The Best Juices for Preventing Kidney Stones

Lemons
A close-up of lemons for sale at a market. (Image: Merih Unal Ozmen/iStock/Getty Images)

There are several types of kidney stones, and all are the result of waste material that deposits in the kidneys because it was unable to be properly excreted. Several fruit juices contain compounds that help dissolve kidney stones or prevent them from forming in the first place. Before using fruit juices and other foods for the treatment of kidney stones and renal dysfunction, consult your health practitioner.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice helps to dissolve kidney stones, especially those formed by the deposit of uric acid, says Dr. Roger Sur of the University of California San Diego Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center. Lemons contain citrate, which inhibits the growth of kidney stones, says Sur. Additionally, lemons are high in potassium, which plays a role in kidney function and contributes toward alkalizing the urine, according to "The pH Miracle." Uric acid has a tough time forming crystals and deposits in alkaline urine and can be more easily excreted naturally. Sur recommends lemonade therapy to protect against stone formation. He suggests drinking 4 oz. reconstituted lemon juice mixed in 2 liters of water daily. Freshly squeezed lemon juice would probably have the same effect with the additional benefit of providing the largest amount of citrate and potassium because it is not manufactured, but in its natural state.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice has been long used for the treatment of urinary tract problems and is now shown to be protective against the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones, according to the "British Journal of Urology." Calcium oxalate is the most common type of kidney stone, according to Sur, and the development of these stones is related to high salt consumption in the diet. The combination of reducing your salt intake and drinking cranberry juice may provide relief, not only dissolving existing stones but preventing the formation of new oxalate stones. Use only unsweetened cranberry concentrate and mix 1 cup of the juice with 3 cups water. The juice is very tart and can be sweetened with honey or stevia. Drink the entire quantity of juice daily, throughout the day, recommends the "British Journal of Urology."

Tart Cherry Juice

Cherries and cherry juice relieve gout, which is cause by uric acid crystals in the joints; the same uric acid that can cause kidney stones. Tart cherry juice is high in potassium, antioxidants and anthocyanins, chemicals that prevent uric acid from forming into crystals, according to Dr. Theodore Baroody in "Alkalize or Die." The potassium in cherry juice works like it does in lemonade, keeping the urine more alkaline with a higher pH, says Baroody. He recommends drinking an 8 oz. glass of tart cherry juice diluted with the same amount of water daily to protect the kidneys.

Considerations and Precautions

All three juices can be added to your routine and alternated to obtain the best benefits. For best results, use organic juices to avoid pesticides and chemicals. Filtered water is also an excellent choice for mixing with your juices to avoid chemicals added to tap water. Avoid artificial sweeteners, which may produce side effects in some people who are sensitive. If you have even mild kidney disease, be sure to consult your health practitioner before using any of these juices to ensure they will be right for your condition. If you develop pain, blood in the urine or other related symptoms, stop the juice therapy and seek medical assistance immediately.

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