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What Diet You Should Take To Prevent Kidney Stones?

Reviewed by
BHMS, M.Sc - Clinical Nutrition, Certificate In Sports Nutrition, DNHE
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Pune  •  14 years experience
What Diet You Should Take To Prevent Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are caused when certain minerals of your urine are retained and not wholly released, causing them to amalgamate and form a stone. Passing kidney stones is one of the most painful experiences you may face physically. Its magnanimity is often compared to childbirth, and those who are suffering from kidney stones dread having this experience. If you are yet not affected by kidney stones and do not want to, read to know what dietary changes you can undergo to prevent it.

1. Drink a lot of water
On an average, a person must be drinking at least 3 liters of water every day. If you live in a more hot and humid climatic area, your water intake must be even more than that, so that on an average, 2.5 liters of urine is passed throughout the day, which decreases the chances of unnecessary retention of minerals from the urine and release them more easily from the body.

2. Continue eating calcium containing foods
It is a common misconception that calcium accelerates the formation of kidney stones. Calcium is digested in the intestine. Only the calcium which is excess and cannot be digested in the intestines are sent to the kidneys. Continue consuming calcium rich foods unless your doctor prescribes you against it. Make sure your diet includes enough dairy products such as milk, cheeses, etc, or other calcium rich foods like oats and broccoli.

3. Limit intake of oxalic acid
Oxalic acid is mostly found in food obtained from plants. It restricts the absorption of calcium in the intestines and as a result, more calcium is passed into the kidneys; thus forming calcium oxalate, or oxalate stones. Try to avoid foods like rhubarb, Swiss chard, nuts, tea, sweet potatoes, etc; mainly leguminous plant products.

4. Decrease the ingestion of sodium salts, sugar and meat protein
Salts and sugars, mainly found in packaged foods to prevent them from expiring, increase the release of calcium and oxalates into the blood, which thus increase the chances to develop kidney stones. Meat contains fibers which affect certain nutrients in the kidney, thus aggravating the formation of stones.

5. Increase the consumption of insoluble fibers
Insoluble fibers are those rough fibers which are not soluble in water during the process of digestion. They are found in rice, wheat, barley, etc, and are found to decrease calcium absorption in the kidney. They attach themselves to the calcium and oxalates, which enable them to be released as stool instead of urine.

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