Q:

What are the best foods to eat to keep your kidneys healthy?

A:

Quick Answer

Eating fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products can keep the kidneys healthy, states the National Kidney Disease Education Program. Limiting alcohol and sodium intake is also strongly recommended. Cigarette smoking can worsen kidney damage.

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Full Answer

If a patient has already been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, eating the right diet is even more crucial, says the American Kidney Fund. Foods high in potassium and phosphorus should be avoided. Avocados, bananas, bran and beans contain high levels of potassium and can be switched with apples, cauliflower, white rice and lettuce. Phosphorus is found in whole-grain bread, nuts and seeds, oatmeal and some sodas, so corn or rice cereals and certain white breads should be eaten instead.

Some patients with kidney disease may need to lower fluid intake to prevent fluid buildup in the body, reports the American Kidney Fund. This applies to more than just water; fruits, vegetables, soup and ice cream all contain fluids and must be eaten in limited quantities. Limiting sodium intake can help lower thirst levels.

Altering to a diet that limits certain minerals is important when treating chronic kidney disease because damaged kidneys are not able to filter blood as efficiently as healthy kidneys, states the American Kidney Fund. Eating improperly can cause waste and fluid to build up in the lungs, leading to further health complications.

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