Evidence Based

20 Best Foods for Kidney Health

Kidney disease is a widespread problem that affects 10% of the world’s population.

Some main risks of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. However, factors such as gender, age, genetics, smoking, or obesity can increase your risk.

For the reasons mentioned, those who suffer from kidney disease should follow a special diet.

Diet And Kidney Disease

Diet restrictions vary according to the level of kidney damage.  

The diet for people with kidney disease helps improve kidney function and prevent future damage.

It is advisable to restrict the following nutrients:

  • Sodium: less than 2,000 mg daily.

Another nutrient to avoid is protein, as a damaged kidney cannot cleanse its waste.

However, those who suffer from ESRD and are undergoing dialysis have a greater need for protein.

In this article, you will find 20 foods that are kidney-friendly.

Good Foods For Kidney Health

1. Cauliflower

foods for kidney health

Cauliflower is a very nutritious vegetable. It provides vitamins B, C, and K, fibers, and anti-inflammatory compounds (indoles).

124 grams of cooked cauliflower provides:

  • Phosphorus: 40 mg
  • Sodium: 19 mg
  • Potassium: 176 mg

2. Blueberries

foods for kidney health

Blueberries provide us with a large number of antioxidants. Mainly, they offer us anthocyanins, an antioxidant that protects us against diabetes, heart problems, and certain types of cancer.

One cup (148 grams) of blueberries provides:

  • Phosphorus: 18 mg
  • Sodium: 1.5 mg
  • Potassium: 114 mg

3. Sea Bass


Sea bass is beneficial because it provides omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation.

A portion of 85 grams of cooked sea bass contains:

  • Potassium: 274 mg
  • Sodium: 74 mg
  • Phosphorus: 211 mg

4. Red Grapes

Red Grapes

Another beneficial food is red grapes. These fruits are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids (a type of antioxidant). 

75 grams (1/2 cup) of red grapes contains:

  • Phosphorus: 15 mg
  • Potassium: 144 mg
  • Sodium: 1.5 mg

5. Egg Whites

Egg whites are beneficial for people with kidney problems.

Two egg whites provide:

  • Phosphorus: 10 mg
  • Sodium: 110 mg
  • Potassium: 108 mg

6. Garlic

garlic benefits

Garlic is an excellent alternative to salt, as well as provides many nutrients.

Three cloves of garlic provide:

  • Phosphorus: 14 mg
  • Potassium: 36 mg
  • Sodium: 1.5 mg

7. Buckwheat

While whole grains are rich in phosphorus, buckwheat is a healthy option for people with kidney disease.

Half a cup of cooked buckwheat contains:

  • Phosphorus: 59 mg
  • Potassium: 74 mg
  • Sodium: 3.5 mg

8. Olive oil

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil does not provide phosphorus.

A tablespoon of olive oil provides:

  • Phosphorus: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 0.3 mg
  • Potassium: 0.1 mg

9. Bulgur

Bulgur is an excellent alternative to whole grains. It also provides us with a large number of nutrients.

Half a cup of bulgur contains:

  • Phosphorus: 36 mg
  • Potassium: 62 mg
  • Sodium: 4.5 mg

10. Cabbage

foods for kidney health

Cabbage is rich in nutrients and insoluble fibers.

One cup (70 grams) of shredded cabbage contains:

  • Phosphorus: 18 mg
  • Potassium: 119 mg
  • Sodium: 13 mg

11. Skinless Chicken

Skinless chicken is a good option for people with kidney problems as they provide protein without providing too much phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.

84 grams of skinless chicken provide:

  • Phosphorus: 192 mg
  • Potassium: 216 mg
  • Sodium: 63 mg

12. Bell Peppers

bell peppers

Bell peppers are a rich source of antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A.

74 grams of red pepper contains:

  • Phosphorus: 19 mg
  • Potassium: 156 mg
  • Sodium: 3 mg

13. Onions


Onions are a rich source of prebiotic fibers, which improve the functioning of the digestive system.

A small onion provides:

  • Phosphorus: 20 mg
  • Potassium: 102 mg
  • Sodium: 3 mg

14. Arugula

Arugula is a rich source of vitamin K, manganese, and calcium. It also provides us with nitrates, which help lower blood pressure.

One cup of raw arugula contains:

  • Phosphorus: 10 mg
  • Potassium: 74 mg
  • Sodium: 6 mg

15. Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are beneficial for people with kidney problems since they are lower in phosphorus than other nuts.

28 grams of macadamia nuts contain:

  • Phosphorus: 53 mg
  • Potassium: 103 mg
  • Sodium: 1.4 mg

16. Radish

Radishes are a good source of vitamin C, which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Half a cup of sliced radishes provide:

  • Phosphorus: 12 mg
  • Potassium: 135 mg
  • Sodium: 23 mg

17. Turnips

Turnips are beneficial because they provide vitamins B6, vitamin C, fiber, and manganese.

Half a cup of cooked turnips provides:

  • Phosphorus: 20 mg
  • Potassium: 138 mg
  • Sodium: 12.5 mg

18. Pineapple


Pineapple is a fruit that provides us with fiber, manganese, vitamin C, and bromelain.

A cup of pineapple contains:

  • Phosphorus: 13 mg
  • Potassium: 180 mg
  • Sodium: 2 mg

19. Cranberries


Cranberries have a type of phytonutrients that prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract.

100 grams of cranberries contain:

  • Phosphorus: 11 mg
  • Potassium: 80 mg
  • Sodium: 2 mg

20. Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms have less quantity than other mushrooms, so they are better for a kidney diet.

A cup of cooked shiitake mushrooms provides:

  • Phosphorus: 42 mg
  • Potassium: 170 mg
  • Sodium: 6 mg