Spinach Is Good For Youin Regular Doses
Spinach has a lot of health benefits like improving eyesight, preventing cancer, and lowering blood pressure. It also is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K1, iron, calcium and folic acid. So incorporating spinach into your diet is a great idea.
But, like most good things, too much of it can cause some serious damage. Since spinach is so high in calcium and oxalates, this can sometimes cause kidney stones if you consume too much spinach, especially if you arent drinking enough water everyday.
And if youre on a blood thinner, you should talk to your doctor before ingesting too much spinach because vitamin K1 plays a big role in blood clotting. This means eating too much of vitamin K1 can offset the effects of your blood thinner making it super dangerous, so definitely talk to your doctor first if this applies to you.
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What Are Kidney Stones
A kidney stone is a large crystal-like mass that forms in the kidneys. These stones can stick inside the kidneys and block the flow of urine and might cause pain. In other cases, the stones may break and travel through the urinary tract causing great pain.
Kidney stones can be caused by several factors, but in most cases, they are caused by calcium oxalate. Usually, excessive intake of calcium oxalate in the body to prevent proper excretion of urine. If this happens, urine starts to crystallize, forming kidney stones. According to research, the recommended amount of oxalate in the body should be between 40 to 50 grams per day.
Can Diet Alone Treat Kidney Stones
For some people, dietary changes may be enough to prevent kidney stones from occurring.
In other cases, additional treatment may be necessary, including medication to break the stones up or surgery to remove the stones.
If stones become extremely painful, it is best to seek consultation with a doctor or nephrologist so they can recommend the best course of action.
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The Truth About Oxalates
oxalates are naturally-occurring substances found in a wide variety of foods and they play a supportive role in the metabolism of many plants and animals and in our human metabolism as well. So in terms of our overall health and diet, oxalates are neither rare nor undesirable .
The problem with oxalates is that it must bind to other minerals, like calcium and magnesium, to be excreted from the body through the urine.
Folks who are susceptible to kidney stones the most common type is the oxalate-calcium kidney stone just need to be careful when consuming high-oxalate foods, like raw spinach, kale, beet greens, and collard greens.
Too many high-oxalate foods can lead to the growth of oxalate-calcium kidney stones . In fact, many physicians recommend a low-oxalate diet for people with recurrent kidney stones for this reason.
Now, dont be alarmed oxalates are a common compound in many foods, not just leafy greens. Oxalates are also found in bran flakes, rhubarb, potato chips, and nuts.
The idea here is not to go to an extreme by cutting these foods out of your life completely. Youll miss TONS of amazing nutrition if you do!
Its all about balance and moderation, right?
Oxalates In Spinach And Kidney Stones Risk
When consumed moderately, spinach is good for the kidneys as antioxidants like vitamin C in it protect the kidneys from free radical damage, and dietary fibers improve kidney health by helping with detoxification.
However, excessive consumption of spinach is bad for the kidneys.
Oxalates present in the spinach are efficiently removed by our kidneys through urine.
However, when spinach is consumed in excess then the high concentration of oxalates may cause damage to the kidneys.
In high concentration, oxalates in the spinach bind with the calcium of the body to form calcium oxalate, a common cause of kidney stones.
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Effectiveness Of Low Oxalate Diets
According to a report in the September 2013 issue of Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, whether or not it’s necessary to restrict high oxalate foods such as spinach in order to reduce urine oxalate levels depends on the reason for the elevated levels. For example, in people with primary hyperoxaluria, a rare and inherited condition, avoiding spinach or other high oxalate foods may not be of benefit. However, when hyperoxaluria is related to increased gut absorption of oxalate, or if considered idiopathic, which is often milder and not related to a medical condition, dietary oxalate restriction can help. A study published in the December 2013 issue of Urology demonstrated that about 50 percent of people with idiopathic hyperoxaluria and a history of kidney stones were able to decrease their urinary oxalate to normal levels by restricting spinach and other high oxalate foods.
- According to a report in the September 2013 issue of Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, whether or not it’s necessary to restrict high oxalate foods such as spinach in order to reduce urine oxalate levels depends on the reason for the elevated levels.
- For example, in people with primary hyperoxaluria, a rare and inherited condition, avoiding spinach or other high oxalate foods may not be of benefit.
Dont Underestimate Your Sweat
Saunas, hot yoga and heavy exercise may be good for your health, but they also may lead to kidney stones. Why? Loss of water through sweating whether due to these activities or just the heat of summerleads to less urine production. The more you sweat, the less you urinate, which allows for stone-causing minerals to settle and bond in the kidneys and urinary tract.
One of the best measures you can take to avoid kidney stones is to drink plenty of water, leading you to urinate a lot. So, be sure to keep well hydrated, especially when engaging in exercise or activities that cause a lot of sweating.
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Stick To 8 Oz Per Serving 3 Times A Week
Nutritionists suggest keeping intake to under 8 ounces a serving, taken no more than thrice a week. Thats the equivalent of about 2 beets run through your juicer for each serving. If you find the flavor off-putting, combine beet juice with other sweeter or palate-pleasing fruit like oranges or apples.12 According to some health gurus, you can have beet juice daily without a problem. But the reality is you need to consult with your doctor before taking such large quantities of the juice. If you are already on blood pressure-lowering medication, this could jeopardize your health. Be sure that there will be no adverse reactions or side effects based on your medical history and other drugs you may be taking. And do not use this as a substitute for your prescribed medication without first checking with your doctor.
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Eating Spinach Every Day Will Help You Feel Happier
Spinach is good for your physical health, but is it beneficial for your mental health as well? As it turns out, eating spinach every day can indeed help make you happier. In fact, the leafy green is considered an antidepressant food, as stated by a study published in the World Journal of Psychiatry. The study asserted that nutrition is closely linked to the health of the brain. Specifically, magnesium, which can be found in spinach, helps stave off depression.
When youre low in phytonutrients like magnesium, youre unfortunately at risk for symptoms of depression and, sadly, nearly 50 percent of Americans have low levels of magnesium, according to a study in Nutrition Reviews, so its a common problem.
Fortunately, upping your magnesium intake will make you feel happier as it affects your level of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mood. According to Psychology Today, boiled spinach has a significant amount about 160 milligrams of magnesium per cup. The article went on to explain that consuming magnesium can make antidepressant medication more effective and possibly prevent the need for higher doses of medication.
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What Are We Saying
We are saying that oxalate is common in foods, and that you have to be careful, but care is a scarce resource. How much care can you give every bite? The graphs say if you eat moderately high oxalate foods the first graph be careful.
If you are eating one of the six dangerously high oxalate foods, stop eating it.
It is too hard to be careful with those six foods. They have too much oxalate for most of you to handle. So, just say no.
Ways To Avoid Kidney Stones
- Hydrating often Drinking more water helps prevents kidney stones because it ensures your urine output will be high. Not enough water means your body wont have enough fluids to dissolve the oxalate crystals in your urine.
- Eating less salt Too much salt in urine can prevent calcium from being reabsorbed into the blood. This causes high urine calcium levels, which lead to stones.
- Cutting back on animal protein Animal protein is often acidic and can increase uric acid, which can increase the likelihood of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
- Eating calcium-rich foods Since kidney stones are formed by calcium and oxalates binding in the kidneys, it may seem counterintuitive to put more of that combination in your body. However, it is recommended that you eat calcium and high oxalate foods together, so they bind in your stomach and intestines not your kidneys.
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Who Would Benefit From An Oxalate
Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stone. As such, many patients with kidney stones can benefit from a diet that reduces calcium kidney stones. However, if you don’t test high for oxalate, this diet will not benefit you. Ask your Cleveland Clinic physician if an oxalate controlled diet would be helpful to you.
Tips For A Kidney Stone Diet
Having kidney stones increases your risk of getting them again unless you actively work to prevent them. This means taking medications prescribed to you for this purpose, and watching what you eat and drink.
If you currently have stones, your doctor will run diagnostic tests, to determine what type you have. They will then prescribe a specific diet plan for you, such as the DASH Diet. Tips that will help include:
- drink at least twelve glasses of water daily
- eat citrus fruits, such as orange
- eat a calcium-rich food at each meal, at least three times a day
- limit your intake of animal protein
- eat less salt, added sugar, and products containing high fructose corn syrup
- avoid foods and drinks high in oxalates and phosphates
- avoid eating or drinking anything which dehydrates you, such as alcohol.
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Causes Of Kidney Stones From Beet Juice
Beetroot contains high levels of oxalate. Consuming excess beetroot is one of the major beetroot side effects on kidney. This may increase the chances of the formation of kidney stones especially if you have problems with your kidney. When you eat oxalate it combines with calcium and when the concentration becomes too high, your kidneys arent able to dispose of it fast enough so it crystallizes to form kidney stones. If you eat foods rich in oxalate like beetroot, youre at high risk of having kidney stones. Beets, beet leaves, and beet juices contain 610mg of oxalate per 100g per cup serving while boiled beets contain 675mg of oxalate.
If you like taking beetroot juice it might not be such a good idea since you use more beets and other fruits and veggies to make just a glass of juice. This increases the amount of oxalate you take per day putting your health at risk.
You can limit this amount by drinking other juices that dont include beetroot. You can make green juices or smoothies or try boiling your beetroot. Boiling is said to dilute the oxalate concentration in the beetroot by a significant amount.
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Most Foods With Oxalates Are Very Healthy
Some proponents of low oxalate diets say people are better off not consuming foods rich in oxalates, since they may have negative health effects.
However, its not that simple. Many of these foods are healthy, containing important antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients.
Therefore, its not a good idea for most people to completely stop eating high oxalate foods.
Many foods that contain oxalates are delicious and provide many health benefits. Avoiding them is not necessary for most people and may even be detrimental.
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Health Tips For Kidney Stones
Take Plenty Of Fluids
Most importantly drink water. Other fluids to consider include coffee and lemonade. These fluids help to form diluted urine and reduce the chances of kidney stones forming. Avoid tea, juice, and sodas.
Avoid Foods Rich In Oxalate Content
Besides the ones we have discussed above, nuts, chocolate, berries, and wheat bran are known to contain high levels of oxalates
Limit Your Salt Intake
High sodium intake increases the amount of calcium in the urine, which increases the risk of developing kidney stones. Also, avoid added calcium supplements.
Eat Proteins In Moderation
Excessive protein intake encourages more calcium excretion, which may promote the formation of kidney stones. limit Vitamin C supplements
Even though the foods to avoid listed above are vegetables, it doesn’t mean that you should entirely avoid vegetables if you have a kidney stone condition. There are plenty of green vegetable options still available and beneficial for many health complications, including kidney stones.
Therefore, just because we have highlighted 8 vegetables to avoid for kidney stones, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid every other vegetable. While you should avoid the ones we have listed above, try to get additional supplies. Just make sure they are low in potassium, calcium, and oxalates levels.
Preserve Nutrients With Gentle Cooking
You dont have to drink a raw kale smoothie or eat a raw spinach salad every, single day to get the benefits of greens in your lifestyle.
Lightly blanching, steaming, or cooking greens significantly lower oxalate content while preserving nutrition! Minerals arent destroyed by cooking at all. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K hold up to cooking more than water-soluble vitamins B and C. Some antioxidants are even strengthened during cooking, depending on the food!
The greens in this soup are gently blanched in warm bone broth so maximum nutrition is preserved.
Drink a green smoothie or eat a big spinach salad every now and then. And if you need to eat a low-oxalate diet or you just want to change things up, try this green superfood soup.
This quote sums it up nicely:
The moral of the story is that there is no healthiest cooking method all of them have their upsides and downsides. Eat plenty of vegetables of every color cook some of them, and have a salad once in a while. There are more important ways to improve your diet and health than stressing over whether or not you should boil your spinach.
This low-oxalate green superfood soup recipe proves that green smoothies and salads arent the only ways to get in your greens!
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What Is Medical Nutrition Therapy
MNT is the use of nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian to help promote a medical or health goal. A health care provider may refer a patient to a registered dietitian to help with the patientâs food plan. Many insurance policies cover MNT when recommended by a health care provider. Anyone who qualifies for Medicare can receive a benefit for MNT from a registered dietitian or nutrition professional when a health care provider provides a referral indicating that the person has diabetes or kidney disease.
One way to locate a qualified dietitian is to contact the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org and click on âFind a Registered Dietitian.â Users can enter their address or ZIP code for a list of dietitians in their area. A person looking for dietary advice to prevent kidney damage should click on âRenal Nutritionâ in the specialty field. Dietitians who specialize in helping people with CKD are called renal dietitians.
What Is The Oxalate Content Of Walnuts
A serving of 1/4 cup of walnuts contains around 10-25mg of oxalates. This puts walnuts in the group having a moderate amount of oxalates. As a result, walnuts should be avoided by people struggling with a severe form of kidney stones.
However, even though following a low-oxalate diet, most people should be alright with consuming walnuts every once in a while. Dietary oxalate consumption is often divided into four levels: low oxalate, moderate oxalate, high oxalate, and extremely high oxalate.
Walnuts are in the second group, so theyre not completely restricted on this diet. However, walnuts are also high in fat, and its easy to overindulge on them. So make sure to control how much walnuts you consume even if youre not following a low-oxalate diet.
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Giving Up Oxalates For Good Will Fix The Problem
If you happen to be particularly susceptible to calcium oxalate stones, it may be a good idea to reduce your oxalate intake.
However, there is a downside to this dietary recommendation that is often overlooked. Many high-oxalate foods are also rich in fiber, magnesium, potassium, and phytate, all of which inhibit the occurrence of kidney stones.
Thus, instead of avoiding such healthful sources of nutrients altogether, try to consume them in moderation.
Besides, some people are naturally better at absorbing oxalates than others, and thus such oxalate restrictive diets do not apply uniformly to all.
People with unfavorably high oxalate levels can naturally bring down the amount of oxalate absorption by consuming a high-calcium diet.
If your urine oxalate level continues to be high regardless, ask a dietitian or other health care professional about how strictly you need to avoid oxalate-containing foods.
All in all, eliminating oxalate-rich foods from your diet alone will not prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones from forming and will only give you a false sense of security.
Research suggests that the best way to curb stone formation is to pair high calcium foods with oxalate-rich ones during a meal. This allows the two to bind together in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing them, making it less likely that kidney stones will form.