Pomegranate and cranberry juices are both high in antioxidants and help protect against health risks, such as kidney stones, hypertension and high blood cholesterol. Pomegranate juice contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that protect against free radical production in the body. Polyphenols are also prevalent in cranberry juice, red wine and green tea, but pomegranate juice contains higher levels of these antioxidants. It is likely that pomegranate juice is as good for your kidneys as cranberry juice, but further research is needed to fully understand its protective properties.
A diet low in protein and limited in salt, potassium and phosphorous is recommended for a renal diet due to kidney failure or nephrotic syndrome. If you are on dialysis, salt, potassium and phosphorous restrictions and a high-protein diet are recommended. Since both cranberry and pomegranate juice are low in potassium, they are a good option for either of these diets. Both juices also provide many essential vitamins and minerals.
Decreased Risks in Dialysis Patients
According to the article, “Pomegranate Juice Found to Help Dialysis Patients” by John Schieszer, published in Renal and Urology News in January 2011, risks of morbidity due to infections and cardiovascular incidents may be significantly reduced for dialysis patients who drink a cup of pomegranate juice before each dialysis session. The chance of hospitalization for cardiovascular incidents decreases by 36 percent, and the chance of hospitalization due to infection is 40 percent lower. It is likely that cranberry juice decreases hospitalization risks as well due to its antioxidant properties.
The risk of kidney stones is decreased with moderate consumption of tea, coffee, beer, red wine, pomegranate juice and cranberry juice, according to “Krause’s Food and Nutrition Therapy” by L. Kathleen Mahan and Sylvia Escot-Stump. Cranberry juice helps make urine acidic and helps with the treatment of struvite stones, which are a type of kidney stones.
Urinary Tract Health
The kidneys are important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. They filter the blood and make urine to accomplish this task. Because of the kidneys’ important function, it is important to keep them healthy, as well as the system they are a part of, the urinary tract. Since cranberry juice acidifies urine, it helps to keep the urinary tract in balance. Also, cranberry juice has been found to help with the treatment of urinary tract infections. It is unknown if pomegranate juice has similar urinary tract benefits, but since cranberry and pomegranate juice have similar antioxidant and nutrient properties, it is possible that both juices may help with urinary tract health.
- “Krause’s Food and Nutrition Therapy”; L. Kathleen Mahan, et al; 2008
- Nutrition Reviews: "Pomegranate Juice: A Heart-Healthy Fruit Juice"; Arpita Basu, et al; 2008
- Renal and Urology News: "Pomegranate Juice Found to Help Dialysis Patients"; John Schieszer; January 2011