Fresh Ginger & Kidney Disease: Is It Good or Bad for CKD Patients?
When you think of a chronic kidney disease diet, ginger may not come up readily, but it is actually a good thing to include for those following kidney-friendly diets. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, contains antioxidants, and is even used in many detox drinks as tea. For kidney health, ginger has actually been shown to assist in removing toxins, reduce kidney inflammation, and boost antioxidants for kidney health.
What Is Fresh Ginger?
Ginger can come in many forms, but fresh ginger usually has only two: mature or spring ginger. Spring ginger is a little less common than mature ginger, and it has a very thin and translucent skin that does not require peeling. It is also a white color outside and pale pink on the inside.
This is the type of ginger usually used in pickled gingers. Mature ginger is the version most of us may be familiar with. It is a strong root with a pale brown skin that is yellowish-orange on the inside. This version is good for additions as an herb or grated over dishes that would benefit from the earthy and bright flavors.
Is Ginger Healthy?
Ginger has many properties that make it widely regarded as healthy. From its anti-inflammatory properties and its antioxidant benefits, it has even been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar for people with diabetes and aids in the reduction of heart disease risks.
Is Ginger Good For CKD Patients & Kidney Disease?
With so many health benefits, it’s a no-brainer to see that these properties can be used to assist the health of patients with kidney disease by adding this root to their renal diet.
Why Is Ginger Good for Dialysis Patients?
Ginger is good for dialysis patients due to its ability to provide health benefits in small amounts. You don’t have to consume large amounts of liquid or even turn this root into a tea to get the assistance of its properties, which is a huge plus for dialysis patients who will need to be closely watching their fluid intakes.
Ginger has even been shown to improve metabolism and aid in weight loss in some instances, which is helpful for those on dialysis who may need to be watching their weight for water retention.
Is There Anything About Ginger That Is Bad For Your Kidneys?
According to current research, there is nothing shown that states that any properties of ginger will damage one’s kidneys, in fact, it is quite the opposite. A research study from 2012, even states that there is a correlation that ginger protects the kidneys from damage from certain intoxications. There are many beneficial properties that compound to help those with many different conditions from chronic kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and even those suffering from obesity.
How Does Ginger Affect Creatinine Levels?
Not much research has been done on the effect of creatinine levels specifically in relation to ginger but, this research study from 2007 states that creatinine levels remain mostly unchanged by the consumption of ginger in mice. However, it significantly lowered BUN levels and showed promise in the removal of urea from the blood of the mice.
How To Eat Fresh Ginger When You Have Kidney Disease
Fresh ginger is delicious and has many health benefits, but the pungent earthy flavors may put some people off. It can be very spicy if you eat a lot, so be careful not to get an upset stomach. So, we will discuss a few different ways that those on chronic kidney diets can consume this root.
Ginger Root Tea
Ginger root tea is one of the best ways to get the benefits of the root without too much of an overbearing flavor. By steeping the grated root into the warm water, you have a soothing tea that can be sipped at your leisure and you can sweeten or add any other flavors you wish to, to get creative with this tea. The only issue with this method is that you should be very vigilant about how much you are taking in with this tea if you are restricting your fluids.
Eat It Raw
If you are not bothered by the taste of ginger, then you can eat it raw. Simply peel the root and grate it over toast or any other dishes you could be preparing to add some of the benefits and unique flavors. It is especially delicious in desserts, soups, smoothies, or other recipes. You can also enjoy it by itself by consuming a spoonful of the freshly grated product.
As we mentioned before, young spring ginger is the way to achieve that tangy pickled ginger we may be familiar with from sushi and other Japanese recipes. It is very simple to make. All you have to do is thinly slice the spring ginger and create a pickling brine of rice vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt.
While salt should be avoided in large quantities, the amount used to pickle the ginger should not cause any alarm. Once the pickled ginger is completed after a few days, you can add this tangy creation to other Japanese recipes you want to try or on top of toasts or salads.
Can I Drink Ginger Ale on Dialysis? Will It Help?
If you are on dialysis, then ginger ale is acceptable in small quantities. For ginger ale, it is not the ginger content that needs to be monitored, it is the water and the carbonation. If you are on dialysis, you have to stick to a regimented fluid intake to make sure you do not take in too much fluid that your kidneys cannot get rid of. Ginger ale helps with nausea and renal inflammation, but with most brands you should watch out for sugar, phosphorus, and potassium additives and levels.
Eating fresh ginger is good for CKD patients and can help with treating kidney disease.
Ginger may be a small root we don’t think about much, but it packs a punch of healthy qualities that can be used to assist treatments of kidney disease. Ginger has only been shown to be helpful to kidneys through many research studies, and it's impact on kidney function is shown through evidence of improved kidney function in mice and protection against further kidney damage. With all of these great qualities, you should definitely feel comfortable adding ginger or a ginger supplement to your chronic kidney diet.