Your kidneys play a vital role when it comes to filtering waste out of the body. Each day, these organs on either side of the spine, filter more than 200 quarts of blood and 2 quarts of waste products before it’s flushed out of the body via urination.
Obviously, healthy kidneys are essential for proper detoxification. However, certain foods can cause kidney stones and keep these organs from functioning optimally. Here are ten foods that encourage kidney stone development…
1. Excessive Caffeine
Too much caffeine—in the form of coffee, tea, and soda—can stress out the kidneys and lead to the development of kidney stones due to higher calcium levels in the urine, and even kidney failure due to the stimulant qualities that can cause organ exhaustion.
If kidney stones are hereditary, you should steer clear of foods that contain oxalates (the material that
makes up the actual stones). Rhubarb is one food that’s particularly high in oxalates.
3. Artificial Sweetener
You probably use artificial sweetener in your coffee as opposed to sugar in order to cut calories. And maybe you opt for diet soda for the same reason. However, studies show that non-caloric sweeteners impair kidney function if consumed long term. So it’s best to opt for natural sweeteners like honey, stevia or agave instead.
Animal proteins are also linked to kidney stones and organ damage. And those who consume a high-protein diet put particular stress on their kidneys because protein waste is difficult to eliminate from the body efficiently. Meat is also high in uric acid, a common cause of kidney stones.
If you’re prone to kidney stones, you’ll also want to curb your diet of any foods that are high in purines (an organic compound that boosts aroma). Sardines are extremely guilty of purine content so don’t pop that can top.
A healthy amount of sodium in your diet is necessary for healthy fluid levels. However, adding salt to your diet—via the salt shaker or processed foods—encourage water retention retaining water, meaning excess sodium isn’t flushed out of the body and the kidneys and blood pressure are put in jeopardy.
7. Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks (i.e., soda, energy drinks, and certain bottled juices) will heighten the risk of developing kidney stones and even put you at risk for kidney disease. As an alternative, if you can’t drink your water plain, use frozen berries, slices of citrus, or a splash of natural cranberry or pomegranate juice.
8. Some Leafy Greens
We’ve already discussed that kidney stones form due to a build-up of calcium oxalate. And those with a high level of the chemical compound in their urine are more prone to stones. That’s why it’s vital to stay clear of some leafy greens—such as spinach, okra, and Swiss chard.
9. Dairy Foods
We eat dairy products because they are high in calcium to build strong bones. However, for those prone to kidney stones, calcium is not a friend. In fact, it increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, making waste elimination more difficult and encouraging kidney stones to form.
10. Processed Foods
Most processed foods, like that bag of chips you’re eating, contain genetically modified ingredients—such as corn, soy, rice, and canola—to protect crops from pests resistance and herbicides. However, these products impair healthy kidney and liver function, encouraging kidney stones to form.