What’s the best fruit for kidney health? There are numerous fruits that are good choices and it’s hard to say whether or not there’s a “best” fruit, but if we were posing this question and seriously considering what the answer to it could be, you’d be hard-pressed to find a fruit sweeter to the kidneys than the strawberry.
We’ve chronicled the beneficial aspects of berries to kidney health sufferers on the blog before, but usually have discussed another kidney favorite, blueberries. Still, there are many other members of the berry family that can help just as much, if not more, and one of these is that little red berry that is so popular and beloved among many the world over.
So, what exactly is it about strawberries that sets them apart as a renal health superstar?
Did you know?
- 1/2 a cup of fresh strawberries (about 5 berries) contains: 1 mg of sodium, 13 mg of phosphorus & 120 mg of potassium.
- Strawberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants.
- Strawberries contain ample amounts of manganese and fiber.
- Strawberries have been observed to aid in the fight against inflammation and even help safeguard the heart
Why Such A Great Pick For Kidney Health?
To piggyback on those statistics, some of the latest scientific research has observed tangible benefits to kidney function due to two specific phenols present in strawberries. Phenols are organic compounds typically rich in antioxidant properties. The two types of phenols contained in strawberries that really help improve kidney function are anthocyanins and ellagitannins. Anthocyanins, give strawberries their red color and, being particularly rich in antioxidants can help prevent damage as a result of oxidation and cellular again. Strawberries, as noted above are chock full of manganese and fiber which can help facilitate good digestion and combat constipation (a common concern for CKD sufferers). In addition, they contain a hefty helping of vitamin C which can help boost immune response and overall vitality.
Further studies in the past few years have even suggested strawberries and their high antioxidant content could help prevent heart problems and even certain kinds of cancers. They’re also very good at reducing inflammation. People with chronic kidney disease are at a very high risk of developing heart problems and struggle with chronic inflammation, so these particular benefits are integral to contributing to a healthier overall feeling. Since strawberries are also so low in potassium, they’re a great, safe option for inclusion in any well-rounded healthy kidney diet plan.
What’s The Best Way To Enjoy Strawberries
You can make strawberries a healthy part of your kidney diet by:
- Adding sliced strawberries to salads
- Adding them to cereals
- Eating them whole and fresh (washed beforehand, of course)
- Healthy shake or smoothie
- Add them to your yogurt
- Create a sorbet
- A strawberry pie
Whichever way you decide to enjoy them, it’s important to bear in mind that moderation in all things is a good rule to follow even for foods that are kidney-friendly. This means that even though strawberries are a good low potassium fruit choice, consuming them in excess could also be a bad idea. So be sure to moderate yourself.
Diabetes, Diabetic Kidney Disease & The Strawberry Connection
Scientists at the Salk Institute in La Jolla researched strawberries as the focus of a recent diabetic kidney disease study. What they deduced was that strawberries contained a compound known as fisetin which could help reduce the prevalent kidney problems in the diabetic community. In the study, diabetic mice were examined. When fisetin-enriched food was distributed to the mice, it was noted that although they did remain diabetic, their kidneys (which were enlarged), began to shrink. High protein levels in the urine likewise fell to normal levels.
What Are Some of Their Other Benefits?