Smoothies for Kidney Health is a very special recipe book. It is expertly put together by a kidney donor, who is a registered nurse, and her mom, the recipient of her kidney. Together, they have taken their knowledge and experience to create a resource for all those suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD). By explaining how kidney function is impacted by the foods we eat, they offer a simple way for patients to help slow down, stop, or possibly reverse the many effects of CKD—including heart disease, the number one killer of kidney patients. The vital information provided in Smoothies for Kidney Health, along with eighty luscious smoothie recipes, is designed to offer help to all patients at any stage of CKD.
After presenting readers with a basic summary of kidney functions, the book explains the relationship between our standard diet choices and the ever-growing epidemic of CKD—as well as each of its common causes. Utilizing and referencing the most current research studies, the book clearly shows how certain foods can speed deterioration of kidney function, resulting in dialysis and early death. The book then discusses how to prevent or slow progression of CKD by altering diet, again supported by the most current research studies and footnoted. These sections also were reviewed and approved by a leading nephrologist and a cardiologist.
Following these explanation sections are eighty (80) kitchen-tested smoothies containing the very ingredients scientifically shown to protect and improve kidney function. Each recipe includes hepful health promoting facts designed for the issues facing kidney patients. All renal diet smoothies are renal dietitian reviewed and approved.
The recipes are divided into three sections to allow readers to select those recipes most appropriate for their stage of CKD. Section One highlights the key ingredients that can help slow CKD progression, lower proteinuria, eliminate acidosis, decrease uric acid levels, and otherwise aid the health of the kidneys and the kidney patient. The second section is designed for individuals who must alter their intake of potassium and/or phosphorus because of the inability of their malfunctioning kidneys to stabilized blood levels of those minerals. The last section provides dialysis patients smoothies with a focus is on heart health, improving stamina and survival, and minimizing common dialysis side effects. The reader will also find valuable suggestions throughout the book that will help kidney patient deal with their most common problems at each stage.
Once a diagnosis is made, kidney patients often want to know what they can do to improve their condition. The basic food suggestions offered in this book are within a patient's control in what is otherwise an uncontrollable and devastating disease. Smoothies for Kidney Health offers the hope and the help to aid kidney patients become part of the solution to improving their overall health.
Jennifer L. Waybright, RN, received her undergraduate degree in education from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. She taught for several years before obtaining her nursing degree. She practices as a registered nurse, working with post-surgery patients, and enjoys presenting the topics on nutrition and its impact on the kidneys to miscellaneous groups.
Victoria L. Hulett, JD, received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, with majors in Biology and Psychology; her Master’s Degree from St. Francis Universaty, summa cum laude, and her Juris Doctorate degree from Indiana University School of Law, magna cum laude. Vicki taught in high school and college before obtaining her law degree and has received numerous recognitions and honors as a lawyer.
If you or a loved one has recently learned that you have chronic kidney disease, we know that you are going through a difficult time. Fortunately, as you will find in the pages that follow, by modifying your diet, you can do a great deal to not only help protect kidney function but also improve your overall health. Better yet, you can actually make your diet more pleasurable by adding foods that are a delight to eat. This book will show you how it’s done.
The idea for this book took root several years ago, when Vicki received a devastating diagnosis of Alport Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes chronic kidney disease (CKD). Although the doctors stated that nothing could slow the progression of the disease, our research showed that good dietary choices and exercise could help protect the kidneys. Both of us began following a kidney-protective, heart-protective diet with wonderful results. Although the doctors had predicted that Vicki would need a transplant or dialysis within three years, it was six years before her kidneys failed, and during that time, she remained energetic and able to work full-time. At that point, Jennifer insisted on giving her mom one of her own kidneys. Surgery was easy for both of us, and recovery was fast. Afterwards, we continued our kidney-protective diet.
What was distinctive about the diet we adopted? In addition to cutting out red meat and reducing the consumption of other meat, sugar, and processed foods, which place a burden on the kidneys, we added lots of fruits, vegetables, and other foods that can slow or stop the progression of CKD. We found that the easiest and most delicious way to incorporate these health-building foods in our diet was with smoothies. No other nutritious meal or snack can be made from scratch in only a couple of minutes, and none provides health-enhancing benefits in such a concentrated form. These one-mug wonders became one of the mainstays of our diet. They allowed us to maintain our busy schedules and keep involved in life while enjoying great taste.
However, Smoothies for Kidney Health is more than a cookbook. It is also designed to help you understand both kidney function and kidney disease, and guide you in making smart lifestyle choices that can prolong the health of your kidneys and heart.
Part One of the book focuses on the kidneys, their function and their dysfunction. Chapter 1 begins by reviewing the important tasks performed by the kidneys. It also discusses the common and often avoidable causes of CKD and the natural decline in kidney function that occurs as you age, as well as the partnership between heart and kidney disease.
Chapter 2 explores the connection between CKD and diet. While CKD can have several causes, nearly 80 percent of all cases are the result of eating too much of the foods that contribute to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity—common disorders that can lead to kidney disease. Chapter 2 ends with a discussion of whether we are setting our children up for CKD by establishing poor dietary habits.
As you may already know, food choices directly impact kidney function. Based on the latest studies, Part Two further explores the connection between good food and good kidney and heart health.
Chapter 3 first discusses the best diet for preserving kidney function and then examines the components of this diet that have healing properties. As you’ll see, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber—found in whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds—are natural disease fighters. (And what’s the easiest way to get these nutritional superheroes on your side? Smoothies!)
If you’re already suffering some of the disturbing symptoms of kidney malfunction—acidosis and imbalances in potassium and phosphorus, for instance—you’ll probably want to learn how appropriate food choices can help alleviate these specific problems. That’s the focus of Chapter 4. An inset presents guidelines for people who still have some kidney function and want to preserve it, and a special section addresses people who have received kidney transplants and want to optimize the health and survival of their new kidney.
By the time you reach Part Three, you’ll be ready for serious smoothie making. After Chapter 5 answers the question, “Why Smoothies?,” Chapter 6 provides valuable advice on choosing your smoothie ingredients and achieving blending success. Then, the remaining chapters present eighty delicious symptom-relieving smoothie recipes. The recipes have been divided into three groups to accommodate individuals who are at different stages of CKD and have altered dietary requirements.
Chapter 7 includes forty-five smoothies for people who wish to avoid CKD, or who already have this disorder and want to slow or even halt its progression. The ingredients in these recipes are designed to help lower proteinuria; decrease blood pressure; reduce creatinine levels and estimated GFR (markers of CKD progression); and reduce acidosis, uric acid levels, and internal inflammation.
Chapter 8 offers fifteen smoothies for people with more advanced CKD who must reduce their intake of phosphorus and potassium. At this point, individuals often struggle with food choices. The smoothies in this section make it easy to prepare delicious meals that support the kidneys and promote heart health.
Chapter 9 includes twenty smoothie recipes for people on dialysis who have substantially restricted dietary requirements. These smoothies also offer soothing relief from several of the common complications of dialysis.
Every recipe in Smoothies for Kidney Health is presented in a way that not only makes it easy to prepare a luscious meal without cooking, but also highlights that smoothie’s unique benefits. Each recipe begins by explaining how its carefully chosen ingredients contribute to kidney health and, in many cases, alleviate specific conditions like high blood pressure. Then, after giving simple-to-follow directions, it offers a tidbit of useful information about the kidneys and the foods that protect them. Finally, it presents Nutrient Values per serving, including calories, fat, fiber, protein, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and calcium. This enables you to choose those smoothies that are in line with the dietary guidelines provided by your doctor or renal dietitian. Needless to say, these recipes emphasize fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and nuts and seeds—the foods that place the smallest burden on kidney function and are best for heart health and weight control.
A delicious, produce-filled smoothie is a powerful way to take control of your health every day. Let’s clink our smoothie glasses and offer a toast to life!
A Word From the Authors
Part One. Kidney Smarts
1. Kidneys—the Body’s Workhorses
2. The Dietary Basis of Kidney Disease
Part Two. Nutrition and Kidney Health
3. Kidney-Friendly Foods
4. Slowing Kidney Damage With Produce
Part Three. Smoothie Recipes
5. Why Smoothies?
6. The Basics of Making Smoothies
7. Smoothies for Most
8. Smoothies With Reduced Phosphorus and Potassium
9. Smoothies for Dialysis