Welcome everyone to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health. 

I think it’s interesting that certain “health foods” can actually cause illness. Like spinach, for instance. Some people have no problem eating spinach, almonds, or dark chocolate (thinking of all the health benefits), but for others it’s a disaster ready to happen. What? Why? How? 

Oxalates, a natural compound found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains, can potentially contribute to a variety of health issues if not managed correctly, which is the reason for this podcast. Oxalates matter, and you may be one who should be cautious about them. Take a moment and tune in to this episode. It could save you some pain! 

PODCAST NOTES

  • Healthy foods like spinach, almonds, avocados, potatoes, beets, and dark chocolate can be high in oxalates and may cause health issues for some people, despite their nutritional benefits. You have to figure out if you can tolerate these, or not. 
  • Oxalates can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. People prone to kidney stones need to follow a low-oxalate diet. Some foods low in oxalates are kale, bok choy, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kidney beans, blueberries, blackberries, and dried figs. 
  • Oxalates are colorless, chemical compounds (anions), which have a negative charge. It occurs naturally, and forms a variety of salts (i.e., sodium). Most kidney stones are made of oxalates. If you pass a kidney stone, always get it analyzed. 
  • Individuals with digestive disorders, such as leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease, should be cautious with oxalate intake, as it can exacerbate their condition. 
  • Antibiotics can increase oxalate levels by disrupting the gut microbiome, which further impacts gut health. 
  • Autoimmune diseases could be related to high oxalate levels. Symptoms like cloudy urine, gritty eyes, post-Covid cough, anxiety, depression, peeling skin, and kidney stones can be indicators of high oxalates. 
  • It’s tough to test for oxalate levels, as they may not show up in the blood. Repeated urine samples may be necessary for detection. 
  • To lower oxalate levels, drink more water, steam or boil high-oxalate vegetables, get good dietary calcium, and be cautious with Vitamin C supplements (especially if prone to kidney stones).  
  • Oxalates act as chelators, binding to essential minerals like calcium, leading to deficiencies and potentially causing overactive parathyroid glands, which can result in calcium deposits in arteries and joints. 

Many healthy foods have oxalates, but with a few dietary tweaks you might feel a lot better. LOW OXALATE FOODS include: Meat, Fish, Milk, Cheese, Eggs; Other animal products, including Fats; Coffee, Herbal Tea; Apples; Arugula; Asparagus; Avocado (Hass/ripe); Blueberries; Broccoli (boiled); Bok Choy; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Capers; Celery Root, Cilantro; Chives; Cucumber (peeled);  Pickles; Relish; Coconut; Coconut Milk; Cranberries; Cherries; Belgian Endive; Escarole; Garlic (fresh); Horseradish; Grapefruit (white); Grapes (seedless); Melon (watermelon, etc); Lemons and limes (avoid peel); Marjoram; Mint; Thyme; Mustard Greens; Mustard Seed; Mushrooms; Onion; Scallions; Shallots; Papaya; Pineapple; Peas (green, shelled); Black-eyed Peas; Pepper (red and orange bell); Pumpkin and Winter Squash; Radish (red or white); Rutabaga; Rice (white); Sauerkraut; Seeds (fax, pumpkin, sunflower); Sprouts (Alfalfa or Mung bean); Tabasco; Turnips; Turnip Greens; Watercress.

Think about oxalates if you’re dealing with chronic illness, digestive issues, or kidney stones. 

Stay educated. Stay healthy. 

Till next week.