Latest News » Study shows this tart fruit may fight kidney disease

Grapefruit can support your kidney and your brain, researchers say.

The nutrients you consume on a daily basis can play a large role in overall health, which is why it's so important to maintain a balanced diet. Fresh produce in particular is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, and a good rule of thumb is to seek out fruits and vegetables in plenty of different colors. Often, the bold hues of these foods say a lot about the specific nutrients they contain, from carotene-rich carrots to resveratrol-infused red grapes. Recently, scientists from the University of London have found a new reason to seek out grapefruit – a tart citrus fruit that has a bit more bite than the ever-popular orange.

According to a university press release, eating more grapefruit may be linked to better kidney health by reducing the risk of developing cysts in these organs. Our kidneys are responsible for removing waste and excess fluid from the body, and also regulate the amount of salt, potassium and acid in our systems. In addition, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) notes that these organs also spur the production of red blood cells through the hormones they produce. In short, healthy kidneys are essential for general wellness.

"Kidney disease is a debilitating condition that can be fatal and finding a treatment is a truly urgent health priority," study author and professor Robin Williams said in the release, noting that the new study may help stem this tide.

To draw attention to kidney health and its importance, March 13 has been deemed World Kidney Day, and researchers expressed the hope that the latest discovery could help prevent kidney disease around the world. Grapefruit and other citrus fruits contain a compound called naringenin, which can potentially block a protein that contributes to the development of polycystic kidney disease. The NKF notes that this condition can also affect heart and brain health in severe cases, placing an even greater importance on treatment and prevention research. Just keep in mind that grapefruit can react with certain medications, so you should speak with your doctor before adding too much to your diet.