Smoothies can be fantastic for breakfast or a snack, but be careful with your ingredients.

Mmmmmmm, smoothies. The perfect breakfast or snack. But a lot of them contain too much potassium and phosphorus for folks with kidney issues need to avoid. To stay healthy, you need to know which ingredients to look for – and which to avoid.

How healthy are smoothies anyway?

Fresh fruits and vegetables include dietary fiber, and you can get a significant part of daily nutritional quota packed into one smoothie. But, like anything, too many sweet fruits or added sweeteners can up the carbs, and breakfast can quickly turn into dessert. Balanced ingredients and reasonable portions will keep things in check.

Can I drink pre-made smoothies?

Sure – but read the label. Bottled and fresh smoothies can contain fruit juice, sweeteners, dairy, plant milk, nuts/nut butter, seeds, tea, chocolate or supplements. Make sure your smoothies combine the ingredients that make sense for the kidney diet you’ve discussed with your doctor.

DIY Kidney-Healthy Smoothies

The Best Fruits & Veggies

Fruits – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pineapple

Most frozen fruit works well in smoothies — it lets you use less ice (great if you have a fluid restriction), plus you can always have your favorite flavors on hand.

Veggies: spinach, kale, wheat grass, cilantro, parsley, cucumber, celery, asparagus

The Perfect Add-ins

(Always check that your add-ins have low levels of potassium and phosphorus – brands can vary.)

  • Water/ice
  • Whey protein powder
  • Egg white protein powder
  • Pasteurized egg whites
  • Liquid renal supplements
  • Soft silken tofu
  • Rice milk (unenriched)
  • Soy milk (unsweetened)
  • Almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Sorbet
  • Sherbet
  • Honey
  • Stevia

5 Tasty Smoothie Recipes to Get You Started

Watermelon Bliss

  • 2 cups watermelon
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 2 mint sprigs, leaves only
  • 1 celery stalk
  • squeeze of lime

Cran-tastic

  • 1 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • a handful of parsley
  • squeeze of lime

Bahama Breeze

  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • 1 small orange, peeled
  • ½ cup rice milk
  • handful of spinach

Very Berry Goodness

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • ½ c. unsweetened rice milk
  • Stevia to taste (optional)

What a Peach

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 medium peach, pit removed, slices or ½ cup frozen peaches
  • ½ cup silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Thanks to the following renal diet resources for inspiration for these healthy kidney-friendly smoothies: