People who like eating fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease, according to a study.

A research team from the University of Virginia School of Medicine found that adults suffering from kidney disease generally ate fewer fruits and vegetables than adults who did not have the disease.

Using data from three cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 1988 and 2018, the researchers analyzed eating patterns of fruits and vegetables to find any significant effects.

After making some adjustments on demographics, waist circumference and the presence of diabetes and high blood pressure among the participants, the team found that chronic disease was common in patients with fewer fruits and vegetables in their diet.

Per the researchers, their study findings were not surprising since there’s a large body of research focused on the benefits of diets high in fruits and vegetables.

"Consuming more fruits and vegetables is strongly linked to health in many different diseases. We worry about overall health effects when we see patients with chronic kidney disease consuming low levels of fruits and vegetables,” said UVA Health kidney specialist Dr. Julia J. Scialla.

However, gaining new insight into the possible risk factors for chronic kidney disease is also important, given that the condition carries significant health risks among many Americans.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed about 37 million American adults (or 1 in 7) have chronic kidney disease. Usually, the disease occurs when the kidneys are damaged, leading to them ineffectively filtering waste from the blood and increasing the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

The research team from UVA recommended not only more studies that will help better understand the link between chronic kidney disease and fruit and vegetable consumption but also figure out how to convince more people to eat these healthy foods.

"We hope that through this study and similar studies we would be able to encourage both healthy individuals and patients with chronic kidney disease to reconsider their intake of fruits and vegetables,” added Shirin Pourafshar, a nutritionist, dietician and study co-author.