5 kidney-friendly veggies and fruits to add to your home garden
As temperatures slowly inch above the 50s around the tristate, many of us are looking forward to gardening season. Now is a great time to start planning. No matter how much growing space you have at home, you can cultivate your own produce with any budget. Gardening is a great way for home dialysis patients to get some light exercise and stay invested in a dialysis diet. (Fueling up with kidney-friendly foods you grew yourself is much more satisfying!)
Whether you’re planning your first patio container garden or are a seasoned raised bed gardener, consider adding these kidney-friendly vegetables and fruits to your home garden this year.
Carrots are a healthy, low potassium addition to your kidney-friendly garden. These root vegetables prefer cool weather and grow best when temperatures are between 45 and 70 degrees. If planting in a container, choose a vessel that’s at least 12 inches deep, depending on the carrot variety you choose, with drainage holes. Enjoy your home grown carrots raw or boiled in a soup.
Water-rich cucumbers are great way for home dialysis patients to stay hydrated without consuming extra water or liquids. And you don’t need a large garden to grow them. Cucumbers do well in containers and can actually have fewer issues with pests or diseases than their in-ground counterparts. Look for bush varieties that form two to three feet long vines, as these are ideal for containers. But make sure you wait until temperatures are above 60 degrees, as cucumbers love heat. Add your harvest to salads or eat them as a kidney-friendly snack.
Bell peppers are such a versatile vegetable and healthy addition to a dialysis diet. Red bell peppers, in particular are low in potassium and a good source of vitamins C, A, and B6. Plus, they’re a great vegetable for beginner gardeners. Another warm-weather veggie, bell peppers do well in containers or in beds when temperatures are above 50 degrees. If you don’t want to start the pepper plants from seeds, you’ll be able to find starter plants at local garden centers and home improvement stores. Celebrate your bell pepper harvest by enjoying them raw, as a vessel for dinner (stuffed peppers, anyone?), grilled, roasted – the options are endless!
Low in potassium and phosphorous, runner beans make a good addition to your garden and home dialysis diet. Runner beans produce small flowers attract pollinators to your garden, which can help improve your harvest and make for attractive landscaping. Be sure to plant them in full sun and provide some type of support like a trellis. Harvest the young beans to enjoy as boiled green beans.
Strawberries (and berries in general) have a lower amount of potassium than some other types of fruits, making them a decent choice for a kidney-friendly diet. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and manganese. To grow them in your home garden, you’ll need to put them in a location that gets 8 or more hours of sun. For beginner gardeners, start by growing a strawberry plant in a strawberry pot. These are urn-shaped pots with holes along the sides to allow the fruit to grow outward from the container without sprawling.
For best results, follow the instructions on your seed packets or plant tags. We hope you’re feeling inspired to start a kidney-friendly garden this year!