The winter season will soon be upon us and during the winter months, your body will need extra vitamins and minerals to help combat cold weather, illness and infection. Although Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients can take supplements to get their needed vitamin intake, they can avoid additional pill taking, save money and better enjoy the process by getting their vitamins through well prepared meals. All CKD patients should be on the lookout for these winter treats to help give them the vitamins they will need during the coming season.
Winter squash includes acorn, banana, butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti and turban squash. This squash is readily available in the fall and winter but with only 90-250 mg of potassium, summer squash (yellow squash and zucchini) is usually recommended for people with CKD who are on a low potassium diet. Though it is true that most winter squash varieties are high in potassium (250-445 mg), there are low potassium exceptions such as spaghetti squash with only 91 mg of potassium. If you are on a CKD diet you may consider eating winter squash after talking to your Dietitian because it is rich vitamins that are good for CKD patients such as vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.
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Cabbage is a great source of vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium and protein which are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling, a common challenge for CKD patients. Also, research has shown that cabbage offers relief from severe headaches. Often found on the list of vegetables that are okay for CKD patients, cabbage can be served raw in salads, cooked in soups and stews or boiled and served as a side dish. However, check with your Dietitian before adding this vegetable to your diet to make sure it meets your unique needs.
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Artichokes are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and can assist digestion. This vegetable has higher amounts of potassium so be sure to check with your Dietitian before incorporating it into your meal plan. However, there are recipes for "Kidney-Friendly" artichoke dip. Although artichokes may be fried or boiled, one of the best ways to eat it is by steaming for 30-45 minutes. Check if it is done by piercing the bottom with a knife, it should slide in easily.
Cauliflower can provide CKD patients with vitamin C, folate and fiber. This is a lower potassium vegetable and can be used by people with CKD as the main ingredient in "Mock Mashed Potatoes." Among the many other ways you can prepare the vegetable, it is easy to boil, lightly pepper and eat! Many are confused about how to select the best cauliflower head. Simply choose a firm white or cream-colored head with tight florets, bright green leaves and no brown spots.
Beyond being a great source of vitamin C, snow peas are light and delicious. They will keep for a few days in the refrigerator and are easy to make by boiling for 1 to 2 minutes. They can serve as a quick and healthy winter snack, but remember to remove the string steams before cooking.
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If you like a recommended vegetable but are concerned about its high potassium content, KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to talk to your Dietitian about leaching the vegetable. To leach vegetables, cut the raw produce into small pieces, cover with cold water, soak for four hours at room temperature, and then rinse before cooking.
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"Five Healthy Vegetables You Should Be Eating in Winter." Naturalnews.com. NaturalNews.
Lovejoy, Bess. "Level of Potassium in Vegetables | EHow." EHow. Demand Media.
"Winter Food Chart: Low Fat Healthy Recipes,nutrition,fitness." Foodfit.com. The Health Central Network, Inc.