Did you know southerners are 50 percent MORE likely to have kidney stones than any other part of the country? True story.
One of those reasons can be traced to high consumption of tea. I know, y'all - the drink of the American south is sweet tea - and growing up, I had plenty of tea, both iced and hot (I grew up near the Mason-Dixon line, it's colder there, folks!)
Iced tea was my favorite companion during my summers sitting on the front porch reading mysteries as a pre-teen and I cannot seem to go anywhere for lunch without ordering mine 'half-and-half' (half sweet/half unsweetened).
If you, or members of your family, are prone to kidney stones, however, you might want to start squeezing lemons, but I'll get to that in a moment.
In addition to 2021 giving me more metaphorical lemons than I could possibly ever find helpful, from the passing of my only aunt who lived a few hours north, and handling her medical and estate issues, the sudden and on-going 24/7 care of my sweet mother since the time of my aunt's passing, and - my own surgery for a stag horn kidney stone and her "babies" - 2021 seems to be on an exceptionally aggressive streak.
My kidney stone was found unexpectedly due to some unrelated sciatica issues and an X-ray that revealed the one-inch squatter. The procedure performed on me is called Percutaneous nephrolithotomy, a genuine surgery - not arthroscopic - with three days in the hospital and a recovery which required help for nearly two weeks I, finally, felt somewhat normal by week four.
So, what does all this have to do with lemons? Lemons contain a high amount of citrate (not to be confused with Vitamin C) which helps to break down the oxalate, a compound found in food that actually causes the formation of kidney stones in some individuals. Drinking lemon in water, or as lemonade, helps to discourage the formation of stones, so this is the time to squeeze as many lemons as possible.
Southerners, if you or family members maybe subject to growing kidney stones, you're not going to be giddy about this list of foods that should be avoided:
- Tea leaves (even green and caffeine-free)
- pecans (can you believe it?),
- white corn grits (say it isn't so!)
- collard and other dark leafy greens, like spinach
The list of kidney stone causing foods is longer than this - and, frankly, a little depressing to the typical southern palate. On the bright side - these sweet, tangy, juicy lemons are here to help you get through it!
I'm not sure if my lemon drop martinis or lemon pound cake is at all helpful, but I think it's going to make up for all the amazing foods I have to eliminate or reduce - and I so love my fresh spinach salads!
So, cheers to what might be your new summer sip - lemonade, y'all!
DISCLAIMER: This blog post should not be considered medical advice, nor should it substitute for the consultation with your physician. The information written about herein is no guarantee against kidney stones, but is based on the guidance on the writer's personal physician and research. Magnolia Blue, nor the writer, is responsible for personal medical actions/decisions by individual readers. We wish you, always, good healthy living in southern coastal style!