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Kidney stones can be formed in the urinary tract in several ways. It can be very difficult to pass kidney stones through the urinary tract. These hard masses can get formed due to the intake of certain kinds of food; however, by including certain foods in your diet, you can avoid them too. So, if you want to know which foods you should eat and avoid to get rid of kidney stones, read this article.
What Should You Eat and Drink for Preventing Kidney Stones?
Eating certain foods can help with kidney stones. If you wish to prevent kidney stones, here are some food items that you should include in your diet:
1. Citrus Fruits
Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and all other kinds of citrus fruits are beneficial for you if you wish to keep this condition at bay. This is because citrus fruits are loaded with natural citrate, which helps in the prevention of stones in the kidneys. Eating citrus fruits regularly can reduce stones, and their regular consumption may also block the formation of the stones.
2. Drink Ample Water and Other Fluids
As far as keeping yourself safe from kidney stones is concerned, it is important to pep up your fluid intake. Drinking enough water or other kinds of fluids during the day can help you get rid of stones. Water or other liquids tend to dilute the substances or chemicals that may cause kidney stones.
3. Include Calcium-rich Foods in Your Diet
It is important to include enough calcium in your diet because a lack of calcium in the body may increase the oxalate levels, which may result in the formation of kidney stones. Also, one should try to fulfil the calcium requirements of the body by eating foods such as milk, yoghurt, nuts, dark green vegetables etc. It is best to avoid supplements because these tend to cause kidney stones. You should also include Vitamin D in your diet because it aids the absorption of calcium. Eating foods like egg yolks, salmon, cheese, etc. can prove to be beneficial.
What Foods/Beverages Should You Avoid?
Mentioned below are the foods and beverages that should be avoided if you have kidney stones:
1. Foods Containing Animal Protein
You can get protein from a plant-based diet and animal-based foods. However, animal protein is not a good option if you want to prevent kidney stones. Protein sources like eggs, fish, chicken, red meat and pork have the tendency to increase the uric acid levels. When you consume foods containing animal proteins in large amounts, the citrate levels of your body drop. Low citrate levels may lead to the formation of stones. Hence, it is recommended that you fulfil your protein requirements through plant-based foods. You can also consume, quinoa, and Greek yoghurt.
Salt is another culprit that can increase your chances of developing kidney stones if consumed in more than the required amounts. A high amount of salt in your diet increases the sodium levels in the body, which in turn lead to calcium build up in the urine. Make sure you check the food labels to know the amount of sodium or salt you are consuming. Usually processed foods contain high amounts of sodium; avoid them as much as possible. Also, avoid sprinkling extra salt on your food or salad.
3. Aerated Drinks
Carbonated or aerated drinks are a complete no-no if you are on a diet. Cold drinks are high on phosphate, one of the main components that lead to the formation of stones. Also, too much sugar or foods with added sugar can take a toll on your kidney health and may lead to the formation of stones.
4. Foods Rich in Oxalate
High amounts of oxalates in the body can also cause kidney stones. Therefore, one must be careful about the foods they eat. Some of the foods that have high oxalate content include beets, chocolate, spinach, tea, sweet potato, nuts, etc. Speak to your healthcare professional about a more comprehensive list and to know about the foods you can include and avoid.
Here are some common queries that people have with regards to kidney stones.
1. What Diet Should I Follow for Uric Acid Stones?
High amounts of purine in the body may lead to uric acid stones. Foods like shellfish, red meat etc. contain high-purine levels. If you have uric acid stones, it is important to lower the consumption of foods high in purine. Include low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables etc. Also, refrain from consuming high amounts of sugar and alcohol, as both these food types may lead to the excess formation of uric acid in the body. Including more fruits, vegetables, and lesser animal-based protein will help in reducing the urine acidity and thus lower chances of kidney stone formation.
2. What Foods Should I Avoid If I Have High-oxalate Levels?
Foods that are known to increase the oxalate levels in the body include nuts, spinach, spinach etc. Avoid consuming these foods. You should also reduce your animal protein intake and sodium intake. However, the important thing to remember is that oxalate is a natural substance found in many food items, which may otherwise be necessary for your overall health. Therefore, eliminating these foods completely from the diet may not be a good idea. It is best to consult your physician before if you plan to make any dietary changes on your own.
If you have kidney stones, be careful about your diet. It is important to establish the kind of stones that may be causing you the trouble. So, consult a registered practitioner before making any dietary changes on your own.