For those who don’t know, when specific chemicals become concentrated enough in your urine, they come together and form crystals. These crystals slowly grow into stones, which can sometimes find their way through your urinary tract, which can end up in your flow of urine being blocked, causing much pain. Preventing kidney stones might sound scary, but trust me when I say this – it’s fairly easy. What it does require from you is a lot of determination.
How to Prevent Kidney Stones
Increase your magnesium consumption
About 70% of Americans are magnesium deficient. Did you know that? Now, why should that matter? Well because the most common type of kidney stone occurs due to the combining of oxalate and calcium in your body, and magnesium simply prevents that from happening. It plays a vital role in your body’s ability to absorb and assimilate calcium.
And if you think its importance stops here, you are wrong, because magnesium is basically the only reason why your body is able to process over 300 biochemical reactions! You can consume foods like spinach, sunflower seeds, avocados, sesame seeds, almonds, black beans and pumpkin seeds to improve your magnesium levels.
Limit animal protein
When it comes to how to prevent kidney stones, you really have to watch the amount of meat you eat. Not only do you have to battle with the moral and ethical dilemmas of eating an animal, but also eating too much of seafood, chicken and red meat drastically reduces your body’s citrate levels. And this compound is very important if you don’t want any stones forming in your body.
Drink plenty of water
This goes without saying and yet, so few Americans listen to this advice. Water is good for your mind, body and soul. Drink it up! Doesn’t matter if you don’t like it or aren’t used to it – you need to pass enough urine in your body. And of course, you can spice things up by drinking water in the form of green tea or lemonade. Just make sure you’re at least drinking 5 liters per day.
Take in less sodium
Eating unnecessary amounts of sodium is going to do your body more harm than good, because consuming high amounts of sodium increases the level of calcium released in your urine. A daily intake of 2300mg of sodium is acceptable, so make sure you always stay under that limit.
Calcium is important
Calcium is an important component when working on how to prevent kidney stones. The first thing you need to know is that the less the calcium is in your body, the higher your oxalate levels are. Keep in mind that calcium absorbed from food is the only way to go – supplements don’t work in your favor. If anything, certain studies have shown a direct link between supplements and formation of stones, so it’s best that you stick to foods like kale, avocados, broccoli and bok choy.
If you think you can keep putting off exercising for much longer, well the joke’s on you. A sedentary lifestyle means your bones aren’t getting much movement or activity, which in turn causes them to release higher levels of calcium. However, if you exercise, even moderately, on a regular basis, it not only will solve your kidney stone problem but also will help lower your blood pressure as well.
Explore alternative options
I’m not saying you put your faith in them. Nor am I saying that they’re a substitute for scientific/medical cures. No way! All I’m saying is that people have reportedly gotten rid of their kidney stones by going the Ayurvedic, homeopathic or even Chinese medicine way. For example, in Chinese medicine, there is an herbal remedy called chanca piedra, which literally translates into "stone breaker" that is very popular among kidney stone patients. If not, you have natural alternatives like pomegranate juice, nettle leaf tea, kidney beans and apple cider vinegar to rely on!
Mind your vitamin C supplements
Various studies have shown that people who took normal to high amounts of vitamin C supplements on a regular basis, more than doubling their chances of getting stones. And why is that? Because when excess vitamin C is excreted by the body, it is generally in the oxalate form. And as already explained above, that’s not good for you.
Avoid sugar, fructose and aerated drinks
The mineral balance in your body is upset by sugar, by interfering with your body’s magnesium and calcium absorption rates. Not only this, sugar can also lead to increased stone size! Fructose is found in large quantities in sodas and other aerated drinks, which, like sugar, messes with your mineral balance.
Avoid unfermented soy
Here is the last tip on how to prevent kidney stones -- avoid unfermented soy. That’s because they end up binding with the calcium produced by your body, which in turn produces kidney stones. This is not to say that soy is bad for your health – no. If you want to eat soy, then just make sure you’re opting for the fermented variety.