Kidney stones come in a few varieties (their composition falls into four groups). And it is what the stone is made of that determines how you can avoid getting any more of them. The four types of kidney stones are Calcium, Uric Acid, Struvite (come from infections/bacteria) and Cystine (are most rare and come from a genetic disorder). The first two are the most common, for people who get or have had kidney stones.
Calcium stones are simply caused by being too healthy, ironically, at least in the terms of having a very alkaline body. An alkaline body is generally what doctors want for you, because it means you are eating an alkaline diet (which is very plant-based). However, some people’s healthy diet turns into very alkaline urine, and alkaline urine can breed calcium stones. By adding lemonade to your diet (real lemonade — made from water, lemons and natural sweetener) you can help balance your urine.
Uric acid stones come from the opposite: an unhealthy diet of too much acid and acidic urine. The typical American diet is full of processed foods, which are any food that is pre-made and ready to eat. Chili, soup, frozen meals, bread, cereal, and flavored yogurts are all processed foods. Most people only think about hot dogs and lunch meat (which are indeed processed) when they try to name processed foods. The bottom line is that a diet with too much salt makes the kidneys secrete more calcium in the urine. Consuming a healthy diet, that is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin D especially, aids the body in the absorption of calcium. Vitamin C is easiest to absorb from juice from plants.
Making sure you have enough liquid intake — plenty of clean fresh water — is another habit to get into to prevent stones as well as many other health issues. Many medical problems are prevented by simply drinking more water and less of other liquids.
It truly depends on the type of stone a person gets so they know how to prevent them. Otherwise, you can aim for the best healthy diet possible and hope that your genetics help you out otherwise. Animal protein, for example, is more vital for people who have low iron counts. For everyone else there is only so much animal protein needed to maintain good health — and if you exceed this, you may be taking in too much and therefore making yourself susceptible to kidney stones.
When it comes to a healthy diet, a great tip is to read nutritional information when the food has a label. And if you don’t know what an ingredient is, don’t eat it. Eat more foods that don’t have labels, because the food is the only ingredient. The less chemicals and non-food additives in your diet the better, as natural food is easier for your body to process. It’s not that your body can’t process most chemicals but eating poorly has become so commonplace that people take it for granted and are making their body work harder than necessary.
Apart from making healthy diet choices, the easiest habit to get into is to drink enough water and add lemonade or orange juice to your diet because of the citrate. Citrate prevents stones from forming. The less you rely on processed foods with high levels of salt and sodium, the healthier you will be.