If you're looking to improve your kidney health or reduce your risk of kidney disease, your diet is a great place to start. Eating a variety of kidney-friendly foods that are low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium can help to promote optimal kidney function and overall health. In this article, we've compiled a list of 13 delicious and nutrient-rich foods that are known to be beneficial for kidney health. Whether you're a kidney patient or simply interested in improving your diet, read on to discover which foods you should add to your grocery list for better kidney health.

13 Kidney-Friendly Foods That Are Good for Your Health


Fatty fish

Fish delivers protein, and when you choose a fatty fish like tuna, salmon, or trout, you're also getting omega-3 fatty acids. According to the National Kidney Foundation, omega-3 fats may help reduce fat levels (triglycerides) in the blood and may also lower blood pressure.



This nutrient-dense vegetable is low in both potassium and sodium while packing in fiber, vitamins C and K, and more. Plus, cabbage is versatile. You can use it in salads and slaws, but you can also use it as a wrap for tacos, sandwiches, and more. 


Bell Peppers

Like cabbage, bell peppers pack in lots of good nutrients with low levels of potassium. With them, you get vitamins B6, B9, C, and K, plus fiber. And they deliver antioxidants, too. You can slice them and eat them with dips or roast them up and add them to dinner.



Cranberries help to prevent urinary tract infections. While these usually stay in your bladder, they can travel up to your kidney, making kidney problems worse. Fortunately, regularly consuming cranberries can help you avoid this unwelcome situation.



With high levels of antioxidants and loads of vitamin C and fiber, blueberries are all-around healthy. They can also help to reduce inflammation and support bone health, reversing some of the issues that can come with CKD.


Dark, Leafy Greens

There are plenty of reasons to turn to dark, leafy greens like spinach or kale. They deliver so many nutrients that they can help you get key vitamins and minerals, plus immunity-boosting benefits. Be advised, though, that greens can come with a decent amount of potassium. If you have CKD, talk to your doctor before adding more of these to your diet. 


Olive oil

Rich in antioxidants and healthy fatty acids, olive oil can boost your overall wellness. A study from Harvard University found that olive oil may lower cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and some types of cancer.



From the same family as garlic, onions give you another excellent and salt-free way to add flavor (bonus points if you saute them in olive oil). Onions also deliver important nutrients like vitamins B6 and C, manganese, and copper.



Cauliflower brings the crunch, paired with plenty of vitamins C, B6, B9, and K, along with fiber. It also contains compounds your body can use to neutralize certain toxins -- a big help when your kidneys aren't doing their best filtration work.


Egg Whites

Egg whites are specifically recommended for people with kidney problems. They give you a way to increase your protein levels -- which can be important with later-stage CKD, especially if you're on dialysis.



Arugula is packed with nutrients your body needs like magnesium, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B9, C, and K. Plus, it's antioxidant-rich and has glucosinolates, which can help your body protect itself against a range of cancer types. You can eat arugula raw (it's a great salad base), but you can also sprinkle it over whatever you're whipping up. It's great on pizzas, in omelets, and with pasta, for example.



Apples deliver cancer-fighting quercetin and fiber that can help to keep your cholesterol and blood sugar at healthy levels. And they've got plenty of antioxidants. Better yet, they're easy to work into your diet. Leave a bowl of apples on your counter and you'll have a kidney-healthy grab-and-go snack whenever you need one. 



Another antioxidant-rich, inflammation-fighting food, garlic also contains a specific compound called allicin. For people with CKD, allicin -- an active compound found in garlic -- worked just as effectively to help protect kidney health as a prescription drug. If you're looking for the best foods for your kidneys, garlic has to make the list.