Following a proper diet for kidney stone accelerates the cure of this disease. Diet plays a major role in the treatment any disease. In Ayurveda, the levels of treatment mentioned are :
- Ahara – diet
- Vihara – Lifestyle
- Aushadha – Medicines
The diet factor is placed first because without following a proper diet for kidney stone, there is recurrence of this disease.
Nausea, painful urination and pain in lower back or belly are common symptoms of kidney stones. If the stones are minute, your doctor will give you medicines to flush it out. In case of kidney stones that are bigger than 5mm, other forms of treatment are suggested. Irrespective of the size of the stone, lifestyle and diet for kidney stone plays a major role in the treatment.
Stone Formation in Kidneys:
There are basically four types of kidney stones namely:
- Uric acid stones- is more common in men than in women. They can occur in people with gout or those going through chemotherapy. This type of stone develops when urine is too acidic. A diet rich in animal proteins, such as fish, shellfish, and meats causes uric acid stones.
- Calcium stones – It is the most common type.High-oxalate foods include potato chips, peanuts, chocolate, beets, and spinach are the known causes.
- Struvite stones -This type of stone is found mostly in women with urinary tract infections. These stones can be large and cause urinary obstruction. These stones are caused by a kidney infection. Treating an underlying infection can prevent the development of struvite stones.
- Cystine stones – Cystine stones are rare. They occur in both men and women who have the genetic disorder cystinuria. With this type of stone, cystine is an acid that occurs naturally in the body and leaks from the kidneys into the urine.
Kidney stones form when there are changes in the balance of substances in the urine like water, minerals and salts. Hence What you eat or drink makes a crucial difference to stone formation in the kidney. Make a thoughtful choice about the foods you consume. It is best to consult your doctor for a diet chart under such a condition.
Foods to exclude in the diet for kidney stone:
Before we embark on the list of foods you should eat with kidney stones, know the food items that you should avoid:
- Tea: While it is unimaginable to start your day without a hot cup of tea, it is advisable to skip it altogether if you have kidney stones. Tea increases the complications arising from kidney stones. It can also cause the size of the kidney stone to increase.
- Tomatoes: Tomato is an indispensable part of Indian cooking. It is full of oxalate. Oxalate content tends to form calcium oxalate crystals. This further aggravates the painful condition of kidney stones. So, no matter how much you relish the taste of tomato in your dishes, it is best to avoid using it. If you must consume tomato, make sure you de-seed it before eating it.
- Spinach: Spinach is another veggie that is full of oxalate content. If you eat it regularly, it is likely to increase the size of kidney stones by deposition of calcium oxalate. This will worsen your condition further. Give it a miss in your list of grocery shopping to avoid health complications.
- Animal protein: If you are fond of prawns, fish and other varieties of sea food, then it is a good decision to avoid eating them. Kidney stones are formed due to imbalance of water and other minerals in the urine. Sea food is high in purine content. Purines elevate the amount of uric acid produced in your body. This causes an imbalance and leads to forming of uric acid stones. Also avoid eating other sources of animal protein like eggs, meat, poultry etc. if you have kidney stones.
- Salt intake: Salt intake should be minimized if you have kidney stones. This is because salt enhances the amount of sodium in your body. Sodium increases the amount of calcium in the body. Calcium binds oxalate from food items and causes deposition of calcium oxalate crystals.This worsens the condition of kidney stones.Monosodium glutamate or MSG, baking soda, baking powder, fast food or packaged items are full of hidden high salt content. Avoid their consumption.
- Chocolate: If you are fond of chocolate, remember that chocolate is full of oxalate content that leads to formation of kidney stones. So, indulge in them once in a while to avoid aggravating the stone condition.
- Other oxalate rich foods to avoid: Peanut, guava, sweet potato, legumes, nuts, wheat bran, rhubarb etc, have loads of oxalate content in them.
- Vitamin C: Foods rich in Vitamin C enhance calcium absorption in the body. This increases stone formation tendencies in the kidney. So, avoid citrus fruits, mango, melon, leafy greens, papaya, berries and potato.
Foods to include in the diet for kidney stone:
- Use other condiments and seasonings to enhance the food flavor instead of salt. Use Himalayan Pink Salt instead of sea salt.
- Drink lemon water: Lemon water has lots of citric acid content. Citric acid is different from Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. It binds calcium in the urine that leaves less calcium available for binding with oxalate content in the body and thus prevents stone formation.Citric acid prevents calcium oxalate crystals from forming stones. It has an alkalizing effect and reduces the amount of uric acid in the body. This helps prevents forming of uric acid stones in your kidneys.
- Magnesium intake: Magnesium helps prevent kidney stone formation. Make sure you take 400 mg of magnesium supplements daily. Eating nuts and seeds soaked overnight in water is another source of magnesium intake.
- Eat more carbs: Increase the intake of carbohydrates in your diet. Avoid sugary food items as they elevate the uric acid in the body and lead to uric acid stone formation. 100-150 grams for women and 180-200 grams of carbs for men is adequate daily dosage, if they are moderately active.
- Water intake: Make sure your water intake if around 2.5 to 3 litres everyday. If you are sweating due to hot weather, working out or dehydrated due to diarrhea, make sure to increase your fluid intake.
Recommended diet for kidney stone:
- Pomegranates- Pomegranate is highly astringent in nature. Drink a glass of its juice daily or add them to salads or toast.
- Figs -Boil two figs in a cup of water for 15-20 minutes and drink it on an empty stomach early in the morning.
- Barley – Boil 2 tsp of barley powder and make it as a porridge with water and consume it for dinner or breakfast.
- Banana Stem juice – It helps in relieving the pain and flushes out the stone.
Barley soup recipe:
- Barley – 3 tablespoons
- Chopped carrots , plantain stem, sweet potatoes – 1/2 cup
- Pepper powder – as required
- Salt – to taste
- Ajwain powder – 1 pinch
- Freshly chopped mint leaves – 1 tsp
Method of preparation:
- Wash and soak the barley seeds for atleast 2 hours.
- Cook the barley and vegetables seaparately until it becomes well cooked and mushy.
- Combine this together and add the seasonings and freshly chopped mint at last. If you need a thick soup, 12 tsp of barley powder can be added to the broth.
Make sure you maintain a healthy diet to prevent kidney stone formation. Take medical advice to find the diet best suited to your condition. Follow the diet diligently along with your medication. A balanced approach will go a long way in ensuring a healthy life!