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants Like Quercetin and Kaempferol

But, why are antioxidants important?
Antioxidants are substances that help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body.
Oxidative damage is believed to be among the leading drivers of aging and many diseases, including KIDNEY PROBLEMS.
So, what to eat to remove oxidative stress from the kidneys?

Number 4
Red grapes
Red grapes are not only delicious, they also deliver a ton of nutrition in a small package.
They’re rich in vitamin C and contain antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation.
Additionally, red grapes are high in resveratrol, a type of flavonoid that has been shown to benefit heart health and protect against diabetes and kidney problems.
These sweet fruits are kidney-friendly, with a half cup (75 grams) containing just 144mg of potassium.
Never go without red grapes!

Number 3, even healthier,
Cranberries
Cranberries benefit both the urinary tract and kidneys.
Besides the powerful antioxidants these tiny fruits pack, cranberries also contain phytonutrients – which prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract and bladder, preventing infection.
Cranberries can be eaten dried, cooked or fresh. They are very low in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.

Number 2 dark chocolate
another very tasty snack! Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and, if you eat it in moderate amounts, it’s also very healthy.
It contains antioxidants so powerful it may even reduce the risk for chronic diseases.
It’s also great for people with diabetes, but stay away from milk chocolate and other sugary junk foods.
Always choose dark chocolate with 70% or even better 80% cocoa.

And the number 1 is…
Blueberries
Blueberries are packed with nutrients! They’re one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find.
In particular, these sweet berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which may protect against heart disease, certain cancers, cognitive decline, and diabetes.
They also make a fantastic addition to a kidney-friendly diet, as they are one of the fruit with less potassium – just 114mg per cup, or 150 grams.
A well deserved number 1 spot! This berry can really do wonders for your kidneys.

Now, another very important category:

foods rich in fiber

NUMBER 5 IS
spaghetti squash!
A healthy alternative for people who want to avoid both pasta and … squashes!
This is basically the Squash with lowest potassium – one cup (101g) contains just 109mg, while other types of squash have even 4 times more potassium
There’s also a lot of fiber and you can cook this squash to make it look a feel like spaghetti!
A food to try!
What’s even better, let’s see

Number 4, Turnips
Turnips are kidney-friendly and make an excellent replacement for vegetables that are higher in potassium like potatoes and winter squash.
These root vegetables are loaded with fiber and vitamin C. They are also a decent source of vitamin B6 and manganese.
They can be roasted or boiled and mashed for a healthy side dish that works well for a renal diet.
What they lack is soluble fiber, unlike our
Number 3,
-Asparagus. Half cup will give you 2 grams of fiber, mostly soluble.
But why is fiber so important?
fiber, especially soluble fiber, creates a special gel like film in your gut to help absorbing sugar and carbs more slowly.
Which is absolutely a must for people with diabetes, but it can help everyone, actually, because sugar is a substance that cause inflammation, can raise blood pressure and will directly harm your kidneys.
So eat foods rich in fiber before your meals.

Another food rich in soluble fiber is
Number 2, Barley.
Not only is barley a low-glycemic grain, GREAT FOR people with diabetes, but it is also very high in soluble fiber.
Another benefit of barley is its high level of magnesium, great to lower blood pressure.
And it’s one of the best whole grains for kidney patients, because it has low potassium and phosphorus content.
Ok, barley is a must for a well planned renal diet, in my opinion
Just like our number 1 fiber rich food:

Arugula
People with CKD may have to avoid many greens, but arugula can be a great replacement. Arugula is generally lower in potassium than other greens, but it still contains fiber and other beneficial nutrients.
It’s also very, very alkaline, it’s one of those foods that will directly remove burden from your kidneys.
You may argue that it tastes bitter! Well, why not consider adding some healthy condiments then!

It’s our next category after all!

Condiments AND SPICES
Number 5 is …
Onions!
Onions can be a great way to lower your salt intake and keep your blood pressure under control.
Reducing salt intake can be challenging, especially if you like tasty foods like I do.
Onions are excellent for providing sodium-free flavor to renal-diet dishes.
What’s more, onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels – all of which may lower heart disease and kidney disease risk.
Their potent anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce high blood pressure and protect against blood clots.
One small onion (70 grams) contains just 102 mg of potassium, so you can eat onions whenever you want.

Our number 4 is even healthier:
Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet.
But after knowing about all the heart health benefits it has, extra virgin olive oil will become a staple in your diet too.
The main benefit of olive oil lies in its ability to improve HDL cholesterol levels.
Just two tablespoons a day of extra virgin olive oil have shown to improve HDL cholesterol – researchers say – and to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides!
Buy extra virgin olive oil because it’s higher in antioxidants.
What’s even healthier is

Number 3.

Ginger!
The many health benefits of ginger include soothing an upset stomach, helping with menstrual cramps, and contributing to weight loss.
But there are even studies on kidney disease patients showing that ginger has therapeutic effects in improving renal function.
This is because Ginger is loaded with bioactive compounds and nutrients that are helpful for our brain and body.
You can eat it in small quantities daily!

Number 2 is
Rosemary
Rosemary is not just one of the most fragrant spices in the world, really great when it comes to adding flavor to soups, casseroles, salads, and stews.
It is also a powerful herbal remedy, used to improve heart health.
And you can also mix it with the best condiment for people with kidney problems, which is…

Garlic!
A well-deserved first place!
The benefits of garlic are too many to mention all of them.
It can be used as a remedy or as a spice. As a spice it will make your dishes tastier and healthier.
As a remedy, you can eat a garlic clove a day to fight the inflammation that’s putting your kidneys at risk.
Yes garlic is the clear winner of the condiment and spices category!

Our next category is…

Healthy Protein sources!
Number 5, Skinless chicken breast
Skinless chicken breast contains less phosphorus, potassium, and sodium than skin-on chicken.
When shopping for chicken, choose fresh chicken and avoid pre-made roasted chicken, as it contains large amounts of sodium and phosphorus.
Three ounces (84 grams) of skinless chicken breast contains: 216mg of potassium and 192mg of phosphorus.
Phosphorus is a bit high here, maybe eat chicken just once a week. Still a great source of many essential nutrients, INCLUDING heme IRON – which you definitely need – and high quality protein.
But, why is protein important?
Ok, if you have kidney disease, you may already know that limiting protein intake is the winning strategy to slow down the progression of the disease.
This doesn’t mean that you should forget about protein in the diet. It’s the contrary, actually:
providing the body with an adequate amount of high-quality protein is vital for your health.
If you don’t get enough high quality protein, you risk malnutrition, which can damage your kidneys.
So, here are the other best sources of high quality protein

Number 4, Sea bass
Sea bass is a high-quality protein, because it’s a protein that comes from an animal. Just like chicken breast.
And, just like chicken breast it’s still a bit high in phosphorus and potassium.
Three ounces (85 grams) of cooked sea bass contain 279 mg of potassium and 211 mg of phosphorus
Now, what makes sea bass and other fatty fish very healthy is their content of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s help reduce inflammation and may help decrease the risk of cognitive decline, depression, and anxiety.
Most of all, omega 3s have been shown to have protective effects on the kidneys. So always include fatty fish and other omega 3s rich foods in your diet.
While all fish are high in phosphorus, sea bass contains lower amounts than other seafood.
However, it’s important to consume small portions to keep your phosphorus levels in check.

Number 3, even healthier
Eggs. I’ve talked about eggs a lot in my videos because eggs are surrounded by misinformation.
But don’t get fooled, eggs are healthy.
Just like

Number 2, Green peas
A lot lower in potassium and phosphorus than animal based protein, Green peas contain decent amounts of heart-healthy minerals, such as magnesium and calcium.
Great to keep your blood pressure under control!
Another benefit, phosphorus in legumes, is not completely absorbed by the body, just 50 percent usually. Unlike phosphorus you get from meat and processed foods.
And this makes green peas an excellent choice for people with kidney disease, our number 2 protein source.
AND legumes, just like eggs, are one of those foods that have been unfairly demonized for kidney patients.
My advice, based on a recent study, conducted on non-dialysis kidney patients, is to eat legumes twice per week in combination with grains or seeds.

Now, the best protein source for people with kidney disease is…
Chia seeds!
While chia seeds and other seeds are not a high quality protein source, if you combine seeds with grains or legumes, you’re going to get the best protein possible from the healthiest foods.
And chia seeds are our number 1 also because they are probably the best plant based source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Yes, these small seeds are as underestimated as healthy!

Time for some healthy carbohydrate food sources now!

Number 5,
aproteic pasta
What is aproteic pasta. This is not something many people know about, it’s a product especially developed for people with kidney problems.
Like almost any food, Pasta is not just a carbs source, it also contains some protein.
But if you have to limit protein intake, which is something almost all nephrologists recommend to patients in stage 4 and sometimes even 3, removing the low-quality protein you would get from pasta may be the winning strategy.
Actually, some brands also fortify this pasta with renal vitamins.
But if you can’t find this product, don’t worry, there are other carb sources you can consider.

Number 4 is
white rice
while white rice doesn’t have the health benefits foods we have seen till now can boast, it’s still useful.
It’s one of the most digestible carb sources and even if it’s glycemic index is high, it’s still better than pasta and bread.
This may not seem much, but you need a lot of carbs to survive and white rice is a great source.
Ok, let’s see some healthier options now

wild rice
wild rice is not really rice: it’s a whole grain. This means that it has a low glycemic index, and a lot more fiber, nutrients and vitamins than white rice.
A half-cup serving yields 68 mg phosphorus and 83 mg potassium, not a lot more than white rice.
But it also has 52 mg magnesium, very healthy and it’s rich in vitamin b6.
As a cons, wild rice is expensive and hard to find.
What’s better is

Buckwheat
Many whole grains tend to be high in phosphorus, but buckwheat is a healthy exception.
Buckwheat is highly nutritious, providing a good amount of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and fiber.
It’s also a gluten-free grain and a half cup (84 grams) of cooked buckwheat contains just 74 mg of potassium and 59 mg of phosphorus.
Great for a kidney diet!

Ok, time for the healthiest carb source for people with kidney problems!
bulgur
Bulgur is a whole grain wheat product that makes a terrific, kidney-friendly alternative to other carb sources.
This nutritious grain is a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and manganese.
It’s also an excellent source of plant-based protein and full of dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health.
A well deserved first place for a healthy whole grain!
Make it a regular of your kidney diet!

Ok guys wow, this was a long one! I hope you enjoyed it and that you found out about foods that will help you with your health.
Because I’m pretty sure that, if you have watched this video so far, you really care about your kidney health.
Good for you!
Because, as we have seen, there are things you can do to improve your creatinine levels and to get your kidney function back.
So, keep taking good care of your kidneys and be good to yourself.
This is all for today, thank you for watching!

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About the Author

Hi, my name is Michael and in this blog I'm gonna share the story of how I got off kidney dialysis for good. Getting off dialysis isn't easy at all, and that's why I'm trying to help people as much as I can.



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