What Does Asparagus Do for Kidney Disease?


Quick Answer

Although asparagus does not have healing attributes, the asparagus plant can help prevent kidney problems, state the National Kidney Foundation and WebMD. Patients with kidney diseases can add asparagus to their diets to keep potassium levels in healthy ranges. Likewise, the plant helps prevent stones in the kidney.

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What Does Asparagus Do for Kidney Disease?
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Full Answer

While potassium helps the body by regulating heartbeats and helping muscles, too much potassium may be harmful to those with kidney diseases, states the National Kidney Foundation. The kidneys determine the amount of potassium in the body but may fail to do so effectively when they're not healthy. As such, patients must limit potassium intake by consuming food that is low in potassium. If potassium levels become too high, patients may have heartbeat irregularities or even a heart attack.

A serving of six raw spears of asparagus contains low levels of potassium, adds the National Kidney Foundation. It warns that eating asparagus in greater amounts leads to potassium overload, regardless of the nutrition of the plant.

Depending on the type of the kidney stone, asparagus may be either beneficial or harmful. Although WebMD states that the plant helps prevent kidney stones due to folic acid deficiency, too much folic acid can also cause kidney stones, warns the U.S. National Library of Medicine. As such, patients with low levels of folic acid can consume asparagus to prevent kidney stones but must keep the potassium intake in mind.

Pregnant patients with kidney problems must avoid asparagus as the plant can disturb the hormone balanced, warns WebMD. The plant may also cause an allergic reaction in those who are sensitive to plants from the Liliacese family.

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