Strawberries for kidney health: Benefits and how to use

If you are looking to add some sweetness to your kidney-friendly diet, try strawberries. Here are the benefits of adding strawberries for kidney health.

When it comes to maintaining health and wellness, the simplest solutions are often the sweetest. Amidst the bounty of fruits, there is one known for its delicious taste, vibrant hue and potent health benefits – strawberry. While this little delight is known for a lot of benefits, one of its virtues is its contribution towards kidney health. It turns out, strawberries are good when it comes to the best foods for kidney health and to keep kidney diseases at bay. Keep reading to know its benefits and how to use strawberries for kidney health.

What is kidney disease?

The kidneys are two small organs the size of fists that are located at the base of the rib cage. They are placed on either side of the spine. They play an essential role in helping you have a healthy body. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering impurities and toxins from your body. They are also responsible for regulating salt, potassium, and pH levels in the body. When your kidneys become unable to perform their function, it leads to kidney disease.

Did you know chronic kidney disease affects about 10 percent of the global population? Chronic kidney disease is one of the most common diseases in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kidney disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It affects approximately 37 million people in the US. Kidney diseases can affect the way you function and it can progress into kidney failure but not in every case.

What is the role of diet in protecting your kidneys?

Diet plays a crucial role when it comes to your kidney health. You have to be extra careful to keep your kidney health in check. A study published in the BMC Nephrology found that kidney function may deteriorate if you do not consume enough vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fat. It is crucial to eat a healthy diet that includes all the essential nutrients. One such food is strawberry, which can be a beneficial addition to your diet.

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Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining your kidney health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Is strawberry healthy for kidney health?

Strawberries are healthy for maintaining kidney health. Here are the benefits of including strawberries in your diet:

1. Low potassium

Potassium is a mineral found in various types of foods that play a pivotal role in your body but kidney patients are asked to limit its intake. A study published in the Advances in Nutrition found that low-potassium foods help reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease. Since strawberry is low in potassium, it is good for people with kidney diseases.

2. Contains antioxidants

Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. These compounds can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, potentially slowing the progression of kidney disease and reducing the risk of other chronic diseases, explains Urologist Dr Vikas Jain.

3. Rich in fibre

Eating foods rich in fibre supports digestion and helps control blood sugar levels, which in particular benefits people with diabetes, a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease. A study published in the Clinical Kidney Journal found that a diet rich in dietary fibre can help reduce the progression of chronic kidney disease.

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4. Promotes heart health

A healthy heart is important to keep your kidneys healthy, and vice versa. Your heart’s job is to send a continuous supply of oxygenated blood into your body and the kidney filters the blood, regulating the water and salt levels in your body to keep your blood pressure in check. Since kidney and heart health are interrelated, it is important to keep both in check.

Strawberries are believed to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which can improve heart health. Improved heart health means your kidneys will also be in good shape, says the expert.

5. Low in Phosphorus and Sodium

Kidney patients are advised to eat a low phosphorus and sodium diet, which makes strawberries a good addition to your diet. They are naturally low in phosphorus and sodium, two minerals that kidney patients often need to limit.

How to use strawberries for kidney health?

There are several ways to incorporate strawberries into your diet to keep your kidney health in check.:

  • Smoothie: You can mix strawberries with different low-potassium fruits such as apples or pears when making a smoothie.
  • Salad: You can add strawberries to a salad containing leafy greens and nuts.
  • Fresh strawberries: They make a great on-the-go snack. You can also pair them with low-potassium foods like unsweetened nuts or Greek yogurt.
  • Sorbet: You can make a strawberry sorbet at home.
  • Juice: You can make fresh juice filled with strawberries and other low-potassium fruits.
Woman biting a strawberry
You can consume strawberries in numerous ways. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the side effects of strawberries on kidney health?

While strawberries are healthy and can be added to your diet, they should be eaten in moderation as eating these can lead to certain side effects as explained by the expert:

  • People on dialysis or those with advanced kidney diseases should avoid consuming strawberries or should only consume them after consulting their doctor.
  • Strawberries contain oxalates which may increase the risk of developing kidney stones in some individuals, so you must check with a doctor first.
  • Strawberries could also trigger allergies while being taken alongside drugs.
  • People taking blood thinners should avoid consuming blood thinners.

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Strawberries are a nutritious and delicious fruit to add to a kidney-friendly diet. However, individual dietary needs can vary, especially among kidney patients so it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before including any fruit or food in your diet.