View Full Version : Spinach
07-08-2008, 02:49 PM
I love putting spinach in my smoothies, but it seems to me that years ago there was a warning about spinach having something like oxallic (sp?) acid (???) that would impair the absorption of calcium. Can someone clear this up for me? Like I said......it was YEARS ago!
07-08-2008, 03:13 PM
Spinach is good for you and it is delicious!!
Organic Spinach contains a great deal of calcium, approx. 95mg per 100grams- I find it hard to believe that any vegetables containing high percentages of an essential mineral may also contain an element that inhibits that minerals absorbtion.
Unfortunately, we have a scientifc community that insists on picking apart natures bounty and trying to distinguish the good from the bad. Its all good if it makes you feel good- nature is perfect in the abundant and nourishing raw buffet it has provided for us!
07-08-2008, 03:39 PM
If you cant eat spinach then maybe try a cheese burger? That has some calcium maybe? :D Seriously Spinach is the MAIN source of calcium for a lot of people . Why do people still believe milk provides calcium when it does not??Milk actually inhibits vitamin d which is why they include that in milk.
07-08-2008, 04:17 PM
I am NOT trashing spinach!! I enjoy it in my smoothies, salads etc. However.....years ago I read about oxalic acid (sp?).....that INTERFERES with the absorption of the calcium. I am asking if anyone is familiar with this..or can update me on recent findings.
I have not touched milk for decades.
Have you read "Green for Life"? I'm paraphrasing big time, but essentially: There is something harmful in ALL green, leafy vegetables. It is such a small quantity, however, that the only way to do harm would be to never rotate your greens. i.e. If I eat spinach every day for a whole year, it's no good. But, if I eat spinach for a couple weeks, then move to kale for a couple weeks, then back to spinach, it's okay.
I think this is like nature's way of ensuring survival of many different leaves!
Props to you for not having milk for such a long time. :)
And just another note on that -- I have begun to disregard most of what I read about various foods' particular details. I think there is so much we have yet to discover about the intrinsic value in things made by nature, that it is almost like having an average 10-year old explain quantum physics or something. They just don't yet have the capacity to understand all of it.
I'm not in any way referring to your mental capacity, just making a comparison because I think there is so much we don't know yet or really aren't able to measure re: the food we eat.
07-08-2008, 05:08 PM
Hi Avacado7, I found this post which I hope is helpful.
Oxalic acid, found in spinach, kale, beets, celery, pecans, peanuts, tea and cocoa, can bind to calcium and form an insoluble complex that is excreted in the feces. While research studies confirm the ability of phytic acid and oxalic acid in foods to lower availability of calcium, the decrease in available calcium is relatively small.
Another site said that all those plus almonds, and other greens we commonly eat are full of calcium – so therefore I think we probably compensate for the decrease absorption. Also recommended to ensure calcium uptake was …. Dah dah!!… A diet based on vegetables, fruits and whole grains that contain significant amounts of calcium and magnesium and low levels of phosphorus is a good meal plan. That site also said that cooked spinach was the problem!! Yes!!! Green smoothies rule!!
I like this site to decide on the value of the foods I choose
Thanks for mentioning this subject,( I too remember some such study on rhubarb and spinach ages ago). As a result of your question I found this site on calcium. It also looks an interesting one to bookmark.
That’s what I think is valuable about reading the forums and asking questions – it leads to more discovery as to the reasons to choose Raw. It is very complicated, especially when we start a new way of eating, to absorp all the information.(Scuse the pun!! Its the English sense of humour coming out!!). How cool to have so many helpful people around too!!
Who mentioned milk and cheese anyway??
07-09-2008, 12:00 AM
Thanks for the info...and the links.
I always like to keep my bases covered!
07-09-2008, 01:31 AM
Hey, raw rules! Just keep pumping the green smoothies and big dark green salads as an important part of your food intake, and get MOVING, as in pumping some serious iron, along with cardio. A solid challenging yoga practice doesn't hurt either. Reason I mention the movement part of the equation is that bones strengthen in response to all of these stimuli just like muscles do. The rest will take care of itself. With properly-balance raw with an emphasis on dark greens, , and since you are not eating/drinking the known bone robbers, you will be wa-ay ahead of the game. Beyond a certain point, we don't need to know this or that about the spinach about what kind of acid it has in it and stuff. Just eat it! You can't go wrong eating plenty of edible raw goodies as nature provided them. There are so many hidden co-factors in food that we don't even know about anyway, along with the energetic signatures of same.
07-10-2008, 03:21 AM
Oxalate (oxalic acid) is contained in kale, spinach, Swiss chard, rhubarb, cacao and other foods. It has been shown to interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium, as these minerals can bind to fibre, phytate or oxalate in the intestine.
However, the Dept of Health does not believe the level of interference is of concern. One source (I don’t have name) that we should not worry unless we’re eating large quantities. Another (Norah Lenz) says that oxalic acid is at a low level only in young or baby spinach but higher in mature spinach and other chewy leaves.
David Wolfe, in ‘Sunfood Diet Success System’ says: ‘If green-leaved vegetables which are high in oxalic acid ….are cooked, then the heat-altered oxalic acid can combine with calcium in the body, interfere with iron absorption, and eventually (if eaten in large quantities over a long period of time) form stones in the kidneys. But, if eaten raw, the oxalates in these vegetables are normally metabolised properly by the body.’ But he does go on to say ‘If one feels kidney pains 3-6 hours after eating these vegetables (even if in the raw state) then they should be avoided.’ (which is a somewhat worrying statement!).
All the spinach I eat is ‘baby spinach’ rather than mature, although I have been eating very mature kale from the garden! But, I think in general I’m going to go by David Wolfe’s more comforting words. Also, Vitamin K protects and strengthens our bones. Two good sources of Vitamin K? Kale and spinach! So perhaps that could outweigh any effect of interference with calcium absorption?
Also, I found this in Wikipedia: The gritty “mouth feel” one experiences when drinking milk with a rhubarb dessert is caused by precipitation of calcium oxalate. Thus even dilute amounts of oxalic acid can readily "crack" the casein found in various dairy products.
(so I find myself wondering whether it’s just the calcium in dairy that’s affected anyway? Which of course wouldn’t bother anyone on a raw vegan diet.)
To sum up, the information to date hasn’t led me to reduce my consumption of green leaves; in fact I’ve done the opposite.
Also, as raw vegans we probably need to worry far less about calcium than people eating other sorts of diet.
My latest blog article is all about calcium in the raw vegan diet:
07-14-2008, 07:11 PM
Thanks Debbie...that is good to know. I think I shall stay with BABY spinach!!!
07-14-2008, 07:24 PM
I thought I read something about oxalates in spinach when it's cooked and not raw? Like it's not a problem if it's raw but if it's cooked the oxalates can cause a problem then...
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