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According to Dr. William Shaw, the green smoothie trend is more dangerous than it appears. And by green smoothie, we mean throwing handfuls of spinach and frozen blueberries in a blender and calling it lunch.
Green leafy vegetables—like spinach—are high in oxalates, which can form crystals in the body and lead to excruciating pain. Think kidney stones.
Dr. Shaw explains that with enough buildup, you can find oxalate crystals in the:
- Blood vessels
- Thyroid gland
Oxalates also have a high affinity for heavy metals, like mercury and lead. Oxalate crystals can trap these heavy metals in the body, causing extreme toxicity.
Worse—we've known about the dangers of oxalate in foods for decades.
In research published over 75 years ago, scientists put rats on a high spinach diet—where spinach was 10 percent of their diet. They found that the rats died, could not reproduce, and their bones and teeth were falling apart.
All because of a diet that was high in spinach and oxalates.
What Are Oxalates?
Oxalates are found in many foods, such as nuts, soy, and chocolate.
You can also find oxalates in “healthy” foods, like:
- Beet tops
- Collards greens
- Curly kale
When oxalic acid pairs up with calcium, you get something called calcium-oxalate. This is a good thing—because once oxalates bind to calcium, they can be escorted through the intestinal tract and out of the body.
But the inability to fully digest fat or a diet that is high in saturated fat can interfere with your ability to get rid of oxalates.
According to Dr. Shaw, this has to do with the unique relationship that fat and calcium share. Too much dietary saturated fat will bind to the calcium that should be helping oxalates with their exit.
In order to ensure that saturated fat isn’t stealing your calcium, be sure to eat a diet that is low in saturated fat. If you have a hard time digesting fats, introduce a supplement that contains ox bile and the enzyme lipase.
Candida Destroys Your Ability to Get Rid of Oxalates
Candida yeast produces a precursor to oxalates, and it has the ability to transform collagen into corrosive oxalate crystals.
This is the same collagen you find in bone broth and take for beautiful skin.
While bone broth can help the gut heal, excessive collagen in the diet and an overgrowth of Candida can team up, generating a toxic accumulation of oxalates in your body.
In order to fully eliminate oxalates, it's essential to support your inner ecosystem. This means:
- Taking antifungal herbs that control Candida overgrowth. Specific herbs have been shown to effectively kill Candida and stop it from invading tissue growth. These herbs include turmeric, garlic, oregano leaf, and the inner bark of the pau d'arco tree.
- Restoring healthy communities of good bacteria with fermented foods. Specific bacteria living in the gut are wired to break down oxalates.1 And antibiotic drugs destroy these communities—increasing your risk of kidney stones and oxalate buildup.2 By simply adding fermented foods to every meal, you rebuild your inner ecosystem.
While you're controlling Candida overgrowth and rebuilding your inner ecosystem with probiotic-rich fermented foods, Body Ecology has one other tip: Boil your high-oxalate foods. After boiling high-oxalate foods in a large pot of water with a pinch of Celtic sea salt, remember to get rid of the cooking water—it contains the oxalates boiled out of the food.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Green smoothies are popular, but are they really good for your health? Dr. William Shaw calls green smoothies a dangerous trend, often made by blending spinach and frozen blueberries as a meal replacement. Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are high in oxalates. Oxalates can form crystals in the body and cause severe pain. The perfect example is kidney stones.
Once oxalate crystals form, matters can quickly grow worse. Oxalates are attracted to heavy metals and can trap them in the body to cause toxicity. Oxalates can be found in soy, chocolate, and nuts, as well as other popular health foods like curly kale, spinach, arugula, berries, and broccoli.
An inability to fully digest fat or a diet high in saturated fats can make it harder for your body to expel oxalates. The opportunistic yeast Candida makes the problem worse by transforming excessive collagen in the diet into corrosive oxalate crystals.
You can help your body fully eliminate oxalates by supporting your inner ecosystem:
- Take antifungal herbs to control Candida overgrowth.
- Restore gut health with good bacteria found in fermented foods.
- Boil high-oxalate foods with a pinch of Celtic sea salt, and remember to throw out the cooking water.
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- Allison, M. J., Dawson, K. A., Mayberry, W. R., & Foss, J. G. (1985). Oxalobacter formigenes gen. nov., sp. nov.: oxalate-degrading anaerobes that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract. Archives of Microbiology, 141(1), 1-7.
- Siener, R., Bangen, U., Sidhu, H., Hönow, R., von Unruh, G., & Hesse, A. (2013). The role of Oxalobacter formigenes colonization in calcium oxalate stone disease. Kidney international, 83(6), 1144-1149.
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