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Kidney stone diet

To eliminate small stones in the kidneys and prevent them from forming, it is important to drink at least 2.5 liters of water a day and choose the foods you eat carefully.

There are 4 types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite and cystine, and each type requires a different type of diet. However, it is not always possible to know the type of stone you have, because it is necessary to expel a stone through urine and then take it for laboratory analysis.

However, to prevent the formation of all types of stones, the following guidelines should be followed:

1. Drink more water

Kidney stone diet

You need to drink at least 2-3 liters of water a day. The main cause of kidney stone is dehydration, so rehydration is the first step to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

It is also important to remember that the ideal amount of water varies according to a persons weight,  you should consume about 35 ml of water for each kilo of weight. So a 70-kg person should drink at least 2.45 L of water a day, and heavier you are, the more water is needed to hydrate the body. See the amount of water you should drink according to age.

2. Drink Orange or Lemon Juice

Drink 1 glass of orange juice or lemonade daily, because these fruits are rich in citric acid, which when consumed, form a salt called citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals and stones in the body.

3. Avoid excess protein

Exaggerated intake of protein from meats or any animal product such as butter, for example, increases uric acid production, which is another of the major components of kidney stones. Consuming 1 medium steak a day at lunch and dinner is enough for a good nutrition.

4. Decrease salt intake

Kidney stone diet

Sodium is one of the main components of salt, and facilitates the deposition of salts in the body and, therefore, should be avoided. In addition to common salt used to season foods, industrialized products such as diced condiments, salad dressings, instant noodles and processed meats like bacon, ham, sausage and mortadella are also high in salt and should be avoided. 

5. Avoid foods rich in oxalate

Avoiding excess oxalate in a diet helps to prevent cases of calcium oxalate stones. But, calcium is not the main cause of these stones, foods rich in oxalate are, some examples are peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate, black tea and sweet potatoes.

These foods should be consumed in small amounts, and a good strategy is to consume them along with calcium-rich products such as milk and dairy products, because calcium will reduce the absorption of oxalate in the intestine, decreasing the formation of kidney stones. 

6. Drink "Royal break-stone" tea

Taking "break-stone" tea daily for up to 3 weeks favors the elimination of kidney stones, as this tea has diuretic action and has properties that relax the ureters, which are the channels that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. It is during the passage of the stone through the ureters that pain arises, known as one of the worst pains a person may have, and therefore this tea can help in this process. See other home remedies for kidney stones.

What not to eat when you have kidney stones

Anyone with stones in their kidneys can eliminate them through their pee, and so it is important to drink enough liquids to the point of making about 2 liters of pee per day.

Foods that cannot be eaten are salt, sausage, peas, spinach, beets, parsnips, chichory, okra, rhubarb, sweet potatoes. Others foods that should also be avoided are: peanuts, walnuts, pepper, marmalade, wheat bran, star fruit, black tea or mate tea.

Menu to prevent kidney stones

The following table shows a 3-day example of a menu that prevents the appearance of new kidney stones:

MealDay 1Day 2Day 3
Breakfast1 glass of milk + 2 slices of wholegrain bread with an egg1 natural yogurt + 2 tablespoons of granola + 1 slice of papaya1 glass of Orange juice + 1 tapioca with cheese
Morning Snack1 glass of green juice with lemon, cabbage, pineapple and coconut water1 orange + 3 wholegrain biscuits1 mashed banana with cinnamon
Lunch/Dinner4 tablespoons of rice + 2 tablespoons of beans + 100 g de cooked meat with vegetables1 fish fillet in the oven + potato puree + braised cabbage salad100 g de chicken in white sauce + wholegrain pasta + lettuce, carrot and sweetcorn salad
Afternoon Snack1 yogurt + 5 wholegrain biscuits with curd cheeseAvocado vitamin1 yogurt + 1 tablespoon of oats +  wholegrain bread with cheese

This diet can especially influence individuals with a history of kidney stone cases in the family and people who have had kidney stone ever before, avoiding the appearance of new stones.

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