2

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Spinach salads are bad for you?!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 21, 2013 at 10:34 PM

So I was listening to Abel James' podcast where he interviewed Mira and Jayson Carlton and Mira at one point discusses her previous unhealthy diet where she ate spinach salads for lunch. There seemed to be an inaudible OMG coming from the podcast so that made me think "WHA?" So I googled this and I guess spinach has oxalic acid which leeches calcium. So if legumes are bad because they have phytic acid, why do none of the paleo texts ever talk about spinach because they have oxalic acid?

I thought green, leafy = good. So how bad is spinach, really? It was good enough for Popeye!

Medium avatar

(115)

on April 30, 2013
at 09:19 AM

Just get organic, and then rinse them well. Add a little vinegar or something when rinsing them to get them clean.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:10 PM

Grow your own..

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:58 PM

"Douchey", nice. We encourage people to use the search box, as most questions have been asked before. Plus, if you used the tags field, the auto-complete would've helped you find oxalic acid or oxalates. Why you felt to call people here who try to help "douchey" and downvote my answer is ... douchey. :-P

E689b5a04588f8050ef5fa6f8b820f32

(286)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:38 PM

I don't understand why people feel the need to always point out that there are other threads. It's kind of douchey. That being said I did search. I searched for Spinach, I searched for Oxalic Acid. I did not search for Oxalates. I'm not a chemist. I did not know the derivation.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:03 AM

I dunno but spinach is the one green (or one of th greens) that I simply can't digest. Runs right through me. Not true of chard, kale, collards, best greens, mustard greens, etc. Maybe I am particularly sensitive to spinach or maybe it has something bad in it, not sure...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 22, 2013
at 12:23 AM

A number of great answers below, but this is a classic example why paleo is often too focused on the negative aspects of food, what about the shitton of nutrients (vitamins/minerals/phytochemicals) in spinach besides the oxalates? Spinach is definitely a positive in everybody's diet (besides those with genetic disorders that make oxalate metabolism problematic...)

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4 Answers

best answer

7
C07939fb80c1f445cbb5b0469d665a8e

on March 21, 2013
at 11:09 PM

If you look deep enough you can find toxins in all foods, but its the net effect that matters. Spinach salads are definitely not going to hurt you, but like anything, going with moderation and not drinking a cup of spinach juice a day is probably a good idea.

4
Medium avatar

on March 21, 2013
at 11:20 PM

Our ancestors were badasses who encountered antinutrients and toxins every single day and only avoided the ones that would actually cause real, noticeable damage because the biggest threat was a simple lack of energy. The Hadza know that scavenging kills from lions will cause them bad stomachaches even if they thoroughly cook it, but they eat it anyway and they're still around because they're hardcore like that.

Wringing our hands about some oxalates is silly. I ate the equivalent of a plate of spinach steamed with dinner every day this week. Tasty with a bit of salt.

2
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 21, 2013
at 11:04 PM

Watch what happens when the search box in the top right is used ...

http://paleohacks.com/search?q=oxalates

why do none of the paleo texts ever talk about spinach because they have oxalic acid?

Honestly, I think we talk about oxalates too much sometimes! ;-)

However, I consider watching / balancing oxalate consumption as pretty high level optimizing for someone to enact. While oxalates aren't destroyed by cooking, the body does detoxify itself from them. For the SAD eater who's trying to eat better, I'm not going to give them a hard time for choosing a spinach based salad rather than a fast food burger. However, if someone does want to optimize, I would suggest watching in a ballpark / round figure sort of way oxalates consumed daily, and try to keep the overall average day to day low.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:58 PM

"Douchey", nice. We encourage people to use the search box, as most questions have been asked before. Plus, if you used the tags field, the auto-complete would've helped you find oxalic acid or oxalates. Why you felt to call people here who try to help "douchey" and downvote my answer is ... douchey. :-P

E689b5a04588f8050ef5fa6f8b820f32

(286)

on March 22, 2013
at 04:38 PM

I don't understand why people feel the need to always point out that there are other threads. It's kind of douchey. That being said I did search. I searched for Spinach, I searched for Oxalic Acid. I did not search for Oxalates. I'm not a chemist. I did not know the derivation.

0
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on March 22, 2013
at 12:16 AM

I don't eat raw greens because of E Coli. Ever.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on March 22, 2013
at 07:10 PM

Grow your own..

Medium avatar

(115)

on April 30, 2013
at 09:19 AM

Just get organic, and then rinse them well. Add a little vinegar or something when rinsing them to get them clean.

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