The wisdom of the drinking green smoothies has been attacked.
Many of us, in an effort to get healthy or alkalinize, consume green smoothies regularly, while people who suffer from calcium-oxalate kidney stones are now afraid of eating green smoothies or greens because they’ve heard of dangers of getting too much oxalic acid.
Naturally I had to figure out if there was any truth to this for the greater majority of people, and what I found out was surprising.
Best thing is that I found out there are 7 low to very-low oxalate greens which I will share with you in a minute!
After hours of reading and comparing scientific findings pro and con, I’ve formed my opinion.
A Few Problems For the Very Few
When combined with calcium, oxalic acid produces calcium oxalate, which may form kidney and other types of stones. This occurs because calcium oxalate is relatively insoluble, so in some people it combines and hardens instead of harmlessly excreting as a waste product.
Individuals with kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or vulvodynia – a condition causing vagina pain linked to oxalate deposits – are advised to restrict foods high in oxalic acid or oxalates.
I kept researching…and this is what I discovered…
The Murky Middle Ground
- Oxalic acid occurs naturally in plants, animals, and in humans.
- Less than 1% of people ever get kidney stones, but those people really do suffer. They occur when crystalline masses form in the urine, and in 80 percent, those crystals are based on oxalate combined with calcium. Most of the folk I’ve known had them 50 years before green smoothies were even a thing and ate bacon and eggs, grits and fried potatoes most of their lives.
- If you had to really avoid oxalic acid that would be difficult. Foods high in oxalate (100–900 mg per serving) are:
- wheat bran,
- black pepper,
- beet greens,
- Swiss chard,
- cocoa powder,
- sweet potatoes,
- peanuts (and PB),
- cooked green beans,
- turnip greens,
- most nuts,
- most berries (strawberries),
- and dried beans
- Oxalic acid is only reduced 30-87% by steaming, cooking, or wilting the leaves of any of these vegetables for 5 to 8 minutes. Seems it won’t go away and is there for a reason? If worried, dump the leftover water, because oxalic acid leaches out of the leaves and into the surrounding liquid. (PubMed)
Let Wisdom Rule -New Findings:
1. Recently, it was thought that tea – due to its high oxalate content – increased kidney stone formation, but new research has shown it to have a preventive effect. It seems that green tea binds to calcium oxalate, creating flat crystals that break down more easily than other shapes.
2. All the foods high in antioxidants are also high in oxalic acid. Avoiding them is not necessary for most people and would be unwise.
- When cancer is diagnosed there is always a low level of oxalic acid in the blood.
- Every alternative cancer cure that is successful is filled with foods, herbs, grasses, and teas (such as Essiac tea) that are full of high amounts of oxalic acid.
- When radiation is given for cancer patients as a “just in case”, the number, time and power of each treatment will determine how completely oxalic acid in the blood is decomposed. The decomposition of the oxalic acid in the blood by radiation may so weaken the immune system so that one cannot fight off any viral or bacterial disease. Therefore, it is understandable that many cancer patients die from cancer related to viral pneumonia.” (source)
4. Oxalic acid is important for colon health. When we do not get enough from our diet, the body makes it from Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
5. Leafy greens are the backbone for any continuous full-body detox or cleanse. They are alkalizing, and an alkaline body is better at battling bad bacteria, yeast and keeping cravings at bay.
6. Parsley and cilantro (coriander) bind heavy metals like mercury so they can be extracted from your body. They are also alkalizing and full of chlorophyll.
7. While spinach may not give you superhuman strength to fight like Popeye, spinach does an excellent job fighting anemia. Cooking increases its iron content.
Even if you could avoid these foods you would not want to!
7 Greens With Low Oxalic Acid – So Have Your Green Smoothies!
Not all green leafy vegetables are high in oxalates.
There are a number of green vegetables that are lower in oxalates according to the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and may be subbed to a green smoothie without fear. They include:
- Kale (read about it)
- Romaine lettuce
- Bok choy
- Mild low-oxalate Romaine lettuce and bok choy are super-packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber
- Highly nutritious kale is perfect for a green smoothie with only 2% of the oxalic acid content of an equal serving of spinach
God created our bodies to heal themselves when we take advantage of the whole foods He gave us as gifts. The key is the word ‘whole’!
The Bible tells us that true medicine is in leaves. The common name used for medicinal leaves is herbs. Ps.104:14 says that He has given us “herbs for the service of man”.
“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” ~Genesis 1:29
Those desiring to stay healthy do not need to stop our routine green smoothie or avoid dark leafy greens just because they are high in oxalates. The vast majority of credentialed scientists and health experts agree unless foods high in oxalates are consumed to excess.
For those who do truly need to reduce oxalates, here is a great FB group to follow.
I would love to hear your thoughts pro or con.
Thanks for reading!