Kidney stones are formed when the urine in the kidneys gets over saturated with the salts that cause stones and when the urine isn’t getting enough of the substances that prevent stones. One of the most important of these substances is citrate.
When you make lemon juice into a low sugar or even sugar-free drink, the lemon juice will help to increase the levels of citrate in your urine to the point where it is known to inhibit the growth of kidney stones.
Dr. Binod Sinha, with UCA Edison & Somerset, has found that lemonade can play an important role in fighting kidney stones over a long period of time. “Lemonade appears to be an effective weapon in fighting kidney stones in those that suffer from it regularly. It may also be a good idea for those that don’t get kidney stones to drink lemonade as a preventive measure. Plus, it is a refreshing way to get more fluids into your diet,” adds Dr. Sinha.
How Much Lemon Juice Should You Consume?
Two to four ounces of lemon juice offers plenty of citric acid and a variety of other nutrients and antioxidants, all of which may be helpful for supporting kidney health. Always consume lemon juice in its raw, natural form by juicing organic lemons yourself. Never purchase bottled lemon juice, as these products are usually pasteurized and stripped of their raw enzymes and vital nutrients.
Preventing Kidney Stones
Anyone who has had kidney stones should try to prevent a recurrence. Some general observations include:
The most important dietary recommendations for calcium stone risk are to increase fluid intake, restrict sodium, and reduce protein intake. Higher potassium intake can also lower the risk for calcium stones. “A high-calcium diet does not appear to increase the risk for kidney stones as long as it also contains plenty of fluids, dietary potassium (from foods like sweet potatoes and yogurt), and phosphate (such as fish and nuts),” explains Dr. Sinha. “Patients should try to correct any dietary habits that cause acidic or alkaline imbalances in the urine, which promote stone formation.”
Because different kidney stone types may require specific dietary changes, patients should work with their doctor to develop an individualized plan.