Drinking water has many more advantages than people first imagine, one of which is in fighting against the risk of a kidney stone. If you drink water regularly, you’ll reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. And as anyone who’s ever suffered with one of these painful pebbles will tell you, that’s certainly a good thing. Although the exact causes of kidney stones vary, they’re always made of similar stuff – build ups of calcium, ammonia, uric acid or cysteine. Many people will be glad to know that they can count things such as tea, coffee or juice towards their water intake, but it is always best to make sure you have plenty of pure, clear water too. Apologies to the squeamish, but it’s well worth checking your urine to see whether you’re consuming enough water. Usually your urine will be clearer if you’ve been drinking plenty of fluids, but the darker it is, the more concentrated it is. As well as drinking water, it’s important to keep on top of your diet. In some instances a kidney stone may be caused by an excess of calcium. It is usually recommended therefore to cut down the amount of oxalates in your diet – as oxalates can bond with calcium and cause the stones to form. There is a variety of foods that contain a high level of oxalates, including asparagus, berries, chocolate, nuts – such as almonds, peanuts and cashews – and beetroot amongst others. Too much oxalate can prevent calcium being absorbed by your body, so if you eat a whole lot of these foods, you might want to think about cutting down. Uric acid stones, on the other hand, can be aggravated by meat, poultry and fish. So if you’re a committed carnivore, you should consider eating a more balanced diet, or risk developing uric acid stones. Drinking plenty of water will always be the first recommendation when it comes to avoiding kidney stones though, so always have a cup to hand while you’re at work.
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