- Sophia Kamveris, MS, RD
Got Kidney Stones? Get Lemon Juice!
Urinary pH is a recognized risk factor for developing kidney stones from calcium oxalate. Small stones can pass easily but those larger than 6 milliliters tend to block ducts, causing excruciating pain and often require medical intervention. Dehydration can contribute to the build up of oxalates and hence, to the formation of stones, so drink plenty of water. And minimize caffeinated beverages, like colas, tea, and coffee as they help to remove fluids from the body.
Changing the pH of your urine also helps to reduce the risk of stones. Acidic foods actually make the urine more alkaline and help to keep stones at bay. So, if you are prone to kidney stones, squeeze half a lemon into 8 ounces of water every time you have one of your estimated glasses of water you drink a day (general recommendation is to drink half your body weight! Example: If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of fluids).
Remember, although acidic in taste, lemons leave an alkalizing ash in your body, helping to neutralize the excess acids. Also, watch your consumption of meat, fish and poultry, as these are the primary contributors to making the urine’s pH more acidic.