Healing Kitchen

Kidney Stones
To reduce your risk of kidney stones, consume a plant-based diet rich in flaxseed oil as well as a variety of unprocessed whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Plant foods are abundant in certain nutrients, such as beta-carotene, insoluble fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, and zinc, which may protect against kidney stones. And unlike protein from animal foods, plant-based protein is not associated with the formation of kidney stones.

Because of their tannin phytochemicals, blueberries may help to prevent the development of a particular type of kidney stone known as a struvite stone. Research has linked struvite stones to chronic infections of the urinary tract, and tannins have been shown to protect against urinary tract infections.

Though cranberries are rich in tannins and help to safeguard against urinary tract infections, cranberries are also high in oxalate compounds, which promote the formation of kidney stones. Limit your intake of asparagus, beets, beet greens, chocolate, coffee, cola beverages, nuts, rhubarb, and spinach because they contain substantial amounts of oxalates as well.

Experts advise that you eliminate purine-rich foods from your diet if you have a history of kidney stones that contained uric acid. Purines can raise blood levels of uric acid, which may encourage the development of certain types of kidney stones. Foods high in purines include anchovies, brewer’s yeast, organ meats, and sardines.

Because persistent dehydration is linked to the development of kidney stones, drink plenty of water each day. Water dilutes the urine, which helps to prevent salts from crystallizing and forming kidney stones. For individuals with a history of kidney stones, experts recommend drinking as much as three quarts of water per day to help prevent recurrences.

We believe that it's possible to manage and/or improve certain conditions through what you eat. When we create "Mega-Recipes" for an ailment, we strive to include the maximum number of the nutrients that are shown to have benefit for that ailment. We also expect the Mega-Recipe to contain at least 25% of recommended intakes for those nutrients. See the list of recipes that have met our criteria for this ailment.

What You Should Eat & Why

Because it is converted to vitamin A, beta-carotene may help protect against kidney stones. Vitamin A is thought to discourage the formation of kidney stones. Note that spinach is a leading source of beta-carotene, however spinach is high in oxalate compounds, which may increase your risk of kidney stones.
Leading Food Sources of beta-carotene: Carrots, Spinach, Sweet potatoes, Cantaloupe, Squash, winter, Apricots

fiber, insoluble
Insoluble fiber may help to prevent the formation of kidney stones because it binds oxalates in the digestive tract.
Leading Food Sources of fiber, insoluble: Figs, Peas, fresh, Rice, brown, Beans, dried, Wheat, Raisins & Currants, Prunes

flaxseed oil
By reducing the amount of calcium in the urine, flaxseed oil may protect against kidney stones.
Leading Food Sources of flaxseed oil: Oil, flaxseed

Evidence suggests that a deficiency of magnesium increases the risk of calcium stones, the most common type of kidney stones. Magnesium is thought to lower levels of oxalates in the urine. Be sure to take it easy on the almonds, Brazil nuts, chocolate, and spinach. These foods are good sources of magnesium, but they are high in oxalate compounds.
Leading Food Sources of magnesium: Spinach, Almonds, Barley, Brazil nuts, Oysters, Chocolate, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Buckwheat, Amaranth, Avocados, Quinoa

This valuable mineral may lower your risk of kidney stones by inhibiting calcium crystallization, which contributes to stone formation. Though beets and chocolate are leading sources of potassium, go easy on these foods because they contain large amounts of oxalates.
Leading Food Sources of potassium: Beets, Avocados, Figs, Pomegranates, Chocolate, Beans, dried, Clams, Yogurt, Oranges, Water chestnuts, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Quinoa, Apricots, Bok choy, Cantaloupe, Bananas, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts

vitamin B6
Kidney stones have been associated with a deficiency of vitamin B6. This nutrient is also believed to work well with magnesium to protect against calcium stones. Remember to restrict your intake of foods high in animal foods, even though many are listed as good sources of vitamin B6. Animal protein is associated with the development of kidney stones.
Leading Food Sources of vitamin B6: Sweet potatoes, Sunflower seeds, Tuna, Chick-peas, Salmon, Pork, fresh, Potatoes, Turkey, Chicken, Barley, Bok choy, Rice, brown, Avocados, Mangoes, Bananas

By blocking the crystallization of minerals that are transported in the urine, zinc may guard against kidney stones. Watch your intake of such foods as beef, chicken, crab, lamb, oysters, and turkey; they are high in animal protein, which is associated with the formation of kidney stones.
Leading Food Sources of zinc: Barley, Chicken, Crab, Oysters, Lamb, Beef, Wheat, Turkey

Date Published: 05/03/2005
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