Cranberries may lower blood pressure levels in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients. A 2012 study revealed that drinking cranberry juice had an average decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 3 mm Hg each. Researchers point out that this 3 mm Hg drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure is significant since most non-medicinal blood pressure lowering strategies often result in a decrease in systolic blood pressure, but not diastolic. Systolic blood pressure is the first number of a blood pressure reading, and it measures arterial pressure during heart contractions while diastolic is the second number of a blood pressure reading, measuring arterial pressure between contractions.
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Cranberries provide a wide variety of benefits including antioxidants for protection against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, as well as lots of vitamin C and other antioxidant properties that are beneficial in the fight against heart disease and stroke. This berry is also available in the form of fresh fruit, dried fruit or in daily pills. The recommended amount of cranberry juice for optimum blood pressure maintenance ranges from 2 to 3 cups per day. CKD patients may consider talking to their Dietician about taking cranberry pills if they are concerned about maintaining their fluid balance or managing potassium from fruit in their renal diet. Depending on the manufacturer, one pill a day can be equal to up to 6 cups of cranberry juice.
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Regular calorie cranberry juice can be quite high in added sugar and high in calories, so KidneyBuzz.com recommends that CKD patients drink a lower-calorie juice option to avoid weight gain. Cranberry juice tends to thin blood, so you should use it cautiously if you are taking blood thinning medications such as Warfarin. Cranberries contain salicylic acid, which also thins the blood, so if you take Aspirin regularly talk to your Dietician before adding cranberries to your regular renal diet. Asprin and cranberries contain some relatively similar properties so if you are allergic to aspirin you may also be allergic to cranberries. A decrease of 3 mm Hg is not a huge drop, but it is a decrease, and if you are working to lower blood pressure adding low-calorie cranberry juice to your diet may be a healthy assistance after consultation with your Dietician.
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