Raw green food and kidney stones

I have more requests to address oxalates.

It’s another one of those “they” things: first they tell us greens are good for us, and then they tell us oxalates will cause kidney stones and other problems.   Many people are fearful of kidney stones since they’re not only common (estimates are than 10 to 15 percent of Americans are diagnosed at some point), but also terribly painful.

Here’s the thing: it’s a gross oversimplification to say greens contain oxalates, oxalates cause kidney stones, and so you shouldn’t eat greens.   First of all, calcium is so plentiful and highly bioavailable in greens, and calcium binds to excess oxalates to render them harmless and easily removed from the body.   With all but a few serious health problems where specific nutrients are banned by your doctor, green foods are VITAL and should be eaten DAILY.   Some evidence says BLENDING oxalate-rich foods neutralizes it–voila, green smoothies!)

Foods high in oxalates include soy, beer, wheat, nuts, beets, chocolate, rhubarb, spinach, and strawberries.   I eat wheat, nuts, beets, chocolate, spinach, and strawberries regularly, most of them daily.   But if you have a problem with kidney stone formation, I would address eliminating three deadly S’s rather than greens: SODA, SUGAR, AND SALT.   Those chemically upset your body’s ability to utilize minerals like calcium and magnesium, leading to stones.

I know a schoolteacher who suffered with stones and eventually kidney failure, probably because for 30 years she didn’t want to have to leave her classroom to go to the bathroom, so she avoided drinking water.   Drink LOTS of water to avoid kidney stones!

4 thoughts on “Raw green food and kidney stones

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  1. anyone in ut or sl county UT (or IF or pocatello ID area when we get home next week)- have extra sulfite free shredded coconut you could sell me? PLEEASE?!! lmk

  2. Hi Robyn,

    I hope you are having a wonderful time in Peru. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    I have a question concerning the “sodas” you said to eliminate. Does this include the homemade “natural” sodas from kefir grains? I make this every other day and just love drinking it. I hope it isn’t bad for us. 🙂

  3. I just talked to my little sister today (she is 20) and apparently she is suffering from kidney stones. She says she has been screaming from the pain and finally got some pain medication. This is her 2nd episode of suffering for her terrible dietary habits. I wonder if she will ever learn! Last time she was declared “exceedingly constipated” by a doctor and she was in so much pain. My mom and I are trying to tell her to change but I don’t know if anything will get through to her!

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