Kidney stones are one of the most painful medical conditions a person can experience. They are hard, crystallized deposits that form in the kidneys and urinary tract. Fortunately, there are certain foods that can help prevent kidney stones from forming.
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Read on to learn more about how you can use food to help reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
The first step to preventing kidney stones is drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This helps flush out any crystals that may be forming in your kidneys or urinary tract and prevents them from growing into larger stones. Some people may need to drink more than eight glasses of water per day, depending on their activity level and other factors such as climate. Also, it’s important to know how much water you typically need each day so you don’t overdo it; too much water can actually increase your risk for developing kidney stones.
2. Eat Calcium-Rich Foods
Eating foods rich in calcium such as dairy products, spinach, kale, and broccoli helps prevent the formation of certain types of kidney stones. Calcium binds with oxalate in the intestine before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and thus prevents it from being excreted through urine where it could potentially form kidney stones. Studies have also shown that eating foods high in calcium reduces the risk for recurrent stone formation by up to 40%.
Limit Your Intake of Salt and Processed Foods Eating too many processed foods can increase your risk for developing kidney stones because these foods are often high in sodium which causes increased urination and thus increases your risk for stone formation. Additionally, salt intake should be limited since it has been linked to an increased risk for calcium oxalate stone formation. Aim to eat whole foods instead of processed ones and limit your intake of salt-containing condiments like soy sauce and ketchup as much as possible.
3. Lemon juice
Lemon juice is rich in citric acid, which helps to break down kidney stones. Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice every day or add it to water or tea.
Basil is a diuretic, which means it helps to increase urine production. This helps the body to flush out kidney stones more effectively. Add basil leaves to your water or tea, or use them in cooking.
5. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which can help to dissolve kidney stones. Drink 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in water each day.
6. Kidney beans
Kidney beans are a good source of magnesium, which helps to relax the muscles in the urinary tract and prevent kidney stones from forming. Add kidney beans to soups, salads, or chili, or make a bean dip for a healthy snack.
7. Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard are rich in calcium and magnesium, both of which are needed for healthy bones and muscles. They also help to prevent kidney stones by binding with oxalates in the body and preventing them from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Eat dark leafy greens cooked or raw as part of a healthy diet.
Fish such as salmon and tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to prevent kidney stones. Eat fish 2-3 times per week as part of a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is key when it comes to preventing kidney stones from forming. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential as well as reducing your intake of salt-containing condiments like soy sauce and ketchup, eating more calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, spinach, kale, and broccoli, plus limiting processed foods where possible all contribute towards reducing your risk for developing this painful condition! By following these simple dietary tips you’ll have taken an important step towards keeping yourself healthy!
Foods to avoid to Prevent Kidney Stones
An often overlooked condition that can cause extreme discomfort, kidney stones can be prevented by making a few simple dietary changes. The most effective way to avoid kidney stones is to reduce or eliminate your intake of foods high in oxalate and calcium, including spinach, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, beets, almonds and peanuts. Similarly, decreasing your consumption of animal proteins such as pork and beef can help prevent kidney stone formation. While it may take time to adjust to these dietary changes, they can certainly pay off in the long term by reducing the risk of kidney stones.
1. Foods high in oxalates
Oxalates are compounds found in many foods that can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Foods that are high in oxalates include spinach, rhubarb, beets, nuts, and chocolate.
2. Foods high in calcium
Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for good health, but eating too much calcium can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Foods that are high in calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.
3. Foods high in sodium
Sodium is a mineral that is necessary for good health, but eating too much sodium can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Foods that are high in sodium include processed foods, canned soups, and pickled foods.
4. Foods high in animal protein
Animal protein is a type of protein found in meat, poultry, and fish. Eating too much animal protein can increase the risk of developing kidney stones.