Kidney Diet Tips

Kidney-Friendly Foods that Fight Inflammation

Can your food choices really make a difference when it comes to inflammation?

The answer is YES! The food choices you make will affect your body’s inflammatory response. I want to point out that inflammation sounds bad, but it can be a good thing! After all, it is the body’s response to promote healing after it has been injured. An example would be a cut that has scabbed over.

It is the chronic or ongoing inflammation that can have a devastating effect on your health and well-being. Chronic inflammation happens when the body attacks the healthy cells. This can lead to other issues such as diseases, poor appetite, low albumin and muscle wasting.

The bottom line is this- eat less deep fried foods, packaged baked goods, white rice and bread, fatty cuts of pork and beef, just to name a few. Eat more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and lean cuts of meat.

I know what you’re thinking, “Ugh…I’ve heard this already!” I apologize and I get it. But the truth is I really want you to understand that your food choices WILL affect how you feel! 

Below I have included a few of my favorite foods that fight inflammation. If you’re not sure what foods will fit into your individual kidney-friendly diet plan, check with your renal dietitian. They will be able to provide you with individual diet recommendations to keep you feeling your best!

Berries  berries-DVA small

Berries are known to increase anti-inflammatory activity in the body. Berries are generally considered low in potassium and are a healthy option if you follow a low potassium diet. Great choices to add into your kidney-friendly diet include blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cranberries or raspberries.


Fish such as salmon or tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids which are very important to the anti-inflammatory response. Fish is also a great source of protein. I tell my patients to shoot for a serving (3 to 4 ounces) of fish a couple times a week. Depending on your stage of kidney disease you may need to limit or increase the amount of protein you consume each day.


Nuts such as almonds or walnuts are full of antioxidants, healthy fats and fiber. Antioxidants can help repair and fight off the damage caused by inflammation. Fiber can help you feel fuller longer, which is a bonus if you are feeling hungry often or thinking about weight loss. Nuts are higher in potassium and phosphorus; dietary intake may be limited for you if you have kidney disease.

Olive Oil

Adding a couple tablespoons to your diet everyday will increase your intake of healthy fats and antioxidants. Olive oil also contains a compound called oleocanthol that can help reduce your aches and pains.

Colorful Vegetables  saladveg-DVA small

Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower provide anti-inflammatory benefits and are also higher in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (disease-fighters) than other foods.

There are tons of kidney-friendly recipes available on the DaVita® website that include the foods listed above! Click on the link to the DaVita Recipes page and search for dishes that will satisfy your taste buds or check out my favorites below!





Abby Tibodeau, RD, LD

Abby Tibodeau, RD, LD

Abby has been a renal dietitian for over five years and continues to learn new things every day. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and three children. Abby is currently working on her master's degree in dietetics.