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Do you know that kidney stones form when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys? “Kidney stones are more common in men than in women, and in about half of people who have had one, kidney stones strike again within 10 to 15 years without preventive measures.
Even though kidney stones can be common and reoccur once you’ve had them, there are simple ways to help prevent them.
Here are some strategies that can help!
1. Drink enough water
Practice drinking enough water for a day! An analysis found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine daily were 50 percent less likely to develop kidney stones than those who produced less. It takes about 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses (about 2 liters total) of water daily to produce that amount.
2. Watch the sodium.
A high-sodium diet can trigger kidney stones because it increases the amount of calcium in your urine. Federal guidelines suggest limiting total daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg). If sodium has contributed to kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily sodium to 1,500 mg.
3. Skip high-oxalate foods.
High-oxalate foods such as spinach, beets, and almonds, raise oxalate levels in the body. However, moderate amounts of low-oxalate foods, such as chocolate and berries, are OK.
4. Enjoy some lemons.
Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium and helps block stone formation. “Studies have shown that drinking 1/2 cup of lemon juice concentrate diluted in water each day, or the juice of two lemons, can increase urine citrate and likely reduce kidney stone risk.
5. Cut back on animal protein.
Eating too much animal protein, such as meat, eggs, and seafood boosts the level of uric acid. If you’re prone to stones, limit your daily meat intake to a quantity to avoid the risk.