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The Fruit That Protects Your Kidneys

The Fruit That Protects Your Kidneys

In our day to day life, we don’t often think about our vital organs. And sometimes that’s a good thing, because when they start drawing attention to themselves, it usually means we are dealing with a health problem that cannot be ignored.

I got a wake-up call from my kidneys last week.

It began with a piercing pain in the abdomen, and a burning sensation while urinating. It did seem to be a simple UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), but I knew that certain other kidney ailments–particularly stones–can have the same symptoms.

Thankfully, all was found to be well with my kidneys, but the episode got me thinking about their health. Reading up on renal health, I learned some important facts:

  • High blood pressure and diabetes can lead to kidney dysfunction.
  • Prolonged use of certain drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin can cause kidney problems.
  • A high-protein diet can lead to kidney stones.

There are, of course, hereditary factors too, but I have listed only those that we can control through lifestyle changes. Our daily diet plays a key role in regulating our health, so I began by studying fruits and vegetables that can help protect and heal the kidneys.

Before long, one particular fruit had my attention: grapes.

Now even if your kidneys are working quietly away as you read this, do take a pause to consider their health. According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 20 million Americans, one in nine adults, have chronic kidney disease, and an additional 20 million others are at increased risk. More importantly, kidney disease sneaks up on you, sometimes over several years.

While grapes are loaded with health benefits ranging from skin care to heart health, they are also extremely good for your kidneys. A Tunisian research study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism states that compounds in grape seed and skin extract have been found to reverse kidney damage.

Particularly exciting is the fact that grapes are seen to have a key role in treating kidney disease that is induced by high-fat diets, which are one of the most common causes of kidney problems. Researchers hope that with these findings, grape seed and skins may become recommended as a preventative supplement to patients at high risk of obesity-induced kidney disease.

What makes grapes such a powerful kidney-caring fruit? Scientists who led the study explain that each part of the grape is a concentrated source of antioxidants, which protect the body against the damaging effects of oxidative stress and neutralize cell-killing free radicals.

The online health journal all4naturalhealth suggests that any variety of organically cultivated fresh grapes is suitable for cleansing the liver and kidneys, by flushing out waste products such as uric acid.

The National Kidney Foundation recommends a daily consumption of 15 grapes for maintaining good kidney health as part of a balanced diet. Try a tall glass of fresh grape juice without added water and sugar, or try adding whole grapes to your smoothie. Either way, grapes included in the regular diet help aid in kidney cleansing and detox.

Let me conclude with a common Chinese tongue twister, listed on California Table Grape Commission’s website:

Chi putao bu tu putao pi means When you eat grapes, dont spit out the skin.

As the commission’s site points out, we would be wise to follow this piece of advice. Many of grape’s phytonutrients are found in the skin of the fruit — in addition to the flesh and seeds.

15 Wonderful Grape Recipes



Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Life, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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4:29AM PDT on Aug 15, 2014


7:25AM PDT on Aug 14, 2014

Love grapes, especially the black ones and fresh Concords.

2:15AM PDT on Aug 5, 2014

thank you for this information

3:50AM PDT on Jul 29, 2014

It's all about balance

6:29AM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

I hate grapes

6:28AM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

no, thanks

2:29AM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

thank you

12:43AM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

Thanks for this helpful information.

6:15AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014


I have late stage 3 kidney disease, and so have to be careful about potassium and phosphorus (both in most foods) Grapes and watermelon (another favorite) are on all lists best for a chronic kidney disease diet, due to low potassium. I was not aware of the other reasons they were of benefit for those on a kidney diet.

JOHN S.--I am curious where you obtained info. indicating these fruits were bad for chronic liver disease. My considerable research came up with nothing indicating harmful effects. In fact, everything I discovered mentioned the benefit of both for kidney and liver disease.

6:14AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

I love grapes, but will only eat certified organic ones, to avoid 30-40 sprayed pesticides. (I can't afford much organic but try to buy as much of the "Dirty Dozen" that I can that way.) Unfortunately, I can't seem to find them anywhere in my area, esp. good tasting ones. My closest grocery store stopped carrying them, because they had ONE shipment with spiders in it. I keep asking them to get them in--they say they will--they don't.

CURTIS P.-- Everything I have ever read indicated that the dark red/purple/black with seeds (with the most antioxidants) are supposed to be the best, meaning the Concord ones. I just reviewed a list of high oxalate foods, and Concord grapes were included on one, but not another but chocolate was on both! It is debatable as to whether diet contributes that much to the formation of these stones--and that it is rare. In addition, the amount of oxalate varies from time of year, weather conditions, type of soil and a host of other conditions, rarely taken into consideration in studies. According to the National Kidney Foundation the formation of the calcium oxalate stones depends on genes, body weight, environment, fluid intake and susceptibility. One of the best ways to prevent them in those who are prone to them, is to drink a lot of water. It is a controversial and complex subject.

I have late stage 3 kidney disease, and so have to be careful about potassium and phosphorus (both in most foods) Grapes and watermelon (another favorite

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