Damned if You do; Damned if You Don’t By Mrs Vera West
We all know by now that eating our greens is good for you, but is it? Can there be too much of a good thing, or better yet, can something which is generally healthy have very unhealthy side-effects?
“For a lot of people who watch their diet, leafy greens are a staple at every meal. Indeed, these are packed with essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly, but these also contain what’s known as an anti-nutrient, or compounds that disrupt the absorption of these nutrients. One of the most famous anti-nutrients is alcohol, which is known to slow down the conversion of macronutrients, as well as zinc and certain B-vitamins. Most leafy greens, on the other hand, contain oxalate (also known as oxalic acid), a naturally occurring anti-nutrient. In particular, these bind to minerals and create compounds such as calcium oxalate and iron oxalate, which the body eliminates in the stool or urine instead of using it. While normally found in plants, the body can also produce oxalates. Vitamin C, in particular, becomes oxalate after being metabolized. If the body doesn’t flush out oxalates, these can build up in the muscles, brain, and even the urinary system. Once this happens, oxalates turn into crystals and cause tissue damage and inflammation. just two cups of spinach, a staple ingredient in some green smoothies, could have as much as 15 grams of oxalates – already considered a potentially life-threatening amount.
Other foods that are high in oxalates include:
• Chia seeds
• Citrus peels
• Sesame seeds
• Sweet potatoes
What is to be done? Clearly limit one’s consumption of these foods, especially spinach. It looks like Popeye was wrong. Anyway, for all time’s sake, when life was much simpler: