Passing a kidney stone is often labeled as one of the most painful things a person will ever experience. As many as 1 in 10 people will grow kidney stones in their lifetime. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in the kidneys when there is a decrease in urine. Kidney stones also grow when an increase in certain substances, such as minerals and salts. Luckily, dietary changes as laid out in the kidney stone diet can help prevent kidney stones from growing or cycling.
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are a formation of minerals that may be caused by a variety of factors. When urine reduces and certain minerals in the kidneys are abundant, the minerals stick together and form stones.
There are several types of common stones. Common kinds of kidney stone include the following:
- calcium oxalate stones
- calcium phosphate stone
- struvite stones
- uric acid stones
- cystine stones
A range of factors can cause kidney stone, including the following dietary factors:
- high oxalate intake from certain foods
- a high protein diet
- too much sodium
- dehydration or low fluid intake
Foods that may prevent kidney stones
Because kidney stone vary bestowing to what they are made of, the foods to include in a diet will differ. A person should talk to their doctor about which food cause stones. This is to help them determine what they should and should not eat to help avoid the formation of stones.
The following are some recommendations on what to include in a diet to avoid the formation of kidney stone:
Calcium and oxalate-rich foods
Foods rich in calcium, such as milk-based products, are recommended to help shrink kidney stones. A person should include foods rich in calcium, predominantly if consuming foods that are higher in oxalate. The calcium and oxalate drag together in the intestines, reducing the formation of stones.
Some foods to include are:
- milk-based products
- calcium fortified foods, such as cereal, bread, and juices
- beets on a spinach salad with low-fat cheese
- yogurt with berries
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are essential part of any diet. Increasing the amount of vegetables in their diet can help a person stop stone formation. Fruits can be dried, frozen, or fresh. Fruits abundant in citric acid have also been shown to have a positive effect in avoiding kidneys stones. Get to know the specific fruits and veggies that have high oxalate content and try to limit them. Also, be sure to eat them in mixture with calcium-rich foods.
Including extra water in the diet can help avoid the formation of both uric acid and cystine stones. Including other liquids in addition to water is adequate. Nevertheless, it is essential to check sodium levels in the beverage.
Small amounts of animal-based proteins are good. Yet, too much animal protein can increase the risk of forming kidney stones. Plant-based protein sources, however, are promoted. Examples include beans, peas, and lentils. People should discuss their individual protein needs with a doctor or dietitian, as needs will differ from person to person.
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