We intuitively know that fruit is good for us. But, it can seem like so many fruits and vegetables are “off limits” for kidney patients. What about mango? Is mango food for kidney patients?
Let’s dive into mango and kidney health.
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Like most fruit, mango is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
One cup of raw mango has about:
- 140 calories
- 1 gram protein
- 1 gram fat
- 25 grams carbohydrate (23 grams of sugar)
- 3 grams fiber
- 23 grams phosphorus
- 277 milligrams potassium
- 60mg vitamin C
- MANY more vitamins, minerals and important nutrients!
Benefits of Mango For Kidney Patients
First, lets understand why mango is good for kidney patients.
Good Source of Fiber
Mango and other fruits are a great source of fiber! Most people are eating nowhere near the amount of fiber they should be, including kidney patients!
Constipation is common in kidney disease. (b) Eating enough fiber can help keep you regular! One cup of raw mango has 3 grams of fiber.
Eating enough fiber can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, diverticulitis, gastric reflux and some cancers. (1)
Blood Pressure Control
In general, eating a lot of fruits and vegetables will help blood pressure. Blood pressure control is very important for kidney patients. High blood pressure can damage kidneys.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet is very good at lowering blood pressure. The DASH diet combined with a low sodium diet has the maximum benefits for blood pressure. (2)
The DASH diet is characterized by plenty of fruits and veggies – 9-10 servings per day! Mango is an excellent fruit to include in your rotation to help control blood pressure.
Better Acid-Base Balance
One of the lesser known benefits of good nutrition for kidney disease patients is reduced acid levels. Yep! You read that correctly! In kidney disease, a proper diet can reduce acid levels, which helps slow the progression of kidney disease! (3)
What does this have to do with mango?
All fruits and vegetables (including mango!) help neutralize acid in the body. Acid is mostly produced from protein we eat.
One cup of mango neutralizes about 5mEq of acid. Pretty cool! For reference, 4 ounces of beef, poultry or fish produces about 13mEq of acid.
So, eating enough mango and other fruits and veggies as part of a balanced diet can help slow the progression of kidney disease!
Mango, Kidney Disease & Diabetes
Although mango has sugar in it, fiber helps combat high blood sugar. Fiber slows how quickly sugar is released into the bloodstream, helping make blood sugar more stable. One study found that mango peel may help blood sugar control in rats with diabetes. (4)
Blood sugar control is a big deal for kidney patients. Diabetes, along with high blood pressure, account for 2/3 of CKD cases in the United States.
Fiber is the primary reason why I recommend that kidney patients eat whole fruit, rather than drink juice. Whereas fruit is a great source of fiber, juice usually has no fiber.
Even if you have kidney disease and diabetes, mango and other fruits can be included in your diet!
Isn’t Mango High In Potassium?
Yes, mango is fairly high in potassium. One cup of raw mango has 277mg of potassium in it.
However, not everyone with kidney disease needs to limit how much potassium they eat. In fact, a high potassium diet is good for many people with kidney disease!
Even if you have high potassium levels, chances are you can safely incorporate mango and other high potassium fruits into your diet. You may need to eat mango in smaller portions. Or, balance mango with lower potassium foods that day.
A Registered Dietitian (RD) can help you figure out what is best for you!
Is Mango Good For Kidney Stones?
There is no research on mango and kidney stones, specifically. However, we do know that people who eat more fruit have fewer kidney stones. (5)
So, mango in addition to other healthy fruits and vegetables can help prevent kidney stones.
Some people with kidney stones need to limit how much oxalate they eat. Oxalate occurs naturally in some healthy fruits and vegetables.
Mango is very low in oxalate. An entire mango has only 1 mg of oxalate. So, mango is a good choice for people with kidney stones who need to limit how much oxalate they eat.
Does Mango Dissolve Kidney Stones?
Although eating mango and other fruits and vegetables can help prevent kidney stones, it is unlikely to dissolve kidney stones. There is no one food or supplement that can dissolve kidney stones.
Reducing the amount of acid in urine may help dissolve uric acid kidney stones. (6) Eating plenty of fruits and veggies, along with avoiding large amounts of protein, can help reduce acid levels and may help dissolve uric acid kidney stones.
What Kind of Mango is Best For Kidney Patients?
Mango comes in so many forms! What kind is ideal for kidney patients?
Mango Juice or Mango Nectar
Mango juice and nectar are packed with sugar. Because mango juice doesn’t have fiber like mango, it may cause a bigger spike in blood sugar.
In addition, fruit juices tends to be a very concentrated source of potassium.
For these reasons, I don’t recommend mango juice or nectar for kidney patients.
Mango itself is the best way to go for kidney patients! Whether mango is raw, or cooked in a stir fry, eating the whole fruit is ideal.
Dried mango is a delicious snack for kidney patients! Just make sure to find dried mango that doesn’t have sugar added to it. I love the Kirkland brand unsweetened dried mango* and Whole Foods 365 Organic Dried Mango*.
Remember, a portion of dried fruit is about a 1/4 cup. If you need to limit potassium, dried fruit can add up quickly!
Tips for Eating Mango For Kidney Patients
Looking to include more mango in your diet? Here are my favorite tips to add mango for kidney patients!
- Add fresh or dried mango to a salad
- Toss fresh mango in your favorite stir fry. I’m obsessed with this Sweet & Spicy Mango Shrimp!
- Snack on frozen mango cubes – they almost taste like ice cream, I swear!
- Pack unsweetened mango slices* for an on-the-go snack
- Mix mango into oatmeal
- Make mango salsa to put on everything from salads and low sodium tortilla chips* to grilled chicken or fish!
- Whip up a homemade low sodium mango salad dressing. Move over ranch!