How to Reduce Oxalic Acid in Spinach: Neutralizing Oxalates

how to reduce oxalic acid in spinach
Source: femina.wwmindia.com
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Wanna know how to reduce oxalic acid in spinach, kale, and other green leafy foods, especially those you can’t imagine doing without? Well, you are reading the right post.

Basically, you have two options to achieve that, and I begin with the simplest and surest option you can use to neutralize oxalates in foods. Using a special enzyme. I found a really effective enzyme that amazingly breaks down oxalic acid in any food you eat. The stuff works by splitting oxalate into smaller compounds using an oxalate decarboxylase enzyme. After that, it again binds the acid particles and disintegrates them farther into much smaller pieces. Which essentially reduces oxalate levels in your body, and makes it super easy to pass out the compound naturally through urine — click here to see exactly how this oxalate neutralizing enzyme can help you (Amazon link).

All you do is add the enzyme to any beverage you’ll be eating the food with, at least two times a day — no complicated procedures. Well, to me this is a fine way to eat spinach because it ensures oxalate content is dealt with before it lands on to the stomach.

On the other hand, you might want to go the manual way on how to reduce oxalic acid in spinach. This also applies to foods like kales as well not only spinach, your other favorite leafy greens too.

how to reduce oxalic acid in spinach
Source: Livestrong.com

Personally, spinach leaves are one of my favorite green smoothies (but unfortunately, a table by uchospitals.edu says it has very high oxalate amounts — 656 to 755 mg per serving (see some charts in this article).

But still, I can’t imagine going two weeks without them. Well, below are a few how to neutralize oxalic acid in spinach — steps you can take to reduce this compound manually.

How to Reduce Oxalic Acid in Spinach:

Step 1

Take your spinach leaves, wash them to eliminate dust and dirt, and then mash them on running water before cooking – at this point expect a few particles of the compound would get washed away. But more so, doing this makes the oxalic acid to be released and would be cooked out of the food.

Step 2

This involves boiling on purpose your spinach or whatever green vegetable you want to reduce its oxalate content. Doing so helps to split down and loosen oxalic acid in them. Now here is the thing, the longer you boil or cook your spinach the more you’ll be weakening the oxalic acid bonds so the oxalate can get released, (off cause don’t overcook, 5 – 12 minutes of boiling is enough.

Step 3

Make calcium carbonate your immediate tool. As in adding it to your leafy greens (in this case spinach) while cooking. Besides the effect cooking has on loosening the oxalic acid, calcium carbonate does even more by bind on the oxalic acid, and extracting it from the food. Now, the good thing about this is that you only need very little calcium carbonate to get the expected results, as little as 1 teaspoonful for a large pot. Use this calcium carbonate power for that work.

Step 4

To be exact I could have just mentioned, or included step (4) anywhere above in step 2 or 3 because it stems from them — decanting. Decanting the water after boiling or cooking the spinach is what I am talking about. So the understanding is that after you have reduced the strength of bonds that held the oxalic acid together in the spinach, and the compound is deposited in the water, now you can drain them drown the sink. This has been known to significantly lower oxalate concentration in many foods, not only spinach to be precise.

Step 5

This may sound obvious but it is really good that you keep in mind. As much as your doctor put you on a tight low oxalate diet, try to reduce the number of times you eat spinach (because it is so rich in oxalic acid). The same applies to all other foods that naturally have a high place in the oxalate graph. Our article on foods high in oxalic acid chart explains that better.

Basically, I’d recommend that you stick to eating such foods a few times a week, let’s say twice or thrice a week. It’s also wise that you use effective oxalate reducing agents like the one I mentioned in paragraph two above when using such foods. As in, you can’t go wrong when you are mindful of your oxalic acid health.            

What is Oxalic Acid?

To be particular and on point, oxalic acid is another name for oxalate, and it is a naturally occurring chemical substance that is commonly found in leafy greens. So whenever the term oxalic acid and oxalate are used interchangeably, simply know that they mean the same thing.

Most greens, especially spinach have this chemical in huge amounts per serving, but again the concentration varies with the soil and the environmental surrounds the plant grew in.

Why you may want to know how to neutralize oxalic acid in spinach and other oxalate-rich foods

how to reduce oxalic acid in spinach

There are many reasons as to why it’s wiser to manually lower the oxalate levels in your foodstuff. If you are oxalate sensitive, eating more of this chemical increases your chances of facing what doctors call “oxalic acid foods side effects” or “oxalate consequences.” Which basically include:

  • Fatigue and body pains from oxalate crystal accumulation
  • Oxalate muscle pains and fibromyalgia
  • Painful kidney stones
  • Frequent urination
  • Serious gut issues
  • Or even more joint pain complications

Another reason to this is that maintaining a safer oxalate profile, by either consuming low oxalates or reducing oxalates means you’ll not spend on medical bills or waste time seeking medications. The good thing is that so far, there’s a clear-cut line between what foods are high in oxalates and those that are low in the compound. Simply grab a low oxalate cookbook, get it cheaply from the shopping links on this website and use it as your guide for low oxalate meal plans.    

I hope the above steps on “how to reduce oxalic acid in spinach” were of value to your low oxalate living journey. If yes, let’s hear your views about neutralizing oxalates in foods below in the comment section.


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