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Top 5 Healthy Reasons Why Celery Is Good for Your Kidneys

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A key factor in maintaining kidney health is our diet. You may be wondering if celery is good for your kidneys.

The good news is that celery is one of many vegetables that can provide benefits to your overall health. It is considered a kidney-friendly food and you can enjoy this root vegetable at any stage of kidney disease.

Kidney health often takes a back seat in our conversations about our health. Yet, our kidneys work 24/7 filtering waste and regulating vital functions for our bodies.  

There’s no magic food that can guarantee perfect kidney function. However, eating a variety of foods plays an important role for kidney health.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top five healthy reasons why celery is good for your kidneys.

Understanding Kidney Health

Your kidneys are two hard working organs that often get overlooked and underappreciated. These mighty bean shaped organs play a vital role in many functions for the body. 

The Role of Kidneys in the Body

The kidneys filter 150 Liters of blood a day, remove waste products and excess fluid. They make urine, balance electrolytes, activate hormones, help regulate blood pressure, and assist in acid/base balance. 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, chronic kidney disease affects 1 in 7 adults. That’s nearly 37 million people in the United States. 

Common Kidney Problems and Their Causes

Family history of kidney problems can play a role in the development of kidney disease and kidney stones.

Diet and lifestyle can impact the health of our kidneys. Poor nutrition and lifestyle choices are the most common causes of kidney issues. 

Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes can lead to kidney failure if left untreated or uncontrolled.  

Formation of kidney stones can result by drinking too little water, exercising too much or too little, and obesity. Kidney stones can also develop after weight loss surgery, or by eating foods with too much salt and sugar.

These conditions are mostly recognized as lifestyle driven and can be managed with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. 

Proper nutrition is essential for those living with kidney failure. It plays a major role in kidney disease progression to prevent further damage. 

Health Benefits of Celery for Kidney Health

Celery is high in fiber, rich in vitamin A and vitamin K. It provides a good source of folic acid and is low in oxalate. Its high antioxidant content promotes a healthy immune system which has protective effects against inflammation and chronic disease. 

Eating a balanced diet with the proper amount of protein, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and fluids is essential for kidney patients. 

It’s important for those with kidney disease to see a renal dietitian. Renal Dietitians can help you with your specific needs and put together a healthy kidney diet. Improvements in your diet can help lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugars, and promote healthy kidneys.

Nutritional Profile of Celery

Celery is low in calories and provides a good source of fiber and a variety of vitamins. Which are all beneficial for the kidneys.

½ cup serving of raw celery provides:

9 kcal, 2 g carbohydrates, 11 mg of phosphorus, 132 mg potassium, 40 mg sodium. 5 mg oxalate, 9% of the daily recommended intake of fiber. (Source: USDA Food Database)

Fiber helps keep your stomach full, promotes the feeling of satisfaction, and moves food easily through the digestive system. 

Image of celery stock with nutrition profile for 1/2 cup serving of celery

5 Ways Celery Is Good For Kidneys

Keeping our kidneys in good health is important for a long and healthy life. One way to support kidney health is through our diet. While there’s no magic food that can guarantee perfect kidney function, celery is one food that can support kidney health. Let’s explore the top five healthy reasons why celery is good for kidneys.

1. Rich in Potassium

Potassium is a crucial mineral for kidney health. It helps maintain proper muscle function, regulates heartbeat, improves bone density, and offsets sodium harmful effects on blood pressure. 

It may seem counterintuitive to consume potassium when you have kidney issues, but celery provides a moderate amount of potassium content. It’s a kidney-friendly source of potassium that helps keep your electrolytes in balance. 

You may need to limit potassium intake depending on what stage of kidney disease you’re in. If you’ve had high potassium levels in the past you may need to limit potassium in your diet. Generally a low potassium diet will have 2,000 mg or less per day. 

2. Low in Sodium

Sodium can be problematic for kidney health, especially if you consume too much of it. High sodium intake can lead to elevated blood pressure, excess fluid intake, swelling, and increased stress on the kidneys. Celery naturally has a low amount of sodium. It’s a great choice for those looking to reduce their sodium intake and support healthy blood pressure levels.

3. Excellent Source of Antioxidants

Celery is packed with antioxidants, including flavonoids, phenols, polyphenols and vitamin C. These antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. They reduce the risk of kidney damage caused by free radicals. By incorporating celery into your diet, you can provide your kidneys support to stay healthy and functional.

4. Natural Diuretic Properties

Celery is known for its diuretic properties. This means it can help increase urine production and promote the elimination of waste and excess fluids from the body. This can be beneficial for individuals with kidney issues. It has potential benefits to reduce fluid retention and alleviate some of the burden on the kidneys. 

5. Rich in Fiber

Fiber is essential for maintaining digestive health and can indirectly benefit kidney health. When your digestive system functions optimally, it reduces the risk of waste buildup and toxins into the bloodstream. As a result of too little fiber, excess build up of waste and toxins can put additional strain on the kidneys.

Celery contains dietary fiber, which supports a healthy digestive system and, by extension, kidney health. This dietary fiber contains prebiotics that feed beneficial gut microbes. These microbes support your immune system and helps reduce your risk of disease.

Including celery in a kidney-friendly diet can help meet your daily fiber requirements, reduce inflammation, and protect against oxidative stress. 

Kidney friendly ways to eat celery

Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate celery into your meal plan:

Dip celery in hummus for a high fiber snack. Be sure to try this kidney-friendly recipe for Low Sodium Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.

Dice celery and add into salads: lettuce salad, tuna and chicken salads.

Saute celery with onion, carrots, and garlic for soups and stews.

Spread peanut butter on celery and top with raisins, cranberries or mini chocolate chips for a crunchy snack.

Potential Risks and Precautions of Celery

It’s not recommended to drink celery juice, participate in juice cleanses or take herbal supplements. This is especially true if you have chronic kidney disease. 

1 cup of celery juice contains 614 mg of potassium which is a significant amount. Fruits and vegetables become more concentrated in juice form. Juicing potentially can provide an unwanted amount of certain vitamins and minerals. Juices also are stripped of any fiber. It’s best to consume the whole vegetable either raw or cooked in proper portion sizes. 

Celery juice cleanses or any juice cleanse can be dangerously high in potassium for those with kidney disease and don’t offer adequate calories or meet nutrition needs. Celery juice will not reverse kidney disease and can pose more harm than benefit. 

Herbal supplements and celery extract haven’t been studied much in humans, but only in rats. These studies lack proven benefits to humans as of yet. Supplements and extracts have the potential to interfere with medications. Before starting any supplementation be sure to seek medical advice from your doctor.

Celery can be a valuable addition to a kidney-friendly diet. Its potassium content, low sodium levels, antioxidants, diuretic properties, and fiber make it a nutritious choice for those looking to support their kidney health. However, no single food can replace a balanced diet and the guidance of a healthcare professional.

If you have kidney concerns or specific dietary restrictions, consult with a healthcare provider. A registered dietitian to create a personalized nutrition plan that best suits your needs.

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