If you suffer from chronic kidney stones, a simple prevention hack may already be in your kitchen: lemon juice.
“Lemons contain citric acid that metabolizes in your body to help counteract the formation of kidney stones,” said urologist Christine Liaw, MD, with the Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute in Bridgeport.
Dr. Liaw shares some of the other best foods and beverages for kidney health and which ones to avoid.
Yes: Citrus Fruits
You don’t need to limit yourself to just lemons. A diet high in any fruit from the citrus family can also help prevent kidney stones.
Add a splash of lemon juice to your water or reach for an orange or grapefruit for your next snack.
No: Soda, juice and tea
Before you reach for a lemonade, keep in mind that high sugar content can nullify the benefits of lemons.
“Sodas and juices tend to be very high in sugar and sugar can be a risk factor for kidney stones,” says Dr. Liaw.
Tea contains a chemical called oxalate, which is found in many kidney stones, Dr. Liaw adds.
According to Dr. Liaw, being dehydrated is the number one cause of kidney stones so it’s imperative to make sure you are drinking the recommended amount of water for your body type.
The best part? Water pairs great with lemons.
“For most of my patients, I recommend drinking plenty of water with lemon juice,” says Dr. Liaw.
No: High sodium diet
High-sodium diets have been shown to increase your risk of kidney stones.