Eating Greens The Right Way
We all know that green leafy vegetables are really good for us.
Leafy greens are full of beneficial nutrients - they are rich in vitamins A, C, and K; several B vitamins; and potassium. They also contain fiber, are low in calories and loaded with anti-oxidants. The darker the green, the more nutrients it contains.
Leafy greens help strengthen the immune system, aid detoxification and also help maintain a healthy weight. The USDA recommends two to three cups of raw green leafy vegetables per day for adults.
There is a small problem however with raw leafy greens and the problem is a compound called OXALATES OR OXALIC ACID
Oxalic Acid is a naturally-occurring substance that is found in a lot of fruits and vegetables but present in higher concentrations in leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, Spinach etc.
The problem with oxalic acid is that it must bind to other minerals, like calcium, iron and magnesium, to be excreted from the body through the urine. While oxalic acid is a normal end product of mammalian metabolism, the consumption of additional oxalic acid may cause stone formation in the urinary tract when the acid is excreted in the urine.
People who are susceptible to kidney stones need to be careful when consuming oxalate-rich foods especially, leafy greens. Which is why, doctors often recommend people to go on a low-oxalate diet if they have recurring kidney-stones.
Now does that mean you have to give up on your favorite green smoothies or salads? Heck, No!!
Watch my video on this here
Here are 3 easy ways you can reduce the amount of Oxalic acid present in the greens:
STEAMING: Gently steaming the greens for about 5 minutes or so can help remove some of the oxalates present in them. Just make sure to not cover your pan with an airtight lid.
SAUTÉING: Lightly sauté your greens for 3-4 minutes with a little bit of olive oil or coconut oil in an open pan. This will allow the oxalates to evaporate.
BLANCHING: Boil your greens in a pot of hot water for a few seconds. Remove the greens and immediately place them in cold water. Discard the water and use your greens as required.
These 3 methods will significantly remove the oxalates present in them while still preserving the nutrition.
So in a nutshell, enjoy your green smoothie or salad every now and then but also try to include cooked greens in your diet. And drink plenty of water to flush out excess oxalates from your body. If you are someone who doesn't like the taste of water, try making my Infused Water or Immune Boosting Tea or Digestive Tea (3.14 minutes)