What is good for the kidneys

arious diseases of the kidneys and other parts of the urinary system are annually recorded in 1.8% of the population. Severe violations significantly worsen the general condition, lead to social maladaptation, disability and even death.

The health of a person's kidneys depends in part on the diet. The addition of healthy foods and the exclusion of harmful foods increases the resistance of the kidneys to various damaging factors and strengthens the immune system, as a result, infectious deviations of bacterial or fungal etiology are much less common.

The link between diet and kidney health

The kidneys are a filter that purifies the blood . They have an extremely complex structure and contain more than 160 kilometers of blood vessels. Over 180 liters of blood passes through each kidney per day, which is cleared of toxic substances.

The kidneys maintain the water balance in the body, are responsible for the level of blood pressure (through the secretion of renin), and provide the synthesis of the extremely important vitamin D.

Unfortunately, serious kidney diseases often develop: from urolithiasis, the main cause of which is malnutrition and genetic predisposition, to inflammatory lesions of the parenchyma and pyelocaliceal system.

A decrease in kidney function leads to intoxication and pathologies of water exchange in the body. As a result, multiple edema develops and the work of the central parts of the nervous system is disrupted (increased fatigue and weakness, depression of consciousness).

It is necessary to follow dietary recommendations for all persons with pre-existing kidney diseases, as well as for those who have aggravated heredity (pathologies in close relatives) and a dangerous somatic background (diabetes mellitus of any type, hypertension, systemic atherosclerosis).

While dietary restrictions may vary, people with kidney disease are most commonly advised to limit the following substances :

  1. Sodium. It is present in almost all food products and is the main component of table salt. Damaged kidneys are unable to excrete excess sodium, which leads to a dangerous increase in its level in the blood. The maximum daily dose of sodium should be limited to 2 g.

  2. Potassium. They are rich in tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, dried fruits. For people with diseased kidneys, an excess of this microelement is critically dangerous. It is recommended to consume no more than 2 g of potassium per day.

  3. Phosphorus. Any damage to the kidneys (especially the glomerular apparatus) leads to a decrease in the excretion of this trace element from the body, which is fraught with a large number of disorders. The intake of the substance should be limited to 1 g per day.

Fortunately, there are enough approved foods that contain sodium, potassium and phosphorus in minimal amounts. In addition, they have many useful properties that help improve the functional state and anatomical integrity of the kidneys.  

Below is a list of the 9 most beneficial foods for kidney health

1. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is widely valued for its high content of vitamins (A, K, B and C), which improve the metabolism in nephrocytes, increase the rate of formation of primary urine.

The vegetable is rich in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, reducing the risk of destructive diseases of the epithelium of the kidney tubules and the formation of malignant tumors.

Scientific studies show that cauliflower contains a large number of anti-inflammatory compounds (eg, indoles) that have a affinity for kidney tissue. An additional plus is the high content of fiber, which normalizes digestion (after all, flatulence makes it difficult for the kidneys to work).

It is recommended to eat cauliflower raw or mashed (an excellent replacement for potatoes).

2. Blueberries

Blueberries improve not only the functioning of the visual apparatus, but also the kidneys. They contribute to the dissolution and removal of sand and small stones (mainly oxalates) from the kidneys, thereby preventing the development of kidney stone disease.

Scientists have proven that anthocyanins (antioxidants) contained in blueberries protect the tubules of the kidneys from destructive and atrophic changes that can occur during hypertension and diabetes.

An additional plus of blueberries is the extremely low content of sodium, potassium and phosphorus.

Blueberries retain the entire set of medicinal properties even after heat treatment.

3. Red grape varieties

Red grapes are rich in vitamin C, and also contain a large amount of flavonoids that help reduce and limit inflammatory changes. All this makes grapes extremely useful for patients with chronic pyelonephritis.

Grapes, according to the latest data , also contain resveratrol, which strengthens kidney cells, normalizes metabolic processes in them, and prevents the development of hypertension and diabetes.

It is recommended to eat grapes in their pure form. It is also permissible to drink dry red wine (in the absence of contraindications and within reasonable limits).

 4. Olive oil

Olive oil is an ideal source of “healthy” fat, low in protein and virtually zero phosphorus.

The product is recommended for patients with obesity and various kidney diseases.

Oleic acid deserves special attention, which, according to Spanish researchers , has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect (which is especially important in autoimmune kidney disorders). 

5. Sweet pepper

Sweet peppers contain many valuable nutrients. The potassium content is low, which makes peppers stand out from other vegetables.

1 vegetable contains 150% of the daily value of vitamin C, 100% of the daily dose of vitamin A.

The components described above reduce the risk of developing aseptic inflammatory processes in the wall of the renal tubules, which occur with severe atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus, and also normalize the work of local immunity factors. The effects are scientifically proven .

6. Garlic

Garlic is one of the most potent medicines used for a wide range of pathologies.

Scientists from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences proved that garlic prevents the development of diabetic kidney nephropathy, which leads to a decrease in all functions of the organ at the same time and is closely related to type II diabetes.

Also, garlic, especially in combination with lemon juice, normalizes the level of cholesterol and its fractions in the blood, which reduces atherosclerotic damage to large vessels, including the arteries of the glomerular glomerulus of the kidneys.

7. Arugula

Arugula can be an excellent substitute for many green vegetables (spinach, white cabbage), as it contains little potassium.

In addition, arugula is a valuable source of vitamin K, as well as macro- and microelements (magnesium, calcium, zinc), which are necessary to maintain the tone of smooth kidney myocytes and adequate mineral metabolism.

Arugula contains nitrates that lower blood pressure, while the action is carried out locally, and not systemically. The action is proven in the works of London scientists .

8. Pineapple

Pineapple is an excellent substitute for most tropical fruits (bananas, citrus fruits, kiwi) due to its low potassium content.Studies show that pineapple is also rich in B vitamins, manganese, bromelain (a special enzyme that suppresses inflammatory tissue reactions).

9. Cranberry


Cranberry is a broad-spectrum antiseptic, effective against most gram-positive and some gram-negative microorganisms.

An additional plus is the presence of flavonoids that prevent the development of cystitis and urethritis. That is why cranberry juice is recommended to all patients with nephrological profile.

Studies in South Africa show that drinking cranberry juice reduces urinary calcium oxalate supersaturation and reduces urinary oxalate excretion. Scientists recommend including the plant in the list of national recommendations for the treatment of urolithiasis.

Separately, the 2010 scientific article should be cancelled . According to it, beak berries contain many phytonutrients that block the adhesion of bacterial particles to the mucous membrane of the tubules of the kidneys and bladder, thereby preventing the occurrence of bacteriosis.

What should be excluded from the diet

There is a list of nutrients, the use of which should be limited (or completely abandoned) in order to maintain the anatomical and functional integrity of the kidneys. There are such harmful groups of products:

  1. Salt. An excess of food rich in sodium chloride (semi-finished products, fast food, smoked meats) leads to fluid retention in the body, the accumulation of potassium to the level of toxic concentrations. As a result, there is an inadequate load on the kidneys and an increase in blood pressure.

  2. animal protein. A significant content of beef, pork and offal leads to an increase in the concentration of protein denaturation products in the blood, which are toxins for the epithelium of the renal tubules.

  3. Vinegar and spicy dishes, coffee, carbonated drinks. This category of products leads to irritation of the mucous membranes of the urinary system, which increases the risk of injury and the formation of infectious and inflammatory processes.

  4. Alcoholic drinks. Ethanol has a direct cytotoxic effect, destroys kidney cells and can lead to severe renal failure. In addition, a few hours after consumption, dehydration is observed (due to the accumulation of water in the intercellular spaces), which provokes malfunctions in the kidneys.

Particular attention should also be paid to the following food categories:

  • mushrooms;

  • legumes (peas, beans, lentils);

  • spices;

  • spinach;

  • sorrel;

  • rose hip.

According to some reports, they adversely affect the functioning of the kidneys, but the accumulated scientific experience at the moment is not enough to call them "harmful".

General Nutrition Rules

Summing up, we can formulate several important rules for maintaining kidney health:

  • A varied diet in compliance with the qualitative and quantitative composition of food. The use of the same foods can lead to malfunctions of the immune system and the formation of stones. For example, calcium stones are formed with increased use of dairy products, cheese; purine - with the abuse of protein foods.

  • Restriction of animal proteins. Proteins disrupt the work of epithelial cells in the tubules of the kidneys. A low protein diet has been proven to reduce the rate of progression of chronic kidney disease. Damaged cells are not able to remove the products of protein metabolism from the body, which leads to their accumulation in the blood and the development of an intoxication syndrome (vicious circle).

  • Complete cessation of smoking. Tobacco smoke, according to some reports , is closely associated with autoimmune diseases and chronic kidney disease.

  • Leading a healthy lifestyle. Regular feasible physical activity, walks in the fresh air (park area and coniferous forests) have a positive effect on the vital activity of the whole organism, help to increase resistance to infectious agents.

  • Timely contact with a doctor if any symptoms of damage to the urinary system appear (back pain, change in color and volume of urine, pain and pain during urination, etc.). You should also follow all the appointments of specialists regarding diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, hypertension. They provoke critical violations of the kidneys.

  • Fractional nutrition. Eat food should be 5-6 times a day (even portions). This will create an equal load on the kidneys throughout the day and will help prevent serious disorders.


Thus, the functional state of the kidneys largely depends on proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Correction of the diet can significantly increase the resistance of the kidneys to infectious and inflammatory pathologies, prevent the appearance of stones and malignant neoplasms.


Leave A Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published