Do Lemons Help With the Kidneys?

Lemons are deliciously sour, and may be able to keep your kidneys healthy.

Lemons are deliciously sour, and may be able to keep your kidneys healthy.

If life is giving you lemons, you might be wondering whether or not they are good for anything, like helping your kidneys stay healthy. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste from your blood and making it into urine. Keeping your kidneys healthy by eating a healthy diet is important, and lemons might help with certain kidney conditions. Be sure to check with your doctor about any kidney problems you may have.

Kidney Stones

Some women say that kidney stones are almost as painful as childbirth. Whether you've experienced that pain or not, it's always a good idea to try to prevent them instead of suffering. According to a review article in "The Lancet," the citrate in lemons can actually prevent the formation of kidney stones. It does this by binding the calcium in your kidneys to keep it from crystallizing and forming a calcium-based stone.

Lemons and pH Balance

According to naturopath and author of "The Ultimate pH Solution" Michelle Schoffro Cook, lemons have an alkalizing effect on the body, even though they are slightly acidic. This makes your kidneys' job of balancing your body's pH a lot easier. The kidneys can only work so quickly, so any extra help in balancing pH is significant.

Salt Substitute

Your doctor may have told you to limit your salt, or sodium intake, especially if you have high blood pressure which can damage your kidneys over time. Lemons are the perfect way to create flavor and ditch the salt shaker. Try using the lemon zest, or the flavorful yellow outer layer of the lemon peel. It goes great with seafood, chicken and steak and you won't even miss the salt.

Considerations

Lemons have many beneficial side effects, but do not try to treat or cure any diseases with them. Make sure you discuss any conditions you have with your doctor and follow her advice. Also be sure to follow a healthy diet in addition to enjoying lemons. If you don't enjoy the sour taste of lemon juice, don't add sugar to it. Instead, use it as a seasoning or to lightly flavor your water, and you will enjoy the benefits of lemons in a healthy way.

 

About the Author

Samantha Scruggs is a registered dietitian who is passionate about nutrition, healthy living and exercise. She works in a clinic with dialysis patients. Scruggs earned a bachelor's degree in public health nutrition from the University of North Carolina.

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