Is Cranberry Juice Good for Your Kidneys?

The urinary tract is body's system for removing waste and excess fluids, and the normal function of the urinary track depends on all of the various parts working together. The process begins in the kidneys where blood is filtered, producing one to two quarts of urine daily. From the kidneys, the urine passes through thin tubes of muscle (ureters) to the bladder, a hollow, balloon-shaped organ that expands as it fills with urine. The bladder stores the urine until people find an appropriate time and place to urinate. However, problems in the normal function of the urinary track can be affected by urinary tract infections, or UTIs. Some believe that if you consume cranberry juice kidneys will stay healthy and function properly, is that true?

Is Cranberry Juice Good for Your Kidneys?

Many health experts say that scientific evidence supports consuming cranberry juice daily because it reduces the likelihood of UTIs, and the preventive effect is strongest in women who are prone to multiple UTIs per year. Cranberry juice has many health promoting properties, such as salicylic acid and plant chemicals called polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. Not only does cranberry juice promote a healthy heart, it is also beneficial for keeping your kidneys functioning normally. Other benefits may include:

Prevent UTIs

Cranberry juice is very effective at preventing UTIs. The most abundant polyphenols are the condensed tannins, and the tannins in cranberry juice have several medicinal properties. Tannins help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the kidneys and bladder. This prevents the bacteria from growing, setting the stage for an infection. Through the cranberries' antibacterial properties, the beneficial compounds help to flush the bacteria out with the urine. Drinking cranberry juice regularly also increases the amount of salicylic acid in the urinary tract, and because bacteria grow best in alkaline environments, the salicylic acid helps keep it from thriving.

Prevent Kidney Infections

Although many UTIs do not become serious, some infections may lead to more serious problems, such as kidney infections. Untreated or frequent UTIs may lead to chronic kidney infections, meaning recurring infections that last a long time. Chronic kidney infections may cause permanent kidney damage, including scars, poor function, and high blood pressure. However, if you regularly drink cranberry juice kidneys will not have to suffer that much. Cranberry juice makes the urine more acidic, and this reduces the risk of UTIs that can lead to infection in the kidneys. Cranberry juice might also be useful for flushing the kidneys of excess calcium that leads to kidney stones.

Ways to Include Cranberries in Your Diet

100% pure cranberry juice is extremely tart, and many commercial brands blend it with other fruit juice, and add sugar to make it taste less bitter. Most of these blends have as little as 25% cranberry juice, so you may want to consider blending your own.

  • Mix 100% pure cranberry juice with apple or orange juice. Or blend it with ice, adding apples, grapefruit or strawberries.
  • Combine your favorite fruit juice with pure cranberry juice in equal parts, and add some sparkling mineral water for a refreshing spritzer. Remember that only 8-oz. of slightly diluted pure cranberry juice is enough to provide you with substantial health benefits.

With cranberry juice kidneys' health condition can be greatly improved. Not only is the juice effective, the berry itself is as well. Cranberries are a very good source of vitamin C, pantothenic acid, and dietary fiber, and contain only 1 mg of sodium.

Here are 5 ideas that you can use to incorporate cranberries into your diet;

  1. Dried cranberries make a great snack, either by themselves, or added to a homemade trail mix in between meals. Just remember to an eye out for added sugar.
  2. Dress up your favorite salad by adding fresh chopped or dried cranberries for a colorful and tasty burst of flavor.
  3. Try making a cranberry tea for those cold winter days. To make this tea, bring 1 cup water and 2 ounces fresh crushed cranberries to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour. Next add 1 teaspoon orange juice, 1\2 teaspoon lemon juice, and sugar to taste.
  4. Fresh or dried cranberries are great in baked goods, such as cakes, breads and muffins, and have you tried them in oatmeal?
  5. Try adding them to your favorite entree or pasta dishes, especially chicken, they'll add color and flavor to almost anything.

Promoting Kidney Health

Apart from cranberry juice kidneys can also benefit from drinking plenty of water. However, water only helps you stay hydrated. Consider the following products that can boost your chances of preventing the UTIs from infecting your kidneys.

1. Beet Juice

Whole beets and beet juice contain a beneficial phytochemical called betaine. The betaine also has antioxidant qualities that help prevent UTIs and flush out calcium and struvite buildup from the kidneys. By flushing out the calcium, beets help promote kidney health by decreasing UTIs and the likelihood of kidney stones.

2. Juicing Fruits and Vegetables

Combine the nutritional power of fruits with vegetables into a convenient beverage with a juicer. The juice of fruits and vegetables is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients necessary for flushing out toxins from the body. This helps take the strain off your kidneys, as well as your liver, and colon. Fruits like oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, strawberry, or apples, when combined with vegetables, such as lettuce, kale, carrots, celery, or cucumber, are great for juicing.

3. Lemon Juice

Lemons are naturally acidic, and lemon juice is known to increase citrate levels in our urine. Citrus juices that are high in citrate have been shown to help prevent kidney stones from forming. The citrate prevents calcium from binding with other minerals in the kidneys forming into crystals that may lead to kidney stones.

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