Are There Any Vegetables That Can Cause Kidney Stones And Need to Be Avoided?
Vegetables are a great way to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation but it may be astonishing to learn that certain vegetables that are generally considered healthy could lead to new stone formation. Some vegetables contain certain chemicals or compounds that can influence the production of kidney stones, particularly if a person regularly eats them in high amounts. The risk of kidney stones can be reduced by avoiding or limiting the intake of these vegetables. kidney stone diet includes eating vegetables that help to prevent the formation of kidney stones and avoiding vegetables that can increase the chance of forming stones.
Who should avoid vegetables that can cause kidney stones?
Every person is different and individual needs, choices, and dietary requirements will vary. Similarly, not everyone who wants to prevent kidney stones has to avoid some vegetables. A predisposition to kidney stones may require decreasing the number of certain vegetables consumed daily or opt for other vegetables with similar health benefits. People with risk factors such as obesity, digestive diseases, and those who eat high-sodium diets may be more susceptible to kidney stones. An earlier history of kidney stones or high-risk conditions are the factors to consider whether or not to remove some vegetables from the diet entirely.
Because kidney stones vary according to the minerals they contain, the choice of vegetables to eat or to avoid will also vary. Limiting the intake of vegetables with high oxalate content may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate stones which is the more common type of kidney stone. Stones can also form from uric acid, which is a byproduct of protein metabolism. In such cases of second-leading uric acid stones, a diet plan that has mostly vegetables, fruits, and plant-based proteins is recommended. There are no specific vegetables that can cause uric acid stones.
How can vegetables cause kidney stones?
Oxalic acid, commonly known as oxalates are compounds that naturally occur in plants and humans. These plant-based oxalates are consumed through a normal daily diet as well as produced as waste by the body. Oxalates are not a required nutrient for people, and too much can lead to kidney stones. The body has the ability to naturally expel oxalic acid without issue except in individuals who might have a genetic predisposition that does not allow the body from processing the acid, resulting in kidney stones.
Oxalates can increase the risk of kidney stones in some people as they tend to bind with calcium in the kidneys when they leave the body. When urine contains higher levels of calcium and oxalate than it can dilute, those calcium and oxalate crystals bind together and form into hard masses called kidney stones. The only way to get rid of them from the body is to “pass” the stones through urination.
Be aware of vegetables rich in oxalates
People should become familiar with vegetables that have high oxalate content as they form a major part of the diet and trying to limit their amount in the diet can give good results in avoiding kidney stone formation. Vegetables like leafy greens and roots which are high in oxalates are also rich in many nutrients that are beneficial to general health.
Many high oxalate foods that we eat are from plants because, in plants, the role of oxalate is to help get rid of extra calcium by binding with it. When it comes to kidney stones, some vegetables are better than others. vegetables like gourds, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, cabbage, and lettuce are considered good to prevent kidney stones. In a normal Indian diet, the three commonly consumed vegetables with high oxalate content are:
Spinach – contains from 600 to 750 mg of oxalates per 100 gm serving which is very high. The green leafy vegetable, either in the raw or cooked form contains high oxalates. It is advisable to opt for other foods with similar health benefits or limit the intake to small quantities infrequently.
Beetroot – contains about 500 to 650 mg of oxalates per every 100 gm serving. They increase urinary oxalate excretion. Beetroot greens, powders, juices, pickles, salads and other dishes are to be restricted in everyday diet. Boiled beetroot is said to have lesser amounts of oxalates.
Lady’s finger/Okra – contains around 140 mg of oxalates in a single serving of 100 gm and that is moderately high. When eaten on a daily basis in big portions can lead to kidney stone formation.
Take away on vegetables that can cause kidney stones:
- Though it is observed that the benefits of nutrient-dense, high-oxalate foods taken the right way can outweigh their risks in some people, foods with high oxalate content can be substituted with other ingredients or supplemented. Alternatively, people can combine them with foods that contain high amounts of calcium.
- Other vegetables high in oxalates such as Parsley, Kale, Chard, and Rhubarb, though not a part of the Indian cuisine, have entered the Indian diet. So, keeping them away from regular consumption can help to stay free of kidney stones.
- Vegetables such as potatoes when consumed in the form of chips or other vegetables as pickles, they are high in sodium that can contribute to another way of causing kidney stones. It is not just choosing the right vegetables but also the right way of consuming the vegetables that helps preventing kidney stones.
- Some vegetables also contain potassium, phosphorous, and sodium in high amounts. Consumption of excess amounts of such minerals can make it difficult for kidneys from being able to remove the excess from the body. This will cause high levels of these minerals to exist in blood, causing kidneys to be not able to properly filter out protein waste products, leading to other types of kidney stones.
kidney stone prevention is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is recommended that if there is a possibility or high risk for kidney stone formation, work with the doctor to control all risk factors. It is important to balance basic nutrition needs when limiting oxalate foods including vegetables. Right treatment with medications, adequate hydration, and a suitable diet can help to prevent a future kidney stone.