Most of us are familiar with the term “nutrient.” But how many of you have heard of anti-nutrients? These compounds found in numerous foods and drinks inhibit the absorption of certain minerals. One particular anti-nutrient stands out from the rest and can cause kidney stones.
Read on to learn more about it.
Oxalate is an anti-nutrient present in many foods and drinks, including soda and coffee. It binds to calcium in different parts of our digestive tract. This prevents our bodies from getting the necessary minerals and can cause various health problems. Typically, our bodies eliminate oxalate through stools or urine. However, this isn’t the case for sensitive people or those consuming high amounts of oxalate.
When oxalate binds to calcium in our urinary tract, it can form crystals that lead to kidney stones. This is especially the case if there’s a high amount of oxalate and a low amount of urine.
Research shows that over 80% of kidney stones are caused by calcium oxalate. For this reason, people that have experienced episodes of kidney stones are often advised to reduce the intake of oxalate.
While oxalate is present in soda and coffee, it can also be found in fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens, legumes, beans, and oranges also contain this anti-nutrient. Before you stop eating fruits and veggies, keep in mind that small amounts of oxalate won’t affect your kidneys. But if you’ve had kidney problems before, consult your doctor regarding your diet.
Eat Kidney-Friendly Foods
While some foods may jeopardize the health of your kidneys, others can improve it. Besides staying hydrated, try consuming more calcium-rich foods and less animal protein and salt. You can also ask your doctor about preventive medications if you’re prone to kidney stones.