Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava

Introduction

Kidneys are bean-shaped and fist-sized organs located below the rib cage on each side of the spine.

They perform several crucial functions to support your overall well-being. A few of them include:

  • Filtering blood
  • Removing excess water & waste products
  • Making red blood cells & vitamin D
  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Maintaining the right amount of fluid in the body
  • Supporting bone health
  • Balancing mineral & chemical levels

One of the most common complications that can interfere with the performance of this organ is kidney stone.

A kidney stone occurs due to hard mineral deposits in the kidneys. Some common causes that can give rise to this condition include:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Exercising (too much or too little)
  • Obesity
  • Eating foods rich in salt or sugar
  • Having too much oxalate foods such as spinach, beans, coffee, beets & more

Stones may form in your kidneys due to prolonged exposure to these causes. To identify whether or not you are affected by the condition, look for symptoms such as:

  • Excessive pain in the groin, belly, or back
  • Frequent urination
  • Occurrence of blood in the urine
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating

One of the best ways to prevent the onset of kidney stones is by focusing on a healthy diet.

In this article, you will learn about the top five dietary tips to enhance kidney function and reduce the risk of kidney stones.

Stay hydrated

Drinking sufficient water is a great way to prevent the onset of kidney stones.

It increases urine output and minimizes the risk of urine concentration, leading to the easy break-up of urine salts that gives rise to stones.

Experts suggest that a person should aim for at least two to three litres of water every day and have citrate fruit juices such as lemonade and orange juice.

The colour of urine remains pale yellow or clear if you are hydrated. Dehydration causes dark urine, signalling that the body needs more water.

Calcium-rich foods

Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth.

However, overconsumption of this mineral can lead to the onset of a kidney stone called calcium oxalate stone. 

And low calcium diets can also increase the risk of developing kidney stones and autoimmune conditions like osteoporosis.

Therefore, you should consume calcium-rich foods in moderation. Seek a doctor’s advice to decide the amount of calcium good for your health.

Reduce sodium intake

According to research, prolonged consumption of meals rich in salt can affect the kidney’s ability to reabsorb calcium from urine to the blood, leading to kidney stones.

By reducing the intake of foods rich in sodium, you can lower the risk of high urine calcium and the formation of kidney stones.

Use herbs and spices instead of salt to add flavour to your meals and minimize the intake of high sodium foods such as processed foods and canned soups & vegetables.

Reduce oxalate-rich food intake

Oxalate is a naturally occurring compound present in various foods.

It forms salts such as sodium oxalate that mixes with calcium in the urine and increases the risk of kidney stones.

Several foods essential for overall health are rich in oxalate and should be consumed in moderation. Some of them include:

  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Beetroot
  • Peanuts
  • Soy products 
  • Wheat bran

Include herbs & spices in your meals

One of the best steps to minimize the risk of kidney stones is to include appropriate amounts of herbs and spices in your meals. 

Given below are seven seasonings that can make your food taste better, reducing the risk of kidney stones:

  • Rosemary (gulmehandi)
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Chilli peppers
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Basil (tulsi)

Final thoughts

Kidney stone is a common ailment that can affect anyone. The above given dietary changes can help minimize the risk of stone formation and improve kidney function.

Moreover, you should also frequently opt for kidney screening. It provides you with vital insights about the health of your kidneys, allowing you to take necessary measures to improve their health.

Get Your Kidneys Checked Today!