Is Your Green Smoothie Ruining Your Health?
Yes, I am guilty. I’ve made many green smoothies in my life. But I recently ran a lab test, one that I perform annually, which made me examine my green smoothie habit. The typical recipe usually contains foods such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, berries and almonds or almond butter. What do all of these have in common? They are all high in oxalates. Today I want to explain what oxalates are, give you a list of high oxalate foods, explain why you should care, discuss how to determine if you are high in oxalates and then give you alternatives for green smoothie ingredients.
Oxalates and its acidic form, oxalic acid, are the most acidic organic acids in the body. Oxalates have a sharp physical structure. This sharp structure allows Oxalates to deposit into your Bones, Skin and Joints, Eyes, Thyroid, Lungs, Brain, Blood Vessels and Kidneys. Once the oxalates have been deposited into these areas then they can cause damage to your body. Oxalates have been linked to Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Strokes, Kidney Diseases, Kidney Stones, Thyroid Conditions and Autism. This acid is used commercially to remove rust from car radiators. So if it can remove rust, imagine what it may do to your body!
There are two main sources of oxalates. Some of the foods with the highest levels of oxalates include spinach, swiss chard, berries, beets, wheat, walnuts and almonds.
You can find a list of foods here categorized by their level of oxalates.
It has also been found that certain infections produce oxalates in the body. These infections, which are fungal, include Aspergillus, Penicillium and Candida.
How do you know if you have a fungal infection that may be contributing to the buildup of oxalates? One of the best ways is through lab testing, specifically the Organic Acid Test. This test is easy to do with a simple urine collection, and we routinely perform this test on patients in our office. If any infections are found, we are able to structure an anti-fungal protocol to eliminate them from the body.
There are ways to decrease the number of oxalates in the body. These include:
- Decreasing the intake of high oxalate foods
- Supplementing with Calcium Citrate, which helps decrease the absorption of oxalates
- Eliminate Fungal Infections with Anti-fungal Protocol
- Supplementing with Chondroitin Sulfate which helps to prevent the formation of oxalates in the body
- Increase your water intake
- Supplementing with Vitamin B6 which is an enzyme that helps to breakdown oxalates.
Are you ready to take action? You can decrease your intake in high oxalate foods by switching out your high oxalate ingredients for ones low in oxalates. Personally, I ditched my traditional Green Smoothie and created a new low oxalate options. One of the options is my Chocolate Matcha Latte. In my Matcha Latte I use:
- 6-8 ounces of water (optional use half coconut milk for more of a “latte”)
- 1 TBSP of Matcha Green Tea Powder
- 1-2 Tsp of Medium Chain Triglycerides Oil or Small Chain Triglycerides Oil
- 1 Scoop of Chocolate Collagen Pro – you can get this at www.LivingHealthMarket.com
- 1 Tsp of Chia Seeds
- 1-2 Tsp of grass-fed ghee
This is a higher fat morning drink, to help train your body to use fat for fuel and to get the essential fats into the body that most of us are lacking. You may need to slowly increase the amount of fat that you add to your drink depending on tolerance.
This will satisfy me until about mid-morning when I’ll typically have my snack which may consist of veggies (celery, cucumber, avocado etc), fruit (grapes, peach, apple, banana etc) paleo snack bar or meat snack.
If you have a high intake of foods high in oxalates or if you want to know if you have a fungal infection that may be contributing to your poor health, you might want to consider coming into our office for our organic acid test. This test measures the oxalate levels in your body and allows us to take a look at fungal infections you may have. Call us today at 410-216-6607 to schedule a consultation if you would like to test your oxalate levels.