How to Enjoy Vegetable Rich SANE Smoothies While Lowering Oxalates and Helping With Kidney Stones

by Cathy Britell, M.D. 

We love our non-starchy vegetables!  And for most of us, eating ten or more servings of non-starchy vegetables  (concentrating on the dark green ones) per day is the mainstay of a healthy diet.   If you have had kidney stones, however, you’ll need to pay attention to the oxalate contained in the vegetables you eat.  The good news:  this is not difficult, and armed with the right information you can still enjoy plenty of low-oxalate non-starchy vegetables.

Lowering Oxalates Veggies

People who are overweight or obese need to be aware of the possibility of kidney stones.  Compared with persons at or near ideal body weight (BMI = 21-23), obese men (BMI ≥30) have a 33% greater risk for kidney stone formation, while obese women have a 200% greater risk. ( Taylor EN, Stampfer MJ, Curhan GC. Obesity, weight gain, and the risk of kidney stones. JAMA. 2005;293:455-462)

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TIP: According to a study published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, “Boiling [vegetables] markedly reduced soluble oxalate content by 30-87%…[and] may be an effective strategy for decreasing oxaluria in individuals predisposed to the development of kidney stones.” (1)

Here are some oxalate levels in a few common non-starchy and non-sweet fruits and veggies:

  • Beet greens, cooked 1/2 cup — 916
  • Rhubarb, stewed, no sugar 1/2 cup — 860
  • Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup —  750
  • Beets, cooked 1/2 cup — 675
  • Chard, Swiss, leaves cooked 1/2 cup — 660
  • Rhubarb, canned 1/2 cup — 600
  • Spinach, frozen 1/2 cup — 600
  • Beets, pickled 1/2 cup — 500
  • Endive, raw 20 long leaves — 273
  • Cocoa, dry 1/3 cup — 254
  • Dandelion greens, cooked 1/2 cup — 246
  • Okra, cooked 8-9 pods — 146
  • Kale, cooked 1/2 cup — 125
  • Peanuts, raw 1/3 cup (1-3/4 oz.) — 113
  • Turnip greens, cooked 1/2 cup — 110
  • Chocolate, unsweetened 1 ounce — 91
  • Parsnips, diced, cooked 1/2 cup — 81
  • Walnuts, 100grams — 77
  • Collard greens, cooked 1/2 cup — 74
  • Pecans, halves, raw 1/3 cup (1-1/4 oz) — 74
  • Black Tea, leaves (4 mm. infusion) 1 level tsp in 7 oz water —  72
  • Carrots, cooked 1/2 cup — 45
  • Brussels sprouts, cooked 6-8 medium — 37
  • Strawberries, raw 1/2 cup — 35
  • Celery, raw 2 stalks — 34
  • Raspberries, black, raw 1/2 cup — 33
  • Orange, edible portion 1 medium — 24
  • Green beans, cooked 1/2 cup — 23
  • Chives, raw, chopped 1 tablespoon — 19
  • Leeks, raw 1/2 medium — 15
  • Blackberries, raw 1/2 cup — 13
  • Blueberries, raw 1/2 cup — 11
  • Raspberries, red, raw 1/2 cup — 10
  • Broccoli, cooked 1 large stalk — 6
  • Asparagus, 1/2 cup  — 5.2
  • Tomatoes 1 medium raw — 2.0
  • Bok choy  1 cup 1.6 — mg
  • Cauliflower 1/2 cup — 1.0

There are many places on the Web to find out the oxalate content of various veggies and fruits.

The Bottom Line: People who are prone to kidney stones can build a healthy diet around low-oxalate veggies. (i.e., broccoli is your friend!)  Another important dietary consideration for those who develop kidney stones is the need for adequate calcium. (800-1200 mg/day) The Greek yogurt that I love has 200 mg of calcium per serving.  Again, broccoili is our buddy here, with almost as much: 180 mg/serving.  And Bok Choy with a whopping 180 mg/cup.   Celery is also calcium-rich.

And here’s another sweet morsel: Green tea can be beneficial in this regard! It seems that green tea binds to calcium oxalate, creating crystals that break down easily so that they pass out through the urine unnoticed while they are tiny.  So, if you have had kidney stones, enjoy your low-oxalate non-starchy vegetables and perhaps a few cups of brewed green tea every day!

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(1) Chai W, Liebman M. Effect of different cooking methods on vegetable oxalate content. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Apr 20;53(8):3027-30. PubMed PMID: 15826055.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
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