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Oxalic Acid?


oregonisaac
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Someone told me I need to watch how much kale I am eating because of oxalic acid. I eat around 1/2 to a whole bunch of kale almost every day, big kale salads, smoothies, etc...

 

Anyone done the homework on oxalic acid?

 

From my cursory search it looks like it might be depleting me of important stuff, which I maybe should get some blood work done to confirm, since I have been wanting to do that anyway.

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how do you prepare kale?

 

i don't know if you make it ths way bt anyway, usually you throw the first water when you are "softening" kale before you cook them.

but you see, i don't know how this goes for steaming, i guess it probably flushshes in the water beneath

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go here:

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Other/oxalic.html

 

kale seems to have a relatively low level of OA compared to other foods (spinach and collard have way more!). that amaranth at the top of the list... i wonder if that's the leafy greens part or the seed/grain... i don't like the greens but i eat the seeds a lot.......

 

 

 

just curious... what nutrients did this friend say you would be depleting?

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The link that I found shows the foods that are high, moderate, and low in oxalic acid.

 

http://patienteducation.upmc.com/Pdf/LowOxalateDiet.pdf

 

It stems from the fact that oxalate binds to calcium and forms a big molecule that has a hard time passing through the kidneys when it forms a big enough stone. Seems to me that if you just keep in mind moderation in all things, then you should be alright. Kale is wonderful, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Moderation and Variety is the way to go.

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The link that I found shows the foods that are high, moderate, and low in oxalic acid.

 

http://patienteducation.upmc.com/Pdf/LowOxalateDiet.pdf

 

It stems from the fact that oxalate binds to calcium and forms a big molecule that has a hard time passing through the kidneys when it forms a big enough stone. Seems to me that if you just keep in mind moderation in all things, then you should be alright. Kale is wonderful, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Moderation and Variety is the way to go.

 

Not the kidneys, that's not where nutrients are absorbed. It binds nutrients, calcium and others, and they're then not absorbed into the enterocytes of the small intestine. But, as previously noted, it generally wouldn't be to the extent that it's going to cause nutrient deficiency assuming you eat an overall balanced diet.

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More info from Wikipedia:

 

Oxalate is an excellent ligand for metal ions, where it usually binds as a bidentate ligand forming a 5-membered MO2C2 ring. An illustrative complex is [Fe(C2O4)3]3-. The affinity of divalent metal ions is sometimes reflected in their tendency to form insoluble precipitates. Thus, oxalic acid also combines with metals such as calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium, and potassium in the body to form crystals of the corresponding oxalates, which irritate the gut and kidneys. Because it binds vital nutrients such as calcium, long-term consumption of foods high in oxalic acid can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Healthy individuals can safely consume such foods in moderation, but those with kidney disorders, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or certain forms of chronic vulvar pain (vulvodynia) are typically advised to avoid foods high in oxalic acid or oxalates. Conversely, calcium supplements taken along with foods high in oxalic acid can cause oxalic acid to precipitate in the gut and drastically reduce the levels of oxalate absorbed by the body (by 97% in some cases.)[3][4] The calcium oxalate precipitate (better known as kidney stones) obstruct the kidney tubules.

 

Wikipedia also states that unused Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can also cause kidney stones. And kidney stones are 80 % from oxalic acids. I know of two people who have this problem, mind you they are omnivores, and it very painful. Prevention is the key.

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i remember this stuff now!!! my mom and grandma have had multiple kidney stones. it runs in the family and has more to do with some genetic problem with calcium than with diet.

 

nonetheless, my mom's doctor told her to cut as much oxalates out as possible. one interesting thing i remember was that he told her that soy protein was a really bad oxaltes producer. he told her to eat more lettuce and less spinach. i see from the charts gaia found that all those are on the avoid list.

 

anyway, i think the best bet is to not eat a restrictive diet or a repetitive diet (ie, same thing every day). most vegans eat variety anyway, so this is not something to worry about.... but then again, if you're eating tons of kale every day...

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I use to think that if one thing is good for you, then alot of it would be really great for you. I have learned that moderation is the key, and variety is the spice for life. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

 

Your message applies to me, thank you for sharing your experience. I need to take this message to heart on my new diet (...he said while making himself a mixing bowl sized kale salad with avocado, dulse and tomato...)

 

Next time spinach and maybe I will try lettuce again, it has been months since I have ate any lettuce...seems so unsubstantial.

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Spinach has a lot of oxalic acid in it. I really do not think it is a big deal, I ate things with it, and got about 10 blood tests during that course of time...good levels of everything. I think you'll be fine with mixing bowl size salad of kale. Moderation is good though, I won't disagree!

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I would also suggest looking at the grocery's produce aisle again for different lettuces. Try a really dark romaine lettuce (not the hearts that are so white and bland looking), or a small head of a red leaf one, or any of the other Mixed Green salad mixes (I love arugula, raddichio, curly endive, and my favorite is frisbee!). Of course I will suggest to get the organic ones over the conventional ones if they are available .

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And another note on branching out, don't forget about sprouts! They pack more nutrients, especially protein, than regular greens! Bighead's comment about horseradish and hot mustard tasting greens brought a memory of my radish sprouts that I had on my sandwich yesterday! Spicy! Of course you can't really make a meal of sprouts, but they add a little texture to whatever you are eating.

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