Vegetables that Should Be Eaten With Caution June 18 2017

What is OxalateSummer just arrived! For some home gardeners this is the prime time to enjoy our harvests.  When it comes to growing greens, Spinach and Swiss Chard remain being the popular choices of greens to grow.  Spinach contain a range of nutrients such as iron, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, copper, vitamins A, C, E, K and lots more.  It also has a very mild flavor so it's great to hide in smoothies. 

Swiss Chard come in colors of the rainbow.  The stalks and veins of these plants come in vibrant red, pink, yellow, orange and white -- these truly brighten an edible garden on any day!  Besides the beautiful appearance, these vegetables also offer properties such as calcium, manganese, iron, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C,  anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

Both of these vegetables are great for our health, but there's one thing you should be cautious of if you like consuming them on a regular basis.  Spinach and Swiss Chard contain higher amounts of oxalate than some other plants. Oxalate, AKA Oxalic Acid, is a natural compound found in plants, and can bind with calcium in the kidneys when ingested.  When there's too high amount of oxalate accumulated, it can cause kidney stone formation.  Below is a list of foods that you can use to reference the next time preparing a meal.

Foods With High Oxalate

  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Rhubarb
  • nuts
  • beet root, and beet leaves
  • avocado
  • taro root
  • dates
  • beans
  • kiwi
  • figs
  • wheat
  • potato
  • sweet potato

 Foods With Low Oxalate

  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Bok Choy
  • kohlrabi
  • mushrooms
  • radish
  • water chestnuts
  • peas
Spinach Substitution

For those who have a history of kidney stones, or urinary tract stones is best to avoid consuming foods that are high in oxalate, especially should not be consuming them on a regular basis. Speak to your medical physician or nutritionist about being on a low oxalate diet to prevent recurrence.  

Gynura procumbens is a delicious replacement for Spinach. It has a similar texture and taste to Spinach, especially when cooked.  This vegetable also offers lots of health benefits especially for blood sugar and cholesterol health.  For more information on growing this vegetable, see this article.

Find out how to easily prevent kidney stones in this article.