Top Nuts and Seeds for CKD

Nuts and seeds are tiny but mighty. They actually deliver quite a punch of nutrition. Are there top nuts and seeds for CKD?

Did you know nuts are actually the seeds of plants? Whereas seeds come from vegetables, flowers or other crops. But they are packed with healthy nutrients like omega-3, fibre, and plant-based protein. 

Nuts and seeds are extra wonderful because:

  • Can help suppress hunger because of their protein, fat, and fiber content.
  • Add texture, crunch and flavour to foods.
  • A convenient snack. 

Benefits of Nuts and Seeds

Promotes Heart Health

Heart disease and CKD are linked. So including foods that are heart healthy, like nuts and seeds can help to prevent heart disease. Nuts and seeds are a source of omega-3 which help to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood. When we have too much bad cholesterol, we can develop heart disease.

Rich in antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory

Nuts and seeds are a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin B3, vitamin E, and minerals like calcium, iron, selenium, copper which all help to beat inflammation in our bodies.

May help lower blood pressure

A source of L-arginine, an amino acid needed to build muscle. Often found in animal protein, which are limited with CKD, nuts are also a great source of L-arginine. Research suggests that L-arginine may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Top Nuts and Seeds for CKD

So you might be wondering, what are the top nuts and seeds for CKD? Here are some of the best choices. But remember to choose unsalted. 

Nuts and seeds (1/4 cup)Phosphorus (mg)Potassium (mg)Protein (g)
Pumpkin seeds43153.0
Sunflower seeds3752766.3
Macadamia661222.6
Pecan821182.7
Hazelnuts932264.5
Walnut881123.9
Almonds1652507.3
Cashew1701965.2
Pistachio1463146.5

How To Enjoy Nuts and Seeds with CKD

Looking to include some nuts and seeds in your kidney-friendly diet? Here are some ways to get started:

  1. Add nuts or seeds as an ingredient to foods. Try them on oatmeal, in a salad, or on top of soup. Maybe make your own nut butter.
  2. Incorporate them in your pasta dish or salad for some plant-based protein. Try this feta, spinach, lentil salad with sunflower seed recipe (be sure to make some low sodium swaps).
  3. Toss some into your smoothie for a bit of extra fibre and protein. 
  4. Enjoy it as a snack. Pair nuts with a piece of fruit for a delicious snack.
  5. Pair with vitamin C foods like clementines, strawberries, bell peppers, or tomatoes to help increase their iron absorption.

Does Today’s Article Speak To Your Struggles?

Heart health and CKD go together, if you’re looking to improve your cholesterol, connect with Emily here.

Want to learn more about Emily? Learn more here.

Published by Emily Campbell, RD CDE MScFN

Emily Campbell, RD CDE MScFN is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She specializes in renal nutrition helping those with chronic kidney disease. Emily holds a Master's degree in Foods and Nutrition and is a co-chair of the Southern Ontario Canadian Association of Nephrology Dietitians.

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