Is Banana Good for Kidney Stones?

Reviewed on 5/6/2021
banana health benefits
Bananas may be a particularly helpful remedy against kidney stones

Bananas may be a particularly helpful remedy against kidney stones, as they are rich in potassium, vitamin B6 and magnesium and low in oxalates. Studies have shown that consuming a banana per day can help reduce the likelihood of developing kidney problems.

Potassium

Potassium plays a crucial role in managing the amount of calcium excreted out of the body. If you excrete large amounts of calcium, excess oxalate may be left in the body and increases your chances of developing calcium oxalate kidney stones. The high potassium content in bananas can therefore help prevent kidney stones by balancing the calcium and oxalate content in your body. Potassium can also help balance the acidity of your urine.

Vitamin B6

Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, which helps in increasing red blood cell production as well as removing unwanted chemical compounds from your liver and kidneys.

Magnesium

The magnesium in the banana stem is also good for your kidneys. Magnesium combines readily with the oxalates in foods we consume and prevents the growth of calcium oxalate crystals.

What other fruits are good for preventing kidney stones?

Besides bananas, other foods that are low in oxalates and can be good for kidney stones include:

  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Melons
  • Pineapples
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Avocados
  • Mangoes
  • Apricots
  • Persimmons
  • Plums
  • Kiwis
  • Melons
  • Watermelons

What diet should you follow if you have kidney stones?

Following a healthy diet plan that can be helpful in preventing or managing calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones.

  • Drink lots of fluids, especially water.
  • Eat foods that are low in oxalates.
  • Maintain a low-fat diet. Avoid fatty foods, such as ice cream, fried foods and rich salad dressings.
  • Reduce salt intake. Chinese and Mexican food, tomato juice, regular canned foods and processed foods are often high in sodium.
  • Have only 2-3 servings a day of foods rich in calcium, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, oysters and tofu.
  • Limit your protein intake and try to not to eat more than 3 ounces of meat at each meal. Choose lean meats.
  • Restrict the intake of high-oxalate foods:
    • Fruits: Rhubarb, currants, canned fruit salad, strawberries and concord grapes
    • Vegetables: Beets, leeks, summer squash, sweet potatoes, spinach and tomato soup
    • Drinks: Tea and instant coffee
    • Other foods: Grits, tofu, nuts and chocolate
  • Avoid the following:
    • Alcohol
    • Anchovies
    • Asparagus
    • Baking or brewer's yeast
    • Cauliflower
    • Consommé
    • Gravy
    • Herring
    • Legumes (dried beans and peas)
    • Mushrooms
    • Oils
    • Organ meats (liver, kidney and sweetbreads)
    • Sardines
    • Spinach
  • Stop drinking sodas because they are often high in phosphate, which promotes the formation of kidney stones. It’s also important to reduce your sugar intake.

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References
WebMD. Kidney Stone Prevention. https://www.webmd.com/kidney-stones/understanding-kidney-stones-prevention

Ferraro PM, Mandel EI, Curhan GC, Gambaro G, Taylor EN. Dietary Protein and Potassium, Diet-Dependent Net Acid Load, and Risk of Incident Kidney Stones. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016;11(10):1834-1844. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5053786/

Medline Plus. Kidney Stones - Self-Care. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000135.htm

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