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Source:  http://www.healthyonraw.com/should-we-eat-greens-high-in-oxalic-acid/

One question I often get asked is whether we should avoid leafy green vegetables, and other natural foods, which are high in oxalic acid.

Problems with oxalates in the body are two-fold: first, the restriction of mineral availability, hence depriving the body of essential minerals and second, the potential to form kidney stones in susceptible individuals.

In this article I’m going to elucidate what oxalic acid is, what foods contain oxalic acid, whether we should eat foods high in oxalates if health issues occur from consuming greens high in oxalic acid, and what quantities are optimum for health.

What is oxalic acid?

Oxalic acid is a colorless, organic compound that occurs naturally in plants, animals and in humans. It is made by the human body from other substances such as vitamin C. It can also be ingested from food and readily combines with calcium, which is why some people have concerns. Likewise, our bodies convert many of the things we consume into oxalates. Organic oxalic acid is an important – even essential – element to stimulate and maintain the peristaltic motion in our bodies, so it is not all bad.

What foods contain oxalic acid?

Oxalic acid is found in greens of the Amaranthaceae family such as spinach, Swiss chard, beet tops, lambs quarters and amaranth plus sorrel, parsley, purslane and rhubarb. It imparts a sharp taste to beet greens and chard that is felt in the throat. Oxalic acid generally increases as foods mature, producing increasingly bitter vegetables. Young, fresh vegetables such as baby spinach are less likely to have oxalic acid.

Other foods high in oxalates are almonds, cashews, buckwheat, unhulled sesame seeds, tea, coffee, chocolate, textured soy protein, beets.

Low oxalate greens are lettuce, celery, chickweed, watercress, escarole, asparagus, dandelion, and the members or the brassica family or cruciferous such as kale, bokchoy, collards, mustard greens, turnip tops, cabbage and arugula.

High Oxalic acid/100g food Med oxalic vegetables Low oxalic vegetables

Lambsquarters (highest) Radish (0.48 g) Chicory (0.21 g)

Parsley (1.7 g) Collards (0.45 g) Turnip (0.21 g)

Chives (1.48 g) Beans, snap (0.36 g) Broccoli (0.19 g)

Purslane (1.31 g) Brussels sprouts (0.36 g) Celery (0.19 g)

Amaranth (1.09 g) Lettuce (0.33 g) Eggplant (0.19 g)

Spinach (0.97 g) Watercress (0.31 g) Cauliflower (0.15 g)

Beet leaves (0.61 g) Sweet potato (0.24 g) Asparagus (0.13 g)

Endive (0.11 g)

Carrot (0.5 g)

Cabbage (0.1 g)

Onion (0.05 g)

Pea (0.05 g)

Tomato (0.05 g)

Turnip greens (0.05 g)

Parsnip (0.04 g)

Pepper (0.04 g)

Rutabaga (0.03 g)

Cucumbers (0.02 g)

Kale (0.02 g)

Squash (0.02 g)

Coriander (0.01 g)

U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrition Data Laboratory. oxalic acid in vegetables

Absorption of minerals

Oxalic acid present in greens and other foods has the potential to bind with calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper in our intestines to form oxalates, insoluble salts, thus interfering with the absorption of these minerals and making them unavailable for the body to use. It doesn’t, however, affect the absorption of calcium in other foods consumed at the same meal.

Studies have shown less absorbability of calcium from spinach. The absorption of calcium in spinach is only 5% compared to 30% absorption in kale, a low oxalate greens. The bio availability of calcium from kale is actually better than milk at 27%.

In another study, about 27 percent of the magnesium from spinach was absorbed compared to 37 percent of the magnesium in kale.

However the oxalic acid on iron absorption varies from person to person and meal to meal, and the body absorbs more iron from oxalic acid-rich foods when you are iron-deficient compared to when your iron stores are plentiful. So you get iron from eating spinach if you need iron.

How does cooking affect oxalic acid?

The oxalic acid is lowered by boiling and steaming but so are the minerals and vitamins and phytochemicals which leach in the water. If you discard that water you reduce the oxalates remaining in the food but at the same time you also lose the vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals. So you are better off consuming your greens raw if you want to benefit from the whole spectrum of nutrients.

Health problems with oxalates

Oxalic acid forms insoluble salts such as calcium oxalates which are found in kidney stones. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and may cause health problems such as kidney stones.

There is also a large degree of genetic variability in the ability to detoxify the chemicals that produce oxalates. Perhaps twenty percent of the population has a genetic variance that increases their likelihood of producing oxalates, even when not consuming a high-oxalate diet. For this reason, certain individuals need to be careful about their intake of oxalic acid – those who have existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems, a vulnerability to kidney disorders, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or certain forms of chronic vulvar pain. People with hyperoxaluria (a genetic predisposition to this disorder occurs in less than 1 percent of the population) should highly minimize their intake of oxalates.

For others, the extent to which foods high in oxalic acid are a potential health problem varies from person to person. For normal, healthy persons, that risk is almost negligible provided that great amounts of oxalic acid are not consumed on a continuing, long-term basis.

For those who have a healthy digestive tract, good bacterial flora, who chew their foods well in a relaxed state, and minimize animal protein, will have the potential to lower oxalate absorption/urinary excretion from foods containing oxalic acid.

Although calcium oxalates play a part, it is the consumption of animal protein that is the main culprit in the formation of kidney stones. The acidification of the urine and increased animal protein are linked with the most common stone — uric acid stones. A plant-based lower protein diet will prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Being well hydrated and a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids are also very effective in preventing oxalate deposition.

How much to eat?

It all depends on whether you have trouble excreting oxalic acid or not. Generally I recommend that high oxalic food be a smaller portion of your leafy green intake. Stone formers should look at minimizing those portions.

However we don’t have to avoid high oxalate foods completely. Spinach, beet leaves, lambsquarters and purslane have much to offer nutritionally: they’re an excellent source of folic acid, phytonutrients carotenoids and lutein, antioxidants, other minerals as well as vitamin K, E and C.

Don’t base your smoothies on spinach or Swiss chard. It is large amounts of consumption over several months that you should be aware of. I know people who put spinach in their smoothies all day and all year long without varying their greens. They are depriving themselves of calcium and other minerals more readily available in other low oxalate greens.

Rotate your high oxalate greens with low oxalate greens. The best spinach substitute in smoothies is baby bokchoy. It is mild in flavor, has soft fiber and a high calcium level.

Mix high oxalic greens with a variety of low oxalic greens. For example instead of using 2-3 cups of spinach in a smoothie, cut it down to half and make up the other half with other greens low in oxalic acid. This way you won’t ingest too much oxalate and will benefit from both worlds.

You can put spinach in your salad and soups but make sure the spinach is less than half of your total consumption of greens.

In general you should not eat more than 8 ounces of spinach a day, juiced or raw. If cooked, 10 ounces is not too much, but eating it every day can’t be as good as consuming a mix of other greens throughout the week.

And if you do experience a ‘burning’ sensation in your throat, however mild, you should stop eating those greens immediately, rather than ignoring it. Once I made a green smoothie containing Swiss chard stems and leaves. The smoothie tasted so strong that I couldn’t even have a sip without feeling an intense burn in my throat. I had to throw away the smoothie. On another occasion I made the same smoothie with Swiss chard and it tasted great. Not all chards are the same. Likewise with raw beets. Some beets burn my throat while other beets don’t. Don’t ignore those messages from your body. A food that burns your throat is not beneficial.

Conclusion

Continue to eat your greens in green smoothies, soups and salads and you’ll benefit from a plethora of nutrients which will help your body functioning at its peak. Rotate your greens and keep at the back of your mind which foods have high oxalic acid and minimize their consumption.

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…the truth about giving up SUGAR.

We've Moved

Having been sugar-free for 10 days now, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. At the very least I am an expert at getting through the first 10 days. So for that, here are 10 things I’ve learned about the first 10 days.

1. Don’t quit eating sugar without pain reliever in the house. The pain in your brain will be too great to leave the house for pain reliever.

2. Your mind will tell you all kinds of crazy things including: Why are you such an extremist control freak? Sugar is a part of life!  It’s Friday for God’s sake and I don’t care if you don’t believe in God. What’s a little agave gonna hurt anyone… Live a little!

3. A few dietary notes:

  • Mayonnaise (that’s Best Foods, or Hellman’s, whose key ingredient is corn syrup) will beckon.
  • A chinese chicken salad is just lettuce’s way of enabling…

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Posted by: Steven Peters in Health June 10, 2013

antioxidant foodsThe antioxidant values of foods listed are expressed in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units, a unit of measurement for antioxidants developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). How ORAC got started was by a group of individuals with an interest in antioxidants and health who have put together information which is backed by peer-reviewed scientific publications.

The ORAC values listed are based on the laboratory measure of ORAC, expressed in micromoles of Trolox Equivalents per 100 grams of sample. This is important to consider when comparing something like a ground spice to say, a raw fruit. 100 grams of ground spice is likely to be much denser in organic compounds, and therefore have a higher ORAC value than 100 grams of a raw fruit, which would be made up of mostly water weight. However, you would find it difficult and possibly dangerous to ingest large quantities of spices, so it makes sense to eat a wide variety of antioxidant-rich foods – not just the ones at the top of the list.

Antioxidant value of Sumac, bran, rawSumac, bran, raw

The antioxidant value of Sumac, bran, raw described in ORAC units is 312,400 μ mol TE/100g.

Sumac is a high-tannin variety of sorghum. Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents in addition to the southwest Pacific and Australasia.

Antioxidant value of Spices, cloves, groundCloves

The antioxidant value of Cloves described in ORAC units is: 290,283 μ mol TE/100g.

Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae. Cloves are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia and used as a spice in cuisines all over the world. Cloves are harvested primarily in Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Eugenol comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves, and is the compound most responsible for the cloves’ aroma. Other important essential oil constituents of clove oil include acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin, crategolic acid, tannins such as bicornin, gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller), the flavonoids eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and many others.

Antioxidant value of Acai, fruit pulp/skin, powderAcai, fruit pulp/skin, powder

The antioxidant value of Acai, fruit pulp/skin, powder described in ORAC units is:  102,700 μ mol TE/100g.
The acai berry is the fruit of the acai palm, native to tropical Central and South America. Freeze-dried acai powder was found to have antioxidant activity in vitro against superoxide and peroxyl radicals, and mild activity for peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals. The powder was reported to inhibit hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidation in neutrophils, and to have a slight stimulatory effect on the reactive radical, nitric oxide.

Extracts of acai seeds were reported to have antioxidant capacity in vitro against peroxyl radicals, similar to the antioxidant capacity of the pulp, with higher antioxidant capacity against peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals.

The anthocyanins of fruit likely have relevance to antioxidant capacity only in the plant’s natural defensive mechanisms and in vitro.

The Linus Pauling Institute and European Food Safety Authority state that dietary anthocyanins and other flavonoids have little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion. Unlike controlled test tube conditions, the fate of anthocyanins in vivo shows they are poorly conserved (less than 5%), with most of what is absorbed existing as chemically modified metabolites destined for rapid excretion.

Antioxidant value of Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetenedCocoa, dry powder, unsweetened

The antioxidant value of Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened described in ORAC units is: 55,653 μ mol TE/100g.
Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao. Dark chocolate compared has only 20,816 μ mol TE/100g.

Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, a type of phenolic. The amount of flavonoids depends on the amount of processing and manufacturing the cocoa powder undergoes, but cocoa powder can contain up to 10% its weight in flavonoids. Flavanols are one of six compounds further classified as flavonoids. Flavanols, which are also found in fruits and vegetables, are linked to certain health benefits linked to coronary heart disease and stroke. The topic of how flavanols benefit cardiovascular health is still under debate. It has been suggested that the flavanols may take part in mechanisms such as nitric oxide and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiplatelet effects. Benefiting these mechanisms may improve endothelial function, lipid levels, blood pressure and insulin resistance.

Antioxidant value of Nuts, pecansPecans

The antioxidant value of pecans described in ORAC units is:
17,940 μ mol TE/100g.
Pecans are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Like walnuts (which pecans resemble), pecans are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, although pecans contain about half as much omega-6 as walnuts. When omega-6′s  are a higher ratio than omega-3′s, it is not the optimum ratio for each fatty acid to be in to achieve the most effective mode of action within the body.

A diet rich in seeds can lower the risk of gallstones in women. The antioxidants and plant sterols found in pecans reduce high cholesterol by reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

Clinical research published in the Journal of Nutrition (September 2001) found that eating about a handful of pecans each day may help lower cholesterol levels similar to what is often seen with cholesterol-lowering medications.

Antioxidant value of Elderberries, rawElderberries, raw

The antioxidant value of Elderberries, raw described in ORAC units is: 14,697 μ mol TE/100g.

Black elderberry has been used medicinally for hundreds of years.Some preliminary studies demonstrate that elderberry may have a measurable effect in treating the flu, alleviating allergies, and boosting overall respiratory health.

Elder is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, dissolved in wine, for rheumatism and traumatic injury.

Antioxidant value of Blueberries, wild, rawBlueberries, wild, raw

The antioxidant value of Blueberries, wild, raw described in ORAC units is: 9,621 μ mol TE/100g.

Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with moderate levels (relative to respective Dietary Reference Intakes) of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber (table).[24]One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day.

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, other pigments and various phytochemicals, which are under preliminary research for their potential role in reducing risks of diseases such as inflammation and cancer. Similar to red grape, blueberries may contain resveratrol.

Most studies have been conducted using the highbush cultivar of blueberries (V. corymbosum), while content of polyphenols and anthocyanins in lowbush (wild) blueberries (V. angustifolium) exceeds values found in highbush cultivars.

Cranberries

The antioxidant value of Cranberries, raw described in ORAC units is:  9,090 μ mol TE/100g.

Raw cranberries are a source of polyphenol antioxidants, phytochemicals under active research for possible benefits to the cardiovascular system and immune system, and as anti-cancer agents, such as in isolated prostate cancer cells. In addition, it is uncertain whether polyphenols and flavonoids account for the benefits of diets rich in plant-derived foods.

Cranberry juice contains a high molecular weight non-dialyzable material that might inhibit formation of plaque by Streptococcus mutans pathogens that cause tooth decay. Cranberry juice components also may possibly influence formation of kidney stones.

Antioxidant value of Nuts, pistachio nuts, rawNuts, pistachio nuts, raw

The antioxidant value of Nuts, pistachio nuts, raw described in ORAC units is: 7,675 μ mol TE/100g.
 
In research at Pennsylvania State University, pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein(LDL cholesterol) while increasing antioxidant levels in the serum of volunteers. In rats, consumption of pistachios as 20% of daily caloric intake increased beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) without lowering LDL cholesterol, and while reducing LDL oxidation.

Consuming unsalted, dry-roasted pistachios prevents any addition of unwanted fats and additional sodium in the diet that may affect cardiac health adversely and increase hypertension.

Human studies have shown that 32–63 grams per day of pistachio seeds can significantly elevate plasma levels oflutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol.

Antioxidant value of Garlic, rawGarlic, raw

The antioxidant value of Garlic, raw described in ORAC units is: 5,708 μ mol TE/100g.
Garlic is claimed to help prevent heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure) and cancer. Animal studies, and some early research studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic.
A Czech study found garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals.Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed rabbits.

Read more at http://naturalrevolution.org/10-highest-antioxidant-foods-in-the-world/#ebmGxukvxz86RBtj.99

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The wisdom of this toddler whose message is about NOT EATING ANIMALS lands him more than a MILLION hits on Facebook.  Beautiful.

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cilantroby JB Bardot
Detoxing can be hard on your body and cause a wide variety of alarming side effects. After all, the substances being removed are usually pretty horrible, consisting of toxic chemicals from Teflon, vaccines, pesticide residues, pharmaceutical drugs, chemotherapy residue, heavy metals, aluminum, radiation, and even by-products from GMO foods. There are numerous detoxing agents and methods available — some more costly than others — and some producing very intense experiences with potentially dangerous side effects.However, there are several ways to remove these noxious substances gently, with kindness to your system. These techniques may take a bit longer to achieve completion; however, if you have the time and are sensitive, or just don’t like pain, one of these methods should work for you.

Pectin

Fruit pectin is probably the most gentle method of detoxing contaminants. Pectin comes from the fibrous portion of the fruit and is most commonly found in the pith of limes, lemons and other citrus fruit as well as in apples. Other sources of pectin are bananas, grapes, carrots, and cabbage. Pectin helps to release heavy metals, chemicals and other substances into the blood stream, where it binds to them and flushes them from the body. Simply eating fruit high in pectin will help to cleanse your system, or you can add a pectin product to a glass of water, organic grape juice or fresh veggie juice to speed the detox process. Beware of pectin sold in grocery stores, as some brands may contain MSG. Check health food stores for the best products.

Cilantro

The delicious culinary herb cilantro, happens to be one of the most effective and gentle detoxifiers of mercury, heavy metals and other toxic contaminants. You can buy cilantro juice at health food stores or simply include the fresh herb in your diet as pesto or seasoning to control the amount consumed and limit unwanted side effects. It’s inexpensive and works without the addition of man-made chemicals. Cilantro also possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties, quickly reducing infection and inflammation as it works to clear your system.

Chlorella

Chlorella is a single cell algae sea vegetable that grows in fresh water. Some of the best cholrella reserves have come from Japan; however, use caution when buying Japanese chlorella due to possible exposure to radiation from Fukushima. Chlorella is an easy-to-digest superfood best known for being able to remove mercury and other heavy metals from the cells. Too much chlorella can produce side effects — mostly in the digestive tract — where it works best to bind to mercury, eliminating it. Start with the lowest quantity and work up slowly for a gentle detox.

Wheatgrass

Juicing fresh produce and grasses such as wheat or barley grass provides an excellent way to remove toxins from the system. Wheatgrass is high in nutritional content, and provides vitamins, minerals and all nine essential amino acids. Wheatgrass can be a powerful detox, so start slowly with only a small amount of juice to keep it gentle — 1/2 ounce a day — and work up to avoid symptoms.

Using gentle detoxing products requires that you repeat treatments over a period of time until all symptoms have cleared. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and pains, dizziness and fatigue. Additionally, detoxing can cause a flare-up in your condition temporarily. It’s just the toxins leaving your system and should pass shortly. If side effects are severe, reduce the quantity of whatever you’re using to detox. If the symptoms continue, stop and consult your natural health practitioner for further instructions.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.ei-resource.org
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2009/08/31/pectin-for-arthritis-pain/
http://www.naturalnews.com/035177_chlorella_cilantro_detox.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/027434_cilantro_natural_detox.html
http://www.wheatgrasskits.com/issue17.htm

About the author:
JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine. READ HER OTHER ARTICLES ON NATURAL NEWS HERE:http://www.naturalnews.com/Author1686.html You can find her on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001364941208&ref=tn_tnmnor on Twitter at jbbardot23 https://twitter.com/#!/jbbardot23

Sources:

Natural News

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  • kale (with stems)
  • 2 slices of pineapple
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear

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