Published Date April 08, 2022

Kidney Stones and how to prevent them with the help of nutrition

By Naurin Ansari

6 min read

All about calcium, coffee, plant-based foods and kidney stones.
Kidney Stones

Kidney stones have become a common issue nowadays. Emergency rooms can be seen filled with people having kidney stone issues. According to an estimation, every one in ten people will have kidney stones at some point in their lives.

What is a kidney stone?

Kidney stones get formed when urine has high levels of certain minerals, in one or both of your kidneys. They are pebble-like in structure and hard. They can vary in size and shape, being as large as a pea or as small as a grain of sand. They are usually brown or yellow in colour. 

Symptoms that might need immediate medical attention:

  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Pain along with nausea and vomiting
  • Pain so severe that you can't sit still or find a comfortable position
  • Pain along with fever and chills
  • Blood in urine


General recommendations:

  • Avoid high salt intake

    The amount of calcium content increases in the urine if there is a high intake of sodium and this will increase the chances of developing stones.
  • Eat enough dietary calcium

    It is recommended that eating 3 servings of dairy per day will help reduce the risk of calcium stone formation.
  • Drink plenty of fluid

    It is recommended to include any type of fluid like water, coffee, or lemonade, which has beneficial effects, except grapefruit juice and soda. It is recommended to take around 2.8-3 litres of water per day. This will lead to the production of less concentrated urine and will ensure a good urine volume of around 2.5L/day.
  • Intake of protein in moderation

    More stones in the kidneys are a result of higher protein intake which leads to the excretion of more amount of calcium. 
  • Avoid extra calcium supplements

    Calcium supplements should only be consumed if your physician and registered kidney dietitian recommend them.
  • Limit foods with high oxalate content

    Spinach, many berries, chocolate, wheat bran, nuts, beets, tea, and rhubarb should not be included in your diet.
  • Get enough calcium from food

    It is believed that calcium has the tendency to block the substances in the digestive tract that might lead to stones. One should get the best amount of calcium from plant-based foods like calcium-fortified cereals, juices, bread, vegetables, and beans.


The best way to get rid of kidney stones is to drink enough fluid, mainly water. You can try out different types of vegetable and fruit juices in order to stay hydrated throughout the day.


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