Increasing vegetable protein intake could help kidney disease patients live longer.
Researchers from the University of Utah in the US found that while an acidic diet decreased survival rates, increasing the amount of vegetable protein patients ate by 10 grams a day (over 18 years) boosted survival rates by 14 per cent.
The researchers looked at data from more than 1,100 chronic kidney disease patients, asking them about their diet, what their vegetable intake was, and what quantity of 'animal' products they ate.
Meat and dairy, as well as white flour and caffeine, are classed as acidic foods, because of the effect they have on the body.
Foods such as lemons or oranges that contain citric acid are not, though, because digested citric acid is alkaline-forming.
Further research is needed, the researchers said, to truly establish whether increasing vegetable protein in the diet could improve survival rates for those with kidney disease, or whether there is some other process at play.
Along with lentils and soybeans, artichokes and peas are vegetables high in protein.