Imagine yourself having a normal day when suddenly an unbearable pain begins in your lower abdomen, as if you have been shot or stabbed. You suddenly find yourself in an emergency ward unable to move from the excruciating agony. Your body cold sweats profusely as you writhe awaiting diagnosis. The medics imbue you with strong painkillers through an intravenous drip, as you are run through a CAT scan. You are horrified after they tell you to wait out many more hours because you have an object that has to upsettingly pass through your urinary tract.

If you or someone you love ever go through the hospitalization required to address the misery and bodily damage of kidney stones you’ll learn that what you eat affects the probability of a repeat occurrence. Both the National Kidney Foundation and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommend a diet which significantly reduces the consumption of animal proteins. According to these sources, particular amino acids, such as purines, break down into uric acid or overwhelm the body with protein derivatives such as the salt known as citrate.

Plant Based Relief

Oh the pain

Families and friends that suffer through kidney stone experiences may unnecessarily worry about protein deficiency as they change their eating habits. Anyone who might have otherwise subscribed to animal dependent meals, such as those on a paleo diet, may be especially shocked to hear doctors recommend meals that resemble those for diabetic diets, favoring plant-based proteins. You may wonder how such a change will affect your overall health.

Truly few people know nutrition well enough. Everyone may have general notions about ways to remain healthy, or theories on how to lose weight fast safely, but rarely does each person study exactly how food works to make the body function. Most of your friends and families probably only have a folk knowledge about healthy meals based on tradition rather than science. Worse yet, some may steer you towards incorrect choices, such as marketed weight loss programs that start a dash diet leading to cycles of malnutrition.

When it comes to protein, it is important to understand that there are nine essential amino acids humans require to thrive. All of those vital proteins for human health are available through plants. In fact the American Diabetes Association, as well as the National Kidney Disease Education Program point out high protein plant foods such as lentils, beans and soy-based foods such as tofu, or tempeh (all of which can be gluten-free). Grains, nuts and meat alternatives made from grains, such as seitan, are additional options. More importantly, a diet that increases the range and amount of plant-based meals, has additional benefits touted by American Cancer Society and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Of course, beyond self-education, eating right to manage bodily challenges requires embracing a lifestyle change and a consistency in making the best choices. Changing meal patterns requires some research and practice with recipes that are as delicious as they are healthy. As with any diet, ask your doctor to refer you to a nutritionist who can guide the path to health and suggest resources. Seek out groceries stores and markets stocked with plenty of those items and restaurants that offer vegan meals, drinks and even desserts with a wide range of healthy choices. Rest assured as you peruse all the wonderful and delicious alternatives that protein is an easy item to obtain from your plant-rich meals.

Choices Cafe offers foods that are 100% plant based, organic and are made up of complete proteins – some examples are: quinoa, smoothies with hemp, lentils (in our lentil meat) smoothies with chia, and Ezekiel bread. A lot of our wraps / salads contain many of these delicious organic ingredients. Find a location here.

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