On Dialysis? Pomegranate Juice is your Friend!

You're on your way out the door for another dialysis treatment, or you've got your own system set up at home. If you have kidney disease and need dialysis treatments, you know the routine. Yet despite every measure to make the process safe, infections linked to dialysis treatments have increased by 51 percent over the last 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fortunately, a new study suggests that adding pomegranate juice to your diet may significantly reduce your risk for infection and heart-related problems linked to dialysis, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Additionally, a study in Israel found that, "Researchers in Israel claim to have found evidence that drinking pomegranate juice can stave off complications in kidney patients on dialysis, including slashing the high death rate from infections and associated heart problems."

In the study, one group of people on dialysis drank pomegranate juice regularly. A second group on dialysis consumed a placebo drink. Researchers found that pomegranate juice helped lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, lower the risk for heart disease, and decrease infections linked to dialysis treatments.

Pomegranate juice is packed with antioxidants that prevent and repair cell damage. And it's healthy. A typical 8-ounce glass of pomegranate juice contains 136 calories, dietary fiber, and vitamin C.

But it's only recommended in small amounts for those with kidney disease. That's because pomegranate juice is also high in potassium. Without properly functioning kidneys, too much pomegranate juice could put you at risk for high potassium levels and a heart attack.

If you want to add pomegranate juice to your diet to protect your health, check with your doctor or nutritionist first.