What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is the problem of accumulation of salts and minerals in the form of crystalline stone in the kidneys. It has no age group specification and can affect people of any age and even the children. Reason for kidney stone formation can be any from dehydration, improper diet, hereditary disease or any other kidney disease. However, the most common reason which can even be controlled easily is stones caused by improper diet plan. If we follow a diet plan which is healthy and balanced and do not contain any stone triggering ingredients in it. Following a recommended diet plan for kidney stone patients can turn out to be profitable by helping them getting rid of this disease with ease. It is comparatively easy to treat the small sized stones than the larger ones with the help of diet plan.
How can a diet plan help in the treatment of kidney stone?
Following a special diet can benefit in the treatment of kidney stones. After diagnosis, even physician recommends some dietary changes. A registered dietician helps in making a special diet plan for the kidney patients. Diet plans are made keeping in mind the gender, body weight and age group. At times taking just a proper diet can be enough to stop the formation of stones in the kidneys. However, for other patients, dietary changes are not just enough and they require medications as well. But dietary changes are beneficial for all kidney stone sufferers more or less.
Adding up more superfoods (antioxidant-rich foods) in a diet is always helpful in balancing the body and keeping it disease free. These are such foods which prevent unwanted fatty acid oxidation in the body in which body oxygen reacts with fats present in the blood and cells. Oxidation is one of the normal body mechanisms. However excess of oxidation in the body creates free radicals which can further damage proteins and several cell membranes since they are also proteins by nature. All this leads to several diseases like cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease and various other degenerative conditions.
If you are breastfeeding or sweat heavily or you are suffering from diarrhea or vomiting then try to take extra fluids.
10 Most effective diet plans which help in healing kidney stone.
The body must be kept super hydrated by consuming as many fluids as possible especially water:
Fluids intake must be sufficient enough to flush out all toxic substances out of the body. Especially drinking water helps in diluting the salts and minerals which form stones. Drinking at least 12 glasses of water per day must be made a habit.
Natural calcium intake must be endured daily. It helps in binding excess oxalate with calcium to form calcium oxalate during digestion which is excreted through intestine instead of being in the bloodstream. Its sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, legumes, tofu, nuts, and green vegetables. Also, foods high in vitamin D must also be eaten to ensure calcium absorption in the body.
Calcium normally binds to oxalate present in the intestine and it reduces the ability of calcium absorption. Limited calcium availability in intestine leads to oxalate and calcium oxalate stones. Due to which mostly oxalate reaches kidneys for excretion. Reducing oxalate-rich diet and ensuring proper daily calcium intake can help avoiding oxalate stones. No more than 50mg oxalate per day is recommended for the patients. Oxalate-rich foods include chocolate, rhubarb, sweet potato, spinach, beetroot, wheat bran, and tea.
Vegetables like cabbage, red pepper bells, onion, cauliflower, and garlic should be incorporated into the diet:
This one is fully loaded with phytochemicals which breaks the free radicals hence prevent many diseases. It is rich in Vitamin K, C, B6, folic acid, and fiber, even recommended to patients on dialysis, as well as can be eaten raw in salads or added as toppings in several dishes. Half a cup of cabbage gives 6mg sodium, 60mg potassium, and 9mg phosphorus.
Red bell peppers-
These are low in potassium and flavor-rich perfect for the kidneys. It contains Vitamin A, B6, C, folic acid, and fiber. Moreover, its lycopene is antioxidant and cancer-preventing substance. All in all a perfect snack it turns out to be or can be added to salad, chicken or tune in meals. Half a cup of these bells serves 1mg sodium, 88mg potassium, and 10mg phosphorus content.
It is full of indoles, thiocyanate, and glucosinolates compounds which help to neutralize the liver toxins which damages the cell membranes and structure of DNA. It is rich in Vitamin C, folate and fiber content. Half a cup of it gives 9mg sodium, 88mg potassium, and 20mg phosphorus.
It helps plaque formation over teeth, reduces inflammation and lowers cholesterol in the body. Add it as a spicing flavor to vegetables or meals. It is delicious as a spread or if combined in form of garlic bread. One clove of it gives 1mg sodium, 12mg potassium, and 4mg phosphorus.
It flavors many cooked delicacies in houses. It is rich in sulfur and flavonoids mainly quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant and protects from many cancers and heart diseases. Onion is low in potassium and rich in chromium and helps in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. Half a cup of onion gives 3mg sodium, 116mg potassium, and 3mg phosphorus.
Add Vitamin C rich fruit to your diet:
Doctors recommend, fruits like apples, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, lemons, oranges all rich in vitamin C and antioxidant-packed, to help with kidney stones. Cranberries even prevent bladder infections by preventing bacteria sticking to the bladder walls.
Increase intake of insoluble fiber :
It is a part of plant, which human body can not digest. The insoluble fiber (not soluble in water) like wheat, barley, rye, and rice helps in reducing calcium in urine as it binds with calcium in the intestine and passed in the stools.
Limit the intake of salts and sugar:
Consuming too much salt, leads to kidney stones, hence take it in moderate quantity. Also, a decrease in sodium intake reduces calcium in the urine. Processed foods and drinks causing stones, contain added sugar and are the source of sucrose and fructose. So sugar intake must also be minimal.
Lower your animal protein intake:
A watchful protein diet must be taken as it increases the uric acid in the body which might lead to stones if present in excess. However, egg white is a pure source of protein with essential amino acids. It is the best protein kidney diet with less phosphorus content. Egg white sandwich or omelet or adding it up in salads can give all its goodness in the diet. 2 egg whites contain 7g protein, 110mg sodium, 10mg phosphorus, and 108mg potassium. Take alternatives to animal protein diet like tofu, Greek yogurt, and quinoa in a normal diet.
Avoid intake of beverages like colas and tea, coffee:
Colas contain high phosphate content which leads to the formation of kidney stones. Avoid tea and coffee dehydrate the body being diuretics, instead, consume caffeine-free herbal teas as they help in detoxifying the body.
It is a great source of oleic acid which is an anti-inflammatory in action. It is rich in antioxidant compounds which prevents oxidation and inflammation in the body. Extra virgin olive oil has more antioxidants. Use it in cooking in several ways as salad dressings or by marinating or cooking vegetables in it. One tablespoon of it contain <1mg sodium, <1mg potassium and 0 phosphorus content.
Few diet options as per meal:
Breakfast: Grapefruit juice with ½ cup of cereal, scrambled egg or omelet, two toast slices.
Lunch: A bowl of vegetable with wheat bread (chapatti), Dal and rice, salad, yogurt, grilled white meat chicken but portion size must be less.
Dinner: A bowl of legumes (Dal), cooked vegetable, rice, wheat bread (chapatti).
These diet plans, provided to give an idea, however, any favorite kidney healthy diet can be taken to feel full and relish the taste buds. However, not overeating is the key.
Tips to follow for a healthy kidney stone diet
- Drink 10-12 glasses of water daily.
- Consume fresh citrus juices instead of packed.
- Eat calcium-rich meals thrice a day.
- Avoid drinking things which cause dehydration like alcohol.
- Increase fluid intake, in case of breastfeeding and dehydration conditions.
- Exercise and try to keep body weight in control.