Short Answer: Cashews are good for CKD. Because they have healthy fats, protein, magnesium, and copper, and they can lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar control, prevent anemia, and support bone health.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition that affects your kidneys, which are the organs that filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood.
In CKD, your body loses kidney function gradually over time.
This can lead to various health problems, such as high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, poor nutrition, nerve damage, and heart disease.
One of the key factors in managing CKD is diet.
What you consume can affect your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and electrolyte levels, which can impact your CKD symptoms and overall health.
To effectively manage CKD, you should consume fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoid sodium-rich foods like processed meats, canned soups, and salty snacks.
Now, cashews are the seeds of the cashew tree, which are commonly eaten as a snack or used in recipes.
People usually eat them raw, roasted, or salted, or use them to make cashew butter, cheese, or milk.
Cashews are good for CKD because they contain healthy fats, protein, magnesium, and copper.
These nutrients can help lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar control, prevent anemia, and support bone health.
However, cashews are also high in potassium and phosphorus, which can be harmful for people with advanced CKD or those on dialysis.
One ounce (28 grams) of unsalted cashews can give you 12 grams of fat (18% of your daily needs), 5 grams of protein (10% of your daily needs), 83 milligrams of magnesium (20% of your daily needs), and 0.6 milligrams of copper (30% of your daily needs).
It can also give you 187 milligrams of potassium (5% of your daily needs) and 168 milligrams of phosphorus (17% of your daily needs).
Healthy fats can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease in people with CKD.
Protein can help maintain muscle mass and prevent malnutrition, which are common complications of CKD.
Magnesium can help regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance, which can worsen CKD.
Copper can help produce red blood cells and prevent anemia, which is a condition of low hemoglobin levels in people with CKD.
Potassium and phosphorus can negatively affect CKD.
Potassium is a mineral that helps regulate the heartbeat and nerve function.
However, too much potassium can cause irregular heart rhythms and even cardiac arrest in people with CKD, as their kidneys cannot remove the excess potassium from the blood.
Phosphorus is a mineral that helps build strong bones and teeth.
However, too much phosphorus can cause bone loss and calcification of the blood vessels and organs in people with CKD, as their kidneys cannot excrete the excess phosphorus from the body.
Furthermore, cashews are a type of nut, and nuts are good for CKD.
Because, they are rich in antioxidants, which can protect the cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, which are the main causes of kidney damage.
You can eat one ounce (28 grams) of unsalted cashews per day safely.
More than that can cause high potassium and phosphorus levels, which can harm your kidneys and heart.
You should also avoid salted or roasted cashews, as they can increase your sodium intake, which can raise your blood pressure and worsen your CKD.
Also, you shouldn’t eat cashews if you have a nut allergy, to prevent an allergic reaction.
Because, cashews contain proteins that can trigger an immune response in some people, causing symptoms like itching, swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing.
You can buy fresh cashews in your local market or can order them from online.
Always choose organic, raw, and unsalted cashews, as they are the most natural and healthy option.
Because, they do not contain any additives, preservatives, or chemicals that can harm your health.
You can store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to six months, or in the refrigerator for up to a year.
Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing CKD effectively.
I always recommend my CKD patients to follow a CKD-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.