Earlier, I had a post about the importance of drinking water to prevent kidney stones. However, that’s just one of a number of strategies to reduce your chances of getting a stone. Though kidney stones can be common and recur once you’ve experienced them once, there are simple preventative steps you can take. And when I say simple, I really mean it. See below for a few ways to decrease your chances.
Obviously, drink enough water. You already know this. I already know this. But it bears repeating. The National Kidney Foundation found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine each day were 50% less likely to develop kidney stones than those who produced less. To make that much urine, a person should drink between eight and ten 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
Skip high-oxalate foods. This includes spinach, beet, and almonds. They raise oxalate levels in the body, which can lead to a type of calcium stone formation. In most cases, moderate amounts of low-oxalate foods—think chocolate and berries—are okay.
Watch your sodium intake. High-sodium diets can trigger kidney stones. They increase the amount of calcium in your urine, creating—you guessed it!—calcium stones. Limit your daily sodium intake to 2,300mg and see what happens. If sodium has contributed to past kidney stones, try reducing your daily intake to 1,500mg.
Decrease your animal protein intake. Yes, I know, we all love our meat. However, eating too much animal protein (think meat, eggs, and seafood) can boost uric acid levels. If you’re already prone to stones, limit your daily meat intake to the suggested single serving size—often, a stake around the size of a deck of playing cards.
Eat lemons. This is the weirdest one I’ve come across, but it makes a bit of se.se Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium to block stone formation. Apparently, studies have shown that drinking ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate (diluted in water, of course) each day can increase urine citrate and reduce kidney stone risk. I wouldn’t count on this one being your best bet for stone prevention, but hey, it’s worth a shot.