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Best Fruits for Kidney Health

There’s nothing like a cold slice of pineapple or a fresh strawberry on a warm day. As the days begin to warm up, a common question that I hear from kidney patients is “What fruits are good for the kidneys?


Why is fruit good for the kidneys?

Fresh fruit can be a good source of carbohydrate and fiber. It can perk up a low blood sugar, provide fluid, and keep the bowels moving.


But, when we’re talking about the best fruits for kidney patients, we tend to focus on what we can’t have rather than what we can. And I think that’s ridiculous.


When is fruit good for the kidneys?

If you’re doing physical activity like using a push mower, cleaning out the garage, or participating in sports or exercise, a serving of fresh fruit is a good way to regulate blood sugar and get a bit of fluid in.


Fiber from whole, fresh fruit can also help to regulate blood sugar by helping it to climb up slowly and stay stable for a while as opposed to a quick spike in blood sugar that you might see after drinking a soda.


What juice is good for kidneys?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, fruit juice has a lot of sugar and very little, if any fiber. So, it’s going to cause blood sugar to spike and then to drop back off, making you feel low again very quickly.


I don’t recommend it to my patients, because it doesn’t really serve any purpose unless you’re having a very low blood sugar and need to get it back up fast. But even then, there are better snacks to have on hand.


Best Fruits for Kidney Health

A small basket full of blackberries.
Blackberries are an easy to grab snack that will keep you full and your kidneys healthy.
  1. Apples - A medium apple has about 25g of carbs, 4 g of fiber, and is low in potassium. This makes them a great choice for kidney patients. I love chopping them up to put on oatmeal or just eating one sliced up with some peanut butter.

  2. Blackberries - 1 cup has about 15g of carbs and nearly 8g of fiber making them perfect for snacking! They’re also an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Copper, and Manganese.

  3. Strawberries - 1 cup of strawberry halves has about 12g of carbs with 3 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. 

  4. Pineapple -1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks has about 20g of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. It’s also an excellent source of manganese and copper and is low in potassium! This makes pineapple a good choice for kidney patients. 

  5. Papaya - A ¾ cup serving is rich in Vitamin C, has about 50 calories and 2g of fiber. But, make sure to limit it to ¾ cup or less if your doctor or dietitian has instructed you to watch your potassium. 

  6. Pears - A medium pear is a good source of vitamin c and folate and has about 25g of carbs and 5g of fiber!


Bonus: Watermelon is a fantastic fruit for a CKD diet! You may have heard that watermelon is too high in potassium for kidney patients to eat, but that’s simply not true. 1 cup has about 30 calories, 8g of carbs, and less than 200mg of potassium. That makes watermelon a low potassium food!


*The trick with watermelon is moderation. Too much of it can be a problem if the kidneys aren't filtering out potassium well anymore. So, if your doctor has told you to limit foods with too much potassium in them, it's best to limit yourself to a just a cup of watermelon.


As you can see, there are many kidney-friendly fruits that you can snack on as the days get warmer. Apples or pears go great with some cinnamon on oatmeal, while cold berries are perfect for snacking! These kidney-friendly fruits are a fantastic way for people living with CKD to enjoy a delicious snack.

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Brandy Winfree, RDN smiling at the camera.

I'm Brandy Winfree, RDN.

When I was working in dialysis, I saw so many patients who had no idea that diet plays a HUGE role in kidney health.

I decided then that I needed to pass my knowledge onto people with kidney disease BEFORE they went into kidney failure. Not after.

That's why I became a board Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition and why I started this blog. 

You deserve to take care of the kidneys that you have now and I want to share my knowledge with you to make that happen.

Are they any topics that you'd like to hear my thoughts on?

Shoot me a message here.

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