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Oxalic acid

Oxalicacid is an organic compound. It is normally found in plants andanimals, including humans. It can be regarded as an element that isessential for our metabolism as its role is to maintain and stimulateperistaltic motion in our body. Because it is present in plants andanimals, it is also regularly present in certain types of foods. It is a very useful compound in our biochemical processes,excess quantities of oxalic acid have negative effects and causeproblems in the body. This arises from its property to form chemicalbonds with certain metals such as magnesium and calcium, that arealso vital ingredients of our bodies. Problems that might arise fromthis include, for example, the formation of kidney stones. It is knownthat people who are common sufferers from kidney stones have atendency to eat more oxalate–rich foods than people that are notprone to kidney stone attacks. So how much oxalates is too much? Itcan be said that a low-oxalate diet contains less than 50 milligramsof ingested oxalic acid per day.

It is a goodidea to keep an eye on the quantity of oxalates you consume. A referencelist is provided, according to amount of oxalates the mentionedfoods should contain. Note the “should” as oxalate levels inindividual foods may vary, depending on cultivating conditions andclimate.

Foods with highcontent of oxalic acid

If there is toomuch oxalic acid in the body, it might precipitate in the form ofcrystals which might accumulate in various tissues and damage them,or form kidney and bladder stones. If it reacts with metals such ascalcium and magnesium, produced compounds cannot be broken bymetabolism, which, nutritionally speaking, results in loss of bothoxalic acid and the metal with whom it reacted. Foods with highcontent of oxalic acid include vegetables such as beets, sweetpotatoes, celery, dandelion greens, eggplant, kale, chives, broccoli,carrots, green pepper, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, squash,turnip greens, watercress, okra, collards, escarole, leeks, purslane,radish and cassava, and fruits such as concord grapes, kiwi, lemonpeel, rubhab, figs, blueberries, raspberries, plums, tangerines andstarfruit.

Nuts and seedshigh in oxalic acid include peanuts, almonds, hazel nuts, Brazilnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and cashews

Most legumes,such as black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, Lima beans,Brussels sprouts, whole wheat, oatmeal, buckwheat, and amaranth arerich in oxalic acid.

Oxalic acid isalso abundant in some other sorts of foods, such as spices andcondiments, and tea leaves. It is also abundant in cinnamon, ginger,lettuce, soy products, chocolate, cocoa, tea and beer.

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