Kidney stones are becoming a common problem in our generation now. In fact, 12% of men and 5% of women in the US are predicted to have at least a kidney stone in their lifetime.

Why so many people forming kidney stones? Well, let’s figure out what are kidney stones in the first place.

Kidney stones are usually a hard mass formed from crystals in our urine. These stones form when the kidney cannot adequately eliminate all those toxins, wastes, nutrients and unprocessed minerals from our bladder through our urine.

In a majority of people natural chemicals in our urine prevent kidney stones from forming.

There are a lot of natural ways to prevent or get rid of kidney stones. Let’s discuss the following:

* Keep yourself hydrated at all times!

Increased fluids in your body dilute the stone-forming crystals in your urine, thus preventing the formation of kidney stones. About 12 cups of water per day should help in keeping yourself hydrated; you should drink more cups if you live in a hotter, more tropical country.

Water should be the predominant fluid you should drink. However, green tea and coconut water are known also in certain Asian cultures for being able to cleanse the kidneys and thus, help in preventing kidney stone formation.

On the other hand, fructose in sugary drinks like softdrinks and sweetened drinks should be avoided as these raise the excretion of oxalates, calcium, and uric acid.

* Increase the amount of Citric Acid you consume everyday

Citric acid is a naturally-occurring acid in most fruits and vegetables, particularly sour foods. Lemons, limes, calamansi (a lemon-tasting fruit indigenous to most Asian countries), oranges, grapefruit, etc. are good sources of citric acid.

Citric acid is also known to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Oxalate is a natural forming element in many fruits and vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts and even chocolate and tea. Rhubarb, spinach, chocolate and beets have high levels of oxalate.

The problem occurs when oxalate binds with calcium that it becomes what we call calcium oxalate kidney stones. These are a bit hard to pass through our urine.

* Cut down on sodium in your diet

A diet high on sodium is sometimes an increased risk for kidney stones for some people. Sodium seems to be the main component of most dishes, particularly those Asian countries which use a lot of fish sauce and fish paste. It is highly recommended that you limit your sodium content because it somehow contributes to kidney stone formation.

* Get enough calcium from everyday foods

People who develop calcium-oxalate kidney stones do so because of too much sodium in their body. Limit your sodium intake to 2,000 milligrams only per day. As for calcium, you need this for your bones like cow’s milk, cheese and yogurt. A study even says that calcium in the body even prevents the formation of kidney stones.

Have your doctor check your kidney stones to see what type they are so you can be advised on proper nutrition to prevent kidney stones.

* Take in Celery and Basil

Organic celery and basil is supposed to be a great deterrent of kidney stones.  Celery can be included in various salads and basil juice taken with honey daily helps in expulsion of kidney stones and uric acid balance.

* Magnesium prevents kidney stone formation 

Magnesium taken in as supplements are known to prevent recurring kidney stones. Check with your medical doctor before taking one.

* Reduce intake of animal protein

A Diet replete with animal protein sources like dairy, fish or meat is proven to be have a higher risk of developing kidney stones. These animal proteins ingest a lot of chemicals in the environment — in our water, our air and even the grass that animals eat. Go slow on the animal proteins to lengthen your life and prevent kidney stones.

How about you – do you have other tips to prevent kidney stones? Share your knowledge in the comments below!

Image by erik gould / CC BY 2.0