As anyone who has ever dealt with kidney stones can tell you, they are one of the most painful conditions a person can endure. Unfortunately, most of the time you have to simply wait for them to pass through your system — which can be absolutely agonizing. People have even been known to faint from the level of pain the ailment inflicts.
That’s why it’s so important to stop them from developing before they can wreak havoc on your insides. Most people know that drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding a lot of sodium in your diet can help, but a September 2018 report from the New York Times by Richard Klasco, MD, uncovered another surprising way to ward off kidney stones: calcium. Dr. Klasco offered his explanation in response to a kidney-stone-prone reader who wondered about certain foods they should avoid. Instead of taking specific products out of rotation, though, Klasco recommended adding more food with calcium to his diet instead.
It might sound like bad advice if you’ve ever had a doctor tell you the exact opposite when dealing with the unpleasant issue. Because the stones actually contain calcium, physicians previously advised patients to minimize the amount they consumed — but Klasco claims that’s just plain wrong. He backed it up with research published by the Harvard School of Public Health in 1993. The study observed over 45,000 individuals and checked back in on them after 14 years. Researchers found that those who consumed more calcium-rich foods were less likely to develop kidney stones.
With that in mind, Klasco recommends having 1,000 to 1,2000 milligrams of calcium each day to help protect yourself against kidney stones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation provides a handy list of calcium content in the food we eat every day — and you might be surprised by more than a few of the items that give you a boost of calcium. Take a look below to see some of the best calcium-rich food options you should add to your grocery list!