Oxalic Acid

ORGANIC oxalic acid is essential for our body. It is the INORGANIC form of oxalic acid that we need to be aware of.

 

What is Oxalic Acid?

Oxalic acid is a colorless, organic compound that occurs naturally in plants, animals and in humans. Organic oxalic acid is an important element, even essential, to maintain and to stimulate peristaltic motion in our body.

Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium. If both oxalic acid and calcium are organic at the point of combination, the result is beneficial where the oxalic acid helps the digestive assimilation of the calcium. At the same time, this combination helps stimulate the peristaltic functions in our body.

It is only when the oxalic acid has become inorganic because it was cooked or processed, that it forms an interlocking compound with the calcium that destroys the nourishing value of both. This results in a deficiency of calcium that causes loss of bones.

When the concentration of inorganic oxalic acid is high, it may precipitate out in crystalline form. These tiny crystals can irritate the human tissues, and get lodged in the stomach, kidneys and bladder as “stones”.

Oxalic acid is present in abundance in many plant foods, with especially high content in sour grass, rhubarb and buckwheat. Other plants containing high levels of oxalates are (in decreasing order): starfruit (also known as carambola), black pepper, parsley, poppy seed, amaranth, spinach, chard, beets, cocoa, most nuts, most berries and beans.

Even tea leaves contain among the highest measured concentration of oxalic acid. However, tea beverages typically contain only very low to moderate amounts of oxalate due to the very small amount of leaves used for brewing.

Just remember, organic oxalic acid is essential for your body and is harmless if consumed in organic form. It is the inorganic oxalic acid that causes trouble to your body. This is the reason why when you drink fresh raw spinach juice, your body utilizes 100% of all the minerals that spinach has to offer. But when cooked, the oxalic acid in spinach becomes inorganic and may posed some health problems in the long run.

Warning: If you have kidney problems or history of kidney problems, do keep your oxalic acid intake low, whether organic or inorganic. See the list below as a guide.

 

 

Oxalic Acid Content in Selected Foods

Starfruit contains high level of oxalic acid.

People with recurrent kidney stones have a tendency to absorb higher levels of dietary oxalates compared to those not prone to kidney stones. A low-oxalate diet is eating foods containing less than 50 mgs of oxalic acid per day.

Below is a list of selected foods with high oxalates content. Please take this as a guide only as the content level may differ depending on the differences of climate where the plant was grown, the soil quality, state of ripeness when being tested, and also which part of the plant was analyzed.

People with recurrent kidney stones have a tendency to absorb higher levels of dietary oxalates compared to those not prone to kidney stones. A low-oxalate diet is eating foods containing less than 50 mgs of oxalic acid per day.

Below is a list of selected foods with high oxalates content. Please take this as a guide only as the content level may differ depending on the differences of climate where the plant was grown, the soil quality, state of ripeness when being tested, and also which part of the plant was analyzed.

 

Vegetables with High Oxalates Level ( >10 mg / serving)

  • Beets, greens or root *
  • Celery
  • Collards
  • Dandelion greens
  • Eggplant
  • Escarole
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Okra (lady’s finger) **
  • Parsley
  •  Parsnips
  • Pepper, green
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach *
  • Squash, yellow summer
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Swiss chard *
  • Tomato sauce, canned
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress

Fruits with High Oxalates Level ( >10 mg / serving)

  • Concord grapes
  • Figs, dried **
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon peel
  • Lime peel
  • Orange peel
  • Rubharb *
  • Starfruit (carambola) **

Grains with High Oxalates Level ( >10 mg / serving)

  • Bread, whole wheat
  • Buckwheat ***
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Spelt
  • Stone-ground flour
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole wheat flour

Nuts and Seeds with High Oxalates Level ( >10 mg / serving)

  • Almonds **
  • Brazil nuts
  • Hazel nuts
  • Peanut butter ***
  • Peanuts ***
  • Pecans
  • Sesame seeds *
  • Sunflower seeds

Other Foods with High Oxalates Level ( >10 mg / serving)

  • Beer
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • Soy and all soy products
  • Tea, black
  • Tea, green


*      >50 mg / serving
**   >100 mg / serving
*** >200 mg /serving

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