Whether you are hoping to avoid kidney stones altogether or are trying to prevent recurrent stones, your diet can have a significant effect on your kidneys. There are small changes you can make to reduce your risk of stone formation.
One of the most important strategies to reduce your risk of kidney stones is to stay hydrated. You should also reduce the amount of diuretics in your diet, such as caffeine. A diet high in salt will cause you to retain fluid, which diverts water away from your kidneys. Drinking plenty of fluids helps you produce more urine, thereby continuously flushing out your kidneys. If you develop kidney stones, staying hydrated increases the chances of being able to pass the stone on your own, before it grows larger. You may be concerned about water hardness and its relationship to the formation of kidney stones. Fortunately, the hardness of your tap water is not related to kidney stones.
Reduce Animal Proteins
There are several dietary variables that may increase your risk of kidney stones. One concern is the amount of animal proteins in your diet. If you frequently consume meat in your diet, you may want to make slight modifications. For example, try replacing some of the red meat in your diet with poultry or seafood. Additionally, choose one or two days per week where you are not consuming any animal protein. Instead, choose other sources, such as beans, nuts, and seeds. This can be a difficult adjustment, but it is a good time to experiment with new recipes. Consider finding recipes from other cultures that traditionally use beans and gains as a staple in their diet. You can often find recipes for dishes that are not only better for your kidneys, but have powerful flavors.
Be Conscientious About Calcium And Oxalate
Since most kidney stones contain calcium and oxalate, finding the right balance between them can be critical for reducing your likelihood of kidney stones. Although kidney stones are comprised of calcium, you will do more harm if you are not consuming enough calcium. Insufficient amounts of calcium can increase your risk for kidney stones. Some doctors may suggest a diet that is low in oxalate to reduce the likelihood of stone formation. Unless you have been told by your doctor to eat a low-oxalate diet, eating moderate amounts of oxalate is not necessarily bad. You should consume any high-oxalate foods with high-calcium foods to reduce the chances of crystal formation in the kidneys.
There is no way to eliminate the risk of kidney stones, but diet and lifestyle changes can help. If you have a history of kidney stones, being meticulous about your diet can reduce future instances of stones.