Kidney Stones – What Foods to Avoid

Kidney stones are formed from the minerals and salts present in urine. The stones develop when the concentration of minerals in the kidney becomes so high they clump together and solidify into small, hard crystals. Kidney stones can be incredibly painful to pass. Even after being treated, kidney stones are likely to come back. It’s not something you treat and go back to sleep.

Some foods contain chemicals that can lead to the formation of these crystals. Here are some foods to avoid if you’re struggling with kidney stones:

Oxalate-rich Foods

Oxalate is found in many foods such as grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables, seeds and nuts. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [1] recommends avoiding foods rich in oxalates. Some of these foods include nuts and nut-based foods, rhubarb, wheat bran, spinach and peanuts.

Eating foods high in oxalate increases the concentration of oxalates in urine and this is a bad idea. This is because most cases of kidney stones are caused by calcium oxalate stones in the kidney. Oxalates bind to calcium and other minerals in the body to form solid crystals, so foods rich in oxalates are likely to worsen kidney stones.

Don’t cut down on calcium while trying to tackle calcium oxalate stones. It may sound counter-intuitive, but consuming calcium along with oxalate-rich foods can help address this problem. When you eat foods rich in calcium and oxalate together, the minerals are more likely to bind in the stomach and intestines before entering the kidney. This reduces the chances of kidney stones forming.