The Best Foods for Kidneys

by Chad Stone

About Chad Stone

Chad Stone is a medical scientist based in the Pacific Northwest. Since 2003, Dr. Stone has has published high-profile articles on the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease and cancer in journals such as Blood and the Journal of the American Heart Association. Dr. Stone is a specialist in blood biology as well as cancers of breast, colon, kidney and other tissues.

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Overview

The kidneys play a central role in the urinary system regulating your body's fluids. These paired organs are also essential for balancing salts and maintaining blood pressure. While a a daily balanced diet rich in protein, essential fatty acids and fluids is important to maintain proper kidney function, certain foods may even help prevent diseases of the kidneys.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are essential for overall health and they may be particularly important for preventing cancers of the kidneys. A Harvard Medical School study published in 2009 “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention” reported that orange-colored fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of developing kidney cancers. Produce such as carrots, squash, oranges and mangos are high compounds called carotenoids, which may help protect the kidneys from cancerous cells and growths.

Cranberries

Cranberry juice is a commonly used beverage to treat infections of the urinary tract. This fruit contains compounds that prevent the adhesion of bacteria to the inner epithelial lining of the urinary tract. This may explain how cranberry protects against urinary tract infections. They may also be beneficial for kidney health directly; a study published in the “British Journal of Urology International" in 2007 reported that cranberry juice helps to break down and prevent the formation of calcium-rich deposits that form kidney stones.

Selenium-Rich Foods

Selenium is an important antioxidant required for enzyme function found in many meats, plants, eggs, cheeses and nuts. Selenium has antioxidant effects that protect the kidneys from damage and inflammation. Additionally, a study published in the American Heart Association journal “Hypertension” notes that the antioxidant effects of selenium may help prevent high blood pressure, easing the pressure on the kidneys.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.