There is no specific diet which can cause or cure gallstones. Nobody has come up with a menu which can help in getting rid of gallstones but since gallstones are generally made up of cholesterol (and sometimes bilirubin), eating a healthy diet certainly helps in easing off the symptoms. People who are at the risk of developing gallstones can also benefit by eating right kind of foods, as it can lead to prevention of gallstone formation.
While it is important to maintain a healthy weight for your gallbladder health, never try to lose weight through crash diets because when there is sudden weight loss, liver releases more cholesterol in the bile, disturbing the healthy balance of bile and cholesterol salts in the bladder.
Suitable Diet For Gallstones
Drink Adequate Water
Water plays a very important role. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water each day will ensure fluidity of bile in the gallbladder. When bile stays fluid, chances of stone formation decrease significantly. Water also helps you digest and absorb fats without any trouble.
Eat Nuts As Snacks
Eating a serving of nuts, 4-5 days a week can help you lower your risk of developing gallbladder. Make sure that nuts are unsalted and unsweetened. You can mix a variety of nuts like almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, pine nuts, etc.
Here, peanuts deserve special mention because in some studies, women who ate one serving of peanuts regularly, had 20% less chances of gallbladder removal as compared to those who rarely ate peanuts.
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Fiber Rich Foods
Fiber helps in preventing gallstones, as it gets bound with the food cholesterol and bile, causing them to get excreted from the body.
Out of the two forms of fiber – soluble and insoluble fiber, insoluble fiber, found in wheat bran, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, etc. is more useful for gallbladder stones. Aim to eat 6-7 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.
Avoid Saturated Fat And Cholesterol Rich Foods
Since cholesterol and bilirubin are responsible for most of the gallbladder stone formation, cutting down on consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol rich foods can help in changing the composition of bile. Choosing healthy fats for cooking food, like olive oil, canola oil also help in preventing gallstone formation.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Lack of vitamin C has been associated with gallstone formation in the body because vitamin C helps in synthesizing bile. When the body lacks vitamin C, bile begins to get high in cholesterol, making it prone for stone formation.
Adding two vitamin C rich foods in daily diet can help in easing the symptoms or preventing stone formation. Examples include cauliflower, red tomatoes, kiwi, grapefruit, mango, cantaloupe, etc.
Calcium And Magnesium Rich Foods
Calcium and magnesium act like fiber in the body, so far as gallbladder is concerned. These two minerals bind with bile and help it in removing from the body. Magnesium rich foods include chickpeas, kidney beans, sunflower seeds, spinach, etc. Sources of calcium rich foods are dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach, broccoli, almonds, soybeans, tofu, etc.