Kidney stones are an extremely common, and extremely painful, condition of the modern world. Diets are increasingly high in salt content. Most people don't get enough exercise, and many struggle with cholesterol and weight problems. What's more, the vast majority of people don't drink enough water. All of these factors contribute to an increased risk of forming kidney stones, a highly uncomfortable condition which could require surgery.
As usual, though, Apple Cider Vinegar has your back! Alongside its myriad benefits for weight loss, gut health, hygiene and general wellbeing, ACV has been shown to positively impact kidney stones. It also helps prevent their formation in the first place. Honestly, what's not to love?
Let's take a closer look at what kidney stones are and why they come about before we get started.
Kidney Stones: What Are They, and How Do They Form?
Kidney stones are solid deposits of crystallized minerals and salts, which develop in your kidneys and along your urinary tract due to a build-up of minerals in your urine. They're more likely to form when your urine is too concentrated to dissolve them. The stones can vary dramatically in size and might be composed of a variety of different minerals, including calcium oxalate, struvite, uric acid, and cystine.
Sadly, kidney stones are more likely to happen to you if you've had them before, or if they run in your family. Other than causing varying amounts of pain depending on their size and composition, they can cause nausea, fever and painful urination. They're definitely something you want to avoid!
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
Since kidney stones are more likely to form in concentrated urine, making sure you stay well hydrated is the best preventive strategy. It helps you pass the stones once they have formed, flushing the grit and deposits out through your urinary tract. Hydration also prevents those minerals that do crystallize from sticking together.
How can Apple Cider Vinegar Help?
Luckily, our trusty side-kick ACV is here to give our health a boost. It has a bunch of properties and benefits that give us the upper hand when combatting kidney stones! Let's be honest, ACV isn't the side-kick: it's the hero of this story.
Many of ACV's properties stem from its high acetic acid content. Regarding kidney stones, acetic acid helps to soften, break down and dissolve the pesky mineral deposits, reducing their size so they can easily be flushed out.
Acidic urine is more likely to result in kidney stones, so making urine more alkaline helps prevent their development and impede their growth. ACV has been shown to produce citrate in the urine, thereby shifting the pH balance towards alkalinity. It helps to create an environment less conducive to kidney stones.
How to Add ACV to You Diet
The most effective way of ingesting ACV when targetting the kidneys and urinary tract is to drink 2 tbsp diluted in 8 ounces of water, no more than once a day. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day as well!
ACV is also the perfect ingredient for delicious salad dressings, yummy teas and healthy smoothies, so there's no shortage of ways to add it to your diet! Capsules can also be an excellent alternative for people who really struggle with the taste.