Some foods increase the risk of kidney stones whereas others may be kidney-friendly. So, what you need to do is to avoid the foods that are known to cause the issue and eat the foods that are good for kidney health.
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Kidney stones diet:
If you follow the special kidney stones diet strictly, you are likely to lessen the risk. Here is how it benefits you:
- Your kidneys repair and start functioning properly.
- Some foods may help dissolve the kidney stones and remove in the form of small pieces with urine.
- The harmful and toxic fluid is flushed out.
- Some foods give immediate relief from kidney pain.
- Kidney stones diet prevent future kidney stones if you remove them once.
This guide includes:
- Foods to avoid with kidney stones.
- Foods to eat with kidney stones
- Foods that help kidney stone removal.
- Foods for kidney stone pain relief.
- Foods to prevent kidney stones.
- Diet chart for kidney stone patients
- List of Oxalate rich foods
- List of Low oxalate foods.
Read also: Early symptoms of kidney stones
List of Foods to avoid with kidney stones:
Among the four types of kidney stones, Calcium oxalates stones are the most common. It is important to know the kind of kidney stone you’re having because kidney stones diet can be slightly different for each type. Talk to your doctor if you’re not sure.
Foods that contain high oxalate or result in oxalate production are bad for kidneys. Here is the list of such foods to avoid with kidney stones.
Spinach is an oxalate rich food, which binds to calcium and results in calcium oxalate stones. If you’re eating more spinach, you’re increasing the risk of developing kidney stones. If you already have one, you must avoid Spinach in order to prevent its development or prevent forming new ones.
Rhubarb contains few toxic substances including oxalic acids. Consuming it can contribute to the risk of kidney stones. Though it has some health benefits, when you’re prone to kidney stones development, you should avoid eating rhubarb especially its raw roots and leaves. While if you need Rhubarb health benefits too, then the oxalic acid content can be removed or at least minimized before eating.
It is another oxalate rich food. However, Tomato gives taste and is rich in nutrients, so cannot be completely removed from the diet. While limited use of tomato in food preparation can prevent further worsening of your kidney condition.
4. Salty foods
The salty food contains sodium that leads to the over-excretion of Calcium by the kidneys. If there is an excess of Calcium, it may bind to oxalate and thus form stones. So, you need to avoid salty foods if you’re having a stone or prone to it.
5. Dark chocolate
You should not eat dark chocolates as they contain oxalates. So, either consume a chocolate once a week or replace with another sweet, until you’re having kidney stones.
6. Black tea
A lot of people start their day with a cup of hot tea. Well, there is no problem to drink tea for normal people as it has various health benefits. However, people who have kidney stones should avoid tea to prevent kidney stones from growing.
7. Sea foods
Sea foods are rich in purines, which increase the level of purine in the body. The high purine level leads to the production of uric acid and thus leading to uric acid stones.
8. Soft drinks
Studies show that soft drinks increase the risk of kidney stones formation. The presence of fructose in these drinks, actually lead to the production of Oxalate, calcium and uric acid and thus causes kidney stones. There is 23% higher risk of kidney stones formation in people who drink one soda per day, as compared with those who avoid.
If you’re prone to kidney stones development and also consume too much alcohol, you’re increasing the risk of a kidney stone to a greater extent than you might think. According to New York Times, Alcoholic drinks contain purine, which increases the risk of uric acid stones. So, keeping alcohol consumption minimum can be helpful in preventing kidney stones formation.
Meat or any other animal proteins add to your risk. Though these are not to be avoided, but to limit their intake. The foods increase the level of uric acid and the high amount of protein results in lowering citrate level. The lower the citrate level, the greater the risk of kidney stone formation in the first place.
Don’t miss: how to improve kidneys function?
Foods to eat with kidney stones:
Kidney stones diet list consists of kidney-friendly foods, important for those who have any kidney disorder such kidney inflammation, end stage renal disease, kidney stones etc. here is the list of the foods to eat with kidney problems.
1. Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers have a low amount of sodium and potassium, but that’s not the only reason due to which it is in kidney stones diet, it also is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, fiber and folic acid. It is also protective against certain cancerous cells as it contains lycopene which is an antioxidant.
It is a kidney-friendly vegetable and is an affordable addition to kidney stones diet list. Cabbage has a lot of phytochemical that break the free radicals before they cause any damage to the kidneys. Many phytochemicals also prevent cardiovascular diseases and fight cancer.
Cabbage contains less potassium while is a good source of Vitamins such as Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C and folic acids and fibers.
It is another kidney friendly vegetable, and a good source of Vitamin C, folate and fibers. It also has certain chemical compounds that help in removal of toxic substances from the liver.
Don’t forget garlic while meal preparation. Garlic can make the dialysis diet tastier. It also helps in reducing the inflammations. Moreover, if you add this to the daily meal it’ll prevent white spots on teeth and will help in lowering cholesterol level.
Onion is used in cooking almost all types of dishes. They have a low amount of potassium while is a good source of some mineral like chromium, that helps in protein, carbohydrates and fat metabolism.
Raw onions in salads, sandwiches and on burgers are all important for kidney health.
Apples are high in fibers and also has some anti-inflammatory compounds. It prevents heart disease, constipation and is good against certain cancerous cells.
A recipe of kidney-friendly foods can be a better diet than individual foods.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C, fibers, and manganese. They also have some natural antioxidants that are useful against inflammation. They are helping us with a number of diseases, including kidney stones and that’s the reason why it is included it kidney stone diet list.
Eat fresh berries, try them in different cereals, and make blueberry juice. Moreover, you can make the recipe with the above-listed kidney friendly foods.
Ellagic acid is present in Raspberries which neutralize free radicals before they cause any damage. Raspberries are one of the best diets for kidney stones patients, which has a number of roles in the body.
- They inhabit tumor cells.
- They get the red color as they are high in flavonoids such as anthocyanins and antioxidants.
- Raspberries are a good source of Mn, Vitamin C, Fibers, and folate.
- Use them in cereals, or sweeten them and make a desserts sauce.
Strawberries have the same characteristics as raspberries.
- Eat fresh strawberries with or without making the recipe with other kidney stones diet.
- You can make smoothies, slice, and salad from strawberries also.
Cherries reduce the inflammation, as they contain phytochemical and antioxidants, that are protective against cancers cell, heart diseases also.
Cherries are eaten as a snack or in the form of cherry juice.
Read also: Life expectancy of end stage renal diseases
Foods that give kidney stone pain relief
When kidney stones are formed, they grow in size, this results in kidney pain. It usually isn’t sharp at the start but gradually increases with the time. Visiting your doctor is a good option here, but if don’t get a chance, then you can rely on the foods that give instant kidney stone pain relief.
Foods that help pass/remove kidney stones
The below list shows foods that help to pass kidney stones. They may help in removing toxins out of the body, improve the functioning of the kidneys, prevent the kidneys stones growth in size and break them into pieces.
1. Fresh vegetables
Fresh vegetable being high in fibers, can be helpful in passing kidney stones. Vegetables such as green peas, squash, cauliflower, turnip, and cabbage are ideal to eat with kidney stones and to add them to the daily menu. Fresh salad cleanses your system and thus, helps the kidneys to function effectively.
2. Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruits are very important as they help in breaking down the acids that contribute to kidney stone formation. Grapes, peaches, guavas, pears, and pineapples are very beneficial in this regard. Watermelon is one of the best fruits to eat with kidney stones and to detoxify your system.
Fibers rich foods help in removing toxic substances that are actually contributing to kidney stones such as an excess of oxalates, calcium, and other acids. Bran and oats are great sources of fibers to eat and avoid kidney stones and if already formed fibers prevent the stone’s growth in size.
There are some herbs which help kidneys to function properly while assisting other kidney-friendly fluids and foods to dissolve the stones. Nettles, bearberry, corn silk, gravel root, kava kava, cleavers, and hydrangea are among best herbal diet for kidney stones. Some of them may have an unpleasant taste but when mixed with honey, it becomes sweet.
Low oxalate diet chart
Rich oxalate foods chart
Quick steps you can take:
1. Drink plenty of fluid.
Fluids especially water is important in lowering kidney stones risk.
- Drink water minimum 2 liters a day and slowly increase it to 3 liters.
- Avoid sugary fluids as they are not good choices when you’re having kidney stones risk.
- If you’re outside, you should carry a bottle of water.
- You should add some beverages to daily meal menu.
- Keep water near you when you’re at home, so you may not forget to drink water.
- You can refresh the flavor of water by adding mint leaves, watermelon, and lime.
- If you forget to drink water, you should set remainder on your phone.
2. Limit intake of animal protein.
Limiting animal protein may be helpful when you’re having kidney stones, or prone to development.
- Choose plant protein instead of animals.
- Replace meat, fish, eggs, and sea foods with beans, tofu, and peas.
3. Limit amount of salts or salty foods.
- Restaurant foods are often high in sodium, avoid them as much as you can.
- Instead, choose fruits and vegetables.
- Instead of adding salts to the cooked foods at the table, add garlic, ginger, pepper, herb, and spices,
4. Eat Calcium rich foods, instead of taking calcium supplements
Calcium supplements can increase the risk of kidney stones. Therefore, instead of taking supplements calcium diet may be a good choice.
- Calcium rich foods are milk, dairy products, rice and orange juice.
- Aim for a specific amount of calcium each day, but do not take more than this. On average (1000 mg to 1200 mg) for all adults.
5. Limit intake of oxalate rich foods.
Most foods with oxalates are healthy, therefore you can’t avoid them completely. You need to be careful while having oxalate rich foods, and that must be in a limit. The chart of oxalate rich foods has been shown above.
6. Avoid excess of alcohol consumption.
It is best if you can avoid alcohol, but if you drink, do not drink more than two drink per day.