You can eat Super-Vegetables which are highly nutritious and organic without overspending. Many Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients do their best by making small changes in their eating habits to manage their disease and increase the quality of their health and life. They do attempt to incorporate more organic produce into their diet because organic food is considered less chemically compromised, more nutritious and often better tasting than non-organic food. However, after just a few weeks they realize that they are going broke trying to afford the high cost of organic vegetables. More often than not a person who was trying so hard to maintain a healthy diet will meet this obstacle, throw up their hands and say, "This just isn't working." All of that positive energy and progress quickly turns into discouragement because s/he feels that they have to spend a large portion of their income on food in order to be healthy. Well, that does not have to be the case for you.
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Not all vegetables are expensive, but they are also not created equal. For example, iceberg lettuce is inexpensive, but it contains less protein, fiber, folate and vitamin K (helps to clot blood to prevent excessive bleeding) per calorie than its pricier counterpart, romaine. If you look at the lettuces in terms of penny per nutrient, instead of penny per calorie, romaine is the clear winner for those with CKD. A recent study described additional "Super-Vegetables" that are nutritious and very in-expensive. KidneyBuzz.com has selected organic Super-Vegetables that will nicely fit into your renal diet and personal budget.
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- Cauliflower: The health benefits of cauliflower are huge. It is not a vegetable in the traditional sense, you are actually eating the flower of the plant which provides several nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K and your daily recommended intake of vitamin B6, calcium and iron. This treat is low in phosphorus and potassium which is good for CKD patients managing their mineral levels. Cauliflower also encourages bodily cells to increase enzymes which detoxifies the body of harmful chemicals. Studies have linked the flower to protection from cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. At only $1.42 per pound you may consider incorporating Cauliflower into your regular diet.
- Green cabbage: This organic vegetable is certainly affordable and nutritious. One cup of raw green cabbage contains nearly a full day's worth of vitamin K and it has about half of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. It's also a good source of fiber and is loaded with antioxidants. Try it out, it is only $0.92 per pound!
- Baby carrots: At about $1.75 per pound, organic baby carrots make for a nutritious and inexpensive snack. Low in potassium, eating one mere ounce will give you 77 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.
- Okra: Okra is replete with a superior form of fiber that stabilizes blood sugar levels. Together with other whole unprocessed natural foods, eaten on a regular basis they can help bring down dangerously high levels of blood sugar and cholesterol to normal ranges. Also, this $1.76 per pound vegetable is high in fiber which helps to regulate the digestive systems to remove bacteria and toxins from the body.
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The key concerns of your diet should be maintaining your ideal levels of phosphorus, potassium, protein and sodium. You CAN and should attempt to do this by eating a healthier and more balanced diet, one where organic Super-Vegetables can be incorporated. Follow the above purchasing recommendations to do this without "going broke." This is just a sampling of affordable Super-Vegetables. Talk to your dietician about other ideas they may have for you and visit KidneyBuzz.com for Daily Renal/Diabetic Meal suggestions. Comment below and share with us how you manage your budget while eating healthy.