Kidney Diet Tips

Kale, a healthy choice for the kidney diet

Kale, a curly leafy green is gaining in popularity. Notice the addition of this delicious, nutritious, antioxidant packed vegetable to restaurant menus as well as your favorite recipe websites. Some sources promote kale as the healthiest vegetable on the planet. With 45 flavonoids, kale has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. That’s a good thing for people with kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, who often suffer from chronic inflammation.

Kale belongs to the Brassica family and is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and collards. This group of green vegetables is low in potassium compared to spinach, beet greens and chard. One-half cup of cooked or raw kale contains 150 mg potassium, 18 mg phosphorus, 15 mg sodium, 1.2 g protein, 1.3 grams of fiber and 18 calories. Kale is an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin C.



Try one or more of these serving suggestions for kale:

  • Steam or boil kale and serve with a sprinkle of red wine vinegar
  • Sauté in olive oil and garlic
  • Slice thin with stems removed and toss with vinaigrette dressing
  • Coat with oil and pepper then bake for 15 minutes at 425°F to make kale chips
  • Sauté shredded kale and add to pasta
  • Replace spinach with kale in your favorite recipes

One word of caution if you take a blood thinner medication. Kale is very high in vitamin K and should be avoided.

Kidney diet resources from


Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.