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What to eat if you have kidney stones

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  • If you’re diagnosed with kidney stones, avoid foods that contain high amounts of oxalate and uric acid
  • Maintaining optimal levels of calcium and magnesium can be good measures to alleviate and prevent kidney stones
  • Don’t forget to consume plenty of water so you’re less prone to dehydration and kidney stones

What you eat plays an important role in addressing kidney stones and preventing future occurrences.1 Learn about foods that can cause kidney stones, and what foods are safe to eat if you have these stones in your body.

Avoid these foods if you’re dealing with kidney stones

People with kidney stones, particularly calcium stones, should avoid eating oxalate-rich foods.2 Oxalates are naturally occurring substances that can lead to formation of kidney stones if there are too many of them in your urine.3 High-oxalate foods include:4,5,6

  • Beets (roots and leaves)
  • Leeks
  • Okra
  • Parsley7
  • Rhubarb
  • Swiss chard8
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Tomato soup
  • Concord grapes
  • Currants
  • Dried figs
  • Star fruits9
  • Strawberries
  • Tofu
  • Nuts like almonds, pecans and hazelnuts
  • Dark chocolate
  • Buckwheat
  • Wheat bran
  • Black tea

Meanwhile, if your kidney stones are formed by uric acid, avoid these foods:10

  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Fishes like anchovies, sardines and herring
  • Organ meats like liver, kidney and sweetbreads
  • Baking or brewer’s yeast
  • Consommé
  • Gravy
  • Oils
  • Alcohol
  • Drinks containing sugar and high-fructose corn syrup11

You should also limit your protein consumption. If you eat too much animal-based protein, this can cause your body’s uric acid levels to rise12 and lead to lower levels of citrate, a substance in your urine that helps block kidney stone development.13 Avoid consuming foods with added sugar and fructose too,14 as studies show fructose can trigger increases in your uric acid and oxalate levels.15

Maximize these minerals to alleviate kidney stones

People with kidney stones can benefit from a nutrient-rich diet, so aim to optimize your body’s levels of:

Magnesium — This mineral helps prevent kidney stone formation by combining with oxalates and preventing their absorption into your body,16 and by absorbing17 and transporting calcium.18,19 Excellent magnesium sources include Brussels sprouts,20 broccoli,21 kale,22 Bok choy,23 avocados24 and summer squash.25

However, while spinach26 and Swiss chard27 are abundant in magnesium, refrain from eating them in high amounts, as they contain high amounts of oxalates.28,29

Calcium — The National Kidney Foundation explains that calcium combines with oxalate once it reaches both your stomach and intestines, before moving to the kidneys. This binding action promotes elimination of oxalate from your body, instead of allowing it to remain in your urine.30

Notable calcium-rich foods include sunflower31 and chia seeds,32 grass fed milk, yogurt and cheeses.33 If you need to take a calcium supplement, you’ll also need to adjust your intake of vitamins D and K2 and magnesium, since all of these nutrients work together.

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To improve your kidneys’ health, eat these foods

If you want to alleviate kidney stones through your diet and enhance your kidneys’ overall health, try increasing intake of these foods:

  • Kale
  • Fruits like organically grown strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and apples (provided that they’re eaten in moderation as they contain fructose)34
  • Fiber-rich foods35 like organic psyllium husk, Brussels sprouts, artichoke and cauliflower
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon juice36

In general, ensure that your diet is rich in whole foods, and not processed junk foods. Eat large amounts of fresh and organically grown vegetables, moderate portions of high-quality protein and substantial amounts of healthy fats like avocados, coconuts and coconut oil, and organic pastured egg yolks.

Increase your fluid intake by drinking high-quality purified water. Not drinking enough water is a known precursor for kidney stones.37 To know if you’ve consumed enough water, focus on indicators like thirst and urine color.


Kidney Stones: Introduction

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney Stones Types

Kidney Stones Causes

Kidney Stones Symptoms

Kidney Stones Prevention

Kidney Stones Duration

Kidney Stones Treatment

Kidney Stones Surgery

Kidney Stones Diet

Kidney Stones FAQ

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