These foods help prevent kidney stones                

By naturopath Margaret Jasinska

Kidney stones are very common; up to one in ten people will experience them. Passing a kidney stone is one of life’s most painful experiences. Anyone who has had a kidney stone will want to do anything in their power to prevent getting more.

Kidney stones are more common in men than women, and the tendency to develop them does run in families. The most common type, around 65 percent, are made up of calcium and oxalate. Other stones consist of uric acid (as in sufferers of gout), other mixed minerals, or occasionally the amino acid cysteine. Certain stones may be triggered by the presence of kidney disease or other conditions, such as over activity of the parathyroid glands, which increases the amount of calcium excreted in the urine. Diet plays a role too; the foods you eat and fluids you drink have an enormous impact on your risk of stone formation.

A high intake of oxalic acid, in foods like spinach, chocolate, almonds, sweet potato, beets and buckwheat flour can increase the risk of kidney stones in genetically predisposed individuals, if they don’t consume enough magnesium or calcium to compensate. If kidney stones run in your family, or you’ve had them before and want to avoid future problems, it’s very important to look after your kidneys. Having a high sugar diet also raises the risk of stone formation, particularly in people who don’t drink enough water. People who consume 25 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar have the highest risk. This is because sugar increases the amount of calcium in urine, and it raises the risk of insulin resistance, which predisposes to kidney stones.

These foods can help protect you against kidney stones:

Citrus fruits

All citrus fruits, but especially lemons and limes contain citric acid. This can bind with calcium oxalate crystals in your kidneys, helping to prevent them from getting any bigger. Small crystals can be easily and painlessly passed in urine before they turn into large stones.


All green vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, and fresh herbs such as basil and rocket are high in magnesium. This helps reduce oxalic acid absorption in the gut, reducing the risk of stone formation.


Dairy products such as yogurt are high in calcium, which can bind with oxalic acid and reduce its absorption into your body, thereby reducing the risk of stone formation. Studies have shown that individuals with a higher calcium intake suffer less from kidney stones. Yogurt is easier to digest than most other dairy products. You may also consider goat or sheep milk yoghurt.


This herb is a traditional remedy for reducing the risk of kidney stones. It has a cleansing effect on the kidneys and has mild diuretic properties. Parsley also reduces the risk of kidney infections.


Drinking plenty of water is critically important for reducing stone formation. Most people need to drink around 8 to 12 glasses of water each day. The precise level varies depending on the climate you live in, how much you sweat and how much water is in the foods you eat (eg. A high vegetable diet is very watery). Ideally your urine should be a light yellow colour.

Try to base your diet on home cooked meals, made from whole food ingredients. If you need help getting your diet back on track, the Dr Cabot 15 Day Cleanse is the ideal place to start. It is a program that improves the health of your liver, gut and immune system, coupled with a healthy and delicious eating plan.


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