Do Spinach and Tomatoes Cause Kidney Stones?

Many of us believe that taking food containing spinach and tomatoes cause kidney stones. But this is not completely true. Half knowledge is always dangerous. It is important to know whether it is only our belief or it is a fact. This article helps you clear all the doubts regarding this issue.

What are kidney stones?
Stones in the kidney will form when there are high levels of calcium, oxalate and phosphorus accumulations in the urine. These accumulations block the urinary tract leading to pain.

There are different types of stones like calcium stones, uric acid stones, struvite stones and cystine stones. Of them, calcium stones are the most common type. There are two forms of calcium stones – calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. Of them, calcium oxalate stones are more common.

Myth: Spinach and tomatoes together cause stones in kidneys
Fact: It is proven that having these two foods together has no effect on inducing stone formation directly, but they can increase the chances of occurrence of stones in patients who already suffer from stones.

Both spinach and tomatoes are rich in oxalate, which when combined with calcium forms calcium oxalate stones. They cannot be avoided completely from diet, but uptake is restricted, especially in case of individuals already having stones.

For regular people, there is no need to worry because our body gets only 10% oxalate from diet and remaining 90% is synthesized by our body itself. Every 100gm spinach gives only 0.97gm of oxalate/oxalic acid and every 100gms of tomatoes give 0.05gm.

So, for regular people better to check the portion size instead of completely avoiding them. Even doctors suggest the same. Avoiding leafy vegetables especially spinach is not a right option because it has high nutritional value which promotes vision and good health etc.

Tips to prevent the formation of calcium stones
With some lifestyle changes, we can prevent kidney stones from occuring.

  • Drink plenty of water – The main reason for formation of stones is urine getting highly concentrated. Drinking plenty of water, approx.3-5 litres per day, dilutes urine, and removes stones if their size is small.
  • Take diet rich in magnesium – Magnesium has a key role in the preventing the extraction of calcium from bones. Calcium has the ability to combine with oxalate forming stones. Since organic calcium (bone calcium), and not the dietary calcium, contributes to stones, taking diet rich is magnesium prevents the formation of stones. Foods like almonds, pumpkin, sesame, nuts have high amounts of magnesium.
  • Do not take high sugar foods – Foods such as chocolates, sugar, beverages containing soda should be avoided as they decrease the ability of magnesium absorption. Consuming these foods have recorded occurrence of stones in children.
  • Avoid sitting at one place constantly – People, especially in sitting jobs, have a habit of sitting at one place for long time. In those people, there is chance of rise in blood pressure, which is one of the reasons for stone formation in kidneys.

Tags: , ,

9 comments on “Do Spinach and Tomatoes Cause Kidney Stones?”

  1. This article very helpful to who are having this problem. You have given suggestions also.

    Good Job.

  2. Prasanna Lakshmi says:

    Useful information, very interesting.

  3. arun kumar says:

    Very informative, thanks.

  4. Simple straight and informative,keep posting good productive information.

  5. Ayesha Firdous says:

    I had this myth and always said no to the combination of Tomato and spinach. It’s a very good info and caution for people who has formation of calcium oxalate stones.


  6. Useful information

  7. Nice article, well explained. Thank you.

  8. S Gopal Rao says:

    Very detailed useful information.

  9. Sreedevi says:

    Useful information. Thanks