Every year, more than three million people seek treatment for symptoms related to kidney stones. Many are familiar with the pain associated with kidney stones, but there are some surprising facts you might not know.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Although there is a connection to genetic predisposition, the causes of kidney stones are often related to diet and lifestyle. There is no one specific cause of kidney stones. Several risk factors can contribute to kidney stone formation:
- A diet that is high in protein (red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood), sodium (salty foods), or sugar (sodas and sugary drinks)
- Digestive disorders like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Family history of kidney stones
- Other medical conditions like hyperparathyroid condition
- Medications such as diuretics
5 Foods to Prevent Kidney Stones
Water. Although a beverage and not necessarily a food, drinking water is the most important way to prevent kidney stones. Doctors recommend two to three liters of water (at least 64 ounces or more) each day.
Lemon. Lemon contains citric acid that stops kidney stones from forming and helps break up stones that have already formed. For a refreshing beverage, add some fresh squeezed lemon into your water!
Cruciferous vegetables. Vegetables rich in potassium such as brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale decrease calcium loss and stop kidney stones from forming. These foods also have antioxidant effects that help prevent bladder, prostate and kidney cancers.
Whole grains. Most whole grains contribute to a healthy weight which is helpful in prevention and treatment of kidney stones.
Calcium. The calcium in milk and yogurt can decrease the risk of forming kidney stones.