By: Pallavi Vathiar. Consulting Clinical Nutritionist, Mumbai.
Kidney stones form when certain chemicals become concentrated enough in the urine to form crystals. The crystals grow into larger masses (stones), which can make their way through the urinary tract. If the stone gets stuck somewhere and blocks the flow of urine, it causes pain.
There are four Main Kinds of Kidney Stones:
- Calcium Oxalate Stones (common type)
- Calcium Phosphate Stones (common type)
- Uric Acid Stones (associated with diabetes)
- Struvite Stones (caused by active infection)
Preventing kidney stones means preventing the conditions that support their formation. Drinking extra fluids dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones.
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is becoming a popular choice of natural remedy for kidney stones. Certain properties of ACV, mainly the acetic acid content is believed to aid in the management of kidney stones in the following ways:
- To soften, break down and dissolve stones
- Helps cleansing and flushing kidneys.
- Ease kidney stone pain,
- Prevents new kidney stones
- Protective against kidney oxidative injuries.
Research has found that higher levels of dietary potassium intake were strongly associated with the prevention of kidney stones. ACV contains trace amounts of potassium, which may provide a way to prevent the formation of kidney stones.(1).
Pomegranate juice has been used for centuries to improve overall kidney function. It will flush stones and other toxins from the system. A study has found that consumption of pomegranate juice is beneficial in lowering the risk of kidney stones (2).
The anti-hypercalciuria and anti-urolithiasis effects of this plant attracted considerable attention toward pomegranate for use in the prevention of renal calculus formation. Its therapeutically beneficial phytochemicals are responsible for muscle relaxation in the urinary and biliary tract; consequently, stones can be easily removed from the kidney (3).
Orange juice may prevent repeat kidney stones better than some other citrus drinks. The results showed that orange juice increased levels of citrate in the urine and decreased urine acidity, which reduced the risk of kidney stones. But lemonade did not have the same effect (4).
Studies have observed that wheatgrass increases urine flow to help pass the stones. It also contains vital nutrients that help cleanse the kidneys (5).You can drink 2 to 8 ounces of wheatgrass juice per day. To prevent side effects, start with the smallest amount possible and gradually work your way up to 8 ounces. If fresh wheatgrass juice isn’t available, you can take powdered wheatgrass supplements.
Cranberry juice can help battle frequent urinary tract infections. In a study it has been shown that Cranberry juice has antilithogenic properties and, as such, deserves consideration as a conservative therapeutic protocol in managing calcium oxalate urolithiasis (6).
Celery juice is rich in nutrients that may have many health benefits and it may cure conditions like cancer, obesity, thyroid issues, and acne. Celery juice is thought to clear away toxins that contribute to kidney stone formation and has long been used in traditional medications. It also helps flush out the body so you can pass the stone (7).
There are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in basil juice, and it may help maintain kidney health. Basil contains acetic acid, which helps break down the kidney stones and reduce pain. It’s also full of nutrients. This remedy has been used traditionally for digestive and inflammatory disorders (8).
Diet Recommendations For Kidney Stones (9)
- – Drink plenty of fluid: 2-3 quarts/day
- – Limit foods with high oxalate content
- – Eat enough dietary calcium
- – Avoid extra calcium supplements
- – Eat a moderate amount of protein
- – Avoid high salt intake
- – Avoid high doses of vitamin C supplements