There is much different research on how to prevent kidney stones, and it is not always easy to decipher exactly which advice to follow. A common link to the multitude of studies is that the best prevention is to lead an overall healthy lifestyle.
An imbalance of minerals and water generally causes kidney stones in the kidneys and urinary tract, formed when excess mineral salts clump together to form a stone. Small kidney stones may pass unnoticed, but large kidney stones can be extremely painful. Drinking enough water and eating a balanced, plant-based diet is likely the best advice on how to prevent kidney stones.
Drinking Enough Water
One of the most important measures for how to prevent kidney stones is to drink enough water to stay fully hydrated at all times. A low amount of water in the kidneys and the urinary system will increase the chances of an imbalance, leading to excess minerals sticking together to form a stone.
All types of tea are beneficial to not only staying hydrated but may also have medicinal benefits. One should decrease or avoid alcohol, as it is a major contributor to dehydration.
Avoid Overly Acidic and High-Sugar Juices
Although you should increase your overall water intake, avoid overly acidic and high-sugar juices and beverages. It is better to eat the fruit in its whole form, as whole fruit contains less sugar and more fiber than juice.
Additionally, all caffeinated soft drinks, whether regular or diet, should be cut out from your daily regimen as they contain phosphoric acid. Phosphate may exacerbate mineral buildup. While Vitamin C may help prevent kidney stones, people taking Vitamin C supplements should consider ingesting a lower dose than directed, as the acid in them may contribute to imbalances in the kidneys.
Eat a Healthy, Plant-Based Diet
Besides keeping hydrated, another important measure for how to prevent kidney stones is to eat a healthy, plant-based diet. It is important to eat foods rich in potassium and magnesium, such as bananas, prunes, potatoes, artichokes, avocados, dark leafy greens, nuts, and legumes.
Reduce Your Intake of Animal Protein
Reduce your intake of animal protein and other animal products, such as dairy. Most kidney stones are made up of calcium, but studies differ on whether excess dietary calcium causes stones. Moderation is likely your best bet regarding calcium intake in your diet.
If you do choose to consume dairy, go with lower fat dairy options such as yogurt and skim milk. Salt may increase calcium buildup in the kidneys, and a low sodium diet will additionally help prevent kidney stones.
Eating a Well-Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the best advice regarding how to prevent kidney stones. Since an imbalance of water and minerals forms them, it is imperative that one stay fully hydrated at all times and avoid alcohol, sugary juices, and soda pop. A plant-based diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes will help to keep the correct mineral balance in your kidneys.
Finally, calcium is likely fine in moderation but avoid excess salt. Follow this basic diet plan to prevent the formation of kidney stones.