How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist May 23, 2012

Green smoothies are all the rage these days with many people consuming them every day or at least several times a week in an attempt to get healthy and “alkalize” the body.

Whenever I visit the cafe of my local healthfood store, there are usually several people in gym clothes lined up to order a green smoothie to sip after their workout.

Green smoothies are made by blending large amounts of raw leafy green vegetables with fruit to soften and sweeten the taste.  Typical vegetables included in green smoothies are kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, celery, broccoli, and parsley.

Is the green smoothie fad a truly healthy habit over the long term or can consumption of these seemingly healthy drinks in fact contribute to serious health problems?

Raw Leafy Greens Contain High Oxalate Levels

Frequent consumption of large quantities of raw, leafy green vegetables as occurs when a person drinks green smoothies can be deceiving at first as a person will probably initially feel great after adopting this habit particularly if he or she is coming off a highly processed, nutrient poor diet.

The vegetables used in green smoothies are almost without exception high oxalate foods.  Over time, a high oxalate diet can contribute to some very serious health problems particularly if you are one of the 20% of people (1 in 5) that have a genetic tendency to produce oxalates or if you suffer from candida or other fungal challenge.   In those cases, a high oxalate diet can deal a devastating blow to health.

Oxalate Toxicity Not a New Problem

Humans have suffered the effects of oxalate toxicity since ancient times. A 2000 year old mummy from Chile was discovered through x-ray analysis to have an oxalate kidney stone about the size of a golf ball!

Oxalates can be deposited almost anywhere in the body and wherever they land, pain or worse is the result.

75-90% of kidney stones are oxalate related with 10-15% of Americans afflicted at some point during their lives. As the star shaped crystalline stones pass from the kidney, they cause pressure and pain in the bladder and urethra and can actually tear up the walls of the urinary tract.

Oxalate Stones Can Form in Any Tissue

Oxalate stones can show up in any body tissue including the brain and even the heart.

Oxalate crystals resembling shards of glass which become lodged in the heart cause tiny tears and damage to this vital muscle with every single contraction pumping life giving blood to the rest of the body.

Oxalate crystals which end up in the thyroid can cause thyroid disease by damaging thyroid tissue.

A frequent location for oxalates to end up is skeletal muscle which will cause pain with even normal movement and make exercise nearly impossible.  Dr. William Shaw, Director of The Great Plains Laboratory for Health, Nutrition and Metabolism who has studied oxalates extensively, is convinced that oxalate toxicity is a factor in fibromyalgia the pain of which can absolutely devastate a person’s life.

Vulvodynia – Painful Sex

Cases of women experiencing painful sex are on the rise with oxalates a possible culprit.

Vulvodynia, a condition causing pain in and around the vagina, is linked to oxalates deposited in this delicate reproductive tissue.  Oxalate crystals are very acidic and they cause irritation, burning, and stinging sensations for affected women with an accompanying feeling of rawness whenever they engage in sexual relations.

Oxalates Are Fungal in Origin

A surprising finding is that oxalates are produced in large amounts by fungus.  Large stones have been found in the sinuses and lungs of people suffering from systemic fungal infections such as candida or Aspergillus.

Therefore, anyone who suffers from any sort of candida or other fungal challenge like fungus nails or dandruff would be wise to be very concerned about oxalate intake via the diet.

Consumption of green smoothies would not in any way contribute to improvement of health in these situations.  Given that the majority of people today suffer from gut imbalance/fungal issues caused by antibiotic and prescription drug use along with consumption of processed foods, a high oxalate diet which includes green smoothies is an unwise practice for virtually everyone.

Does Cooking Destroy Oxalates?

Would it be safe to prepare green smoothies with leafy greens that have been lightly steamed first?

Not really, because oxalates are extremely stable and while cooking high oxalate foods like leafy greens (and discarding the cooking water) does reduce the oxalate level, it remains quite high.

Since green smoothies are consumed so frequently by those who swear by them, a light steaming of the veggies first would not make a significant difference over the long term.

Healthier Alternatives to Green Smoothies

The best course of action for health, then, is to opt out of the green smoothie fad.

If you enjoy green leafy vegetables, enjoy them in moderation in salads or cook them and carefully drain and discard all the cooking water – never use it in soups and sauces! Be sure to serve cooked leafy greens with a healthy, traditional fat like butter (not margarine or any factory fats synthesized with rancid and/or GMO vegetable oils) for maximum absorption of minerals.

Another option is to drink raw cultured vegetable juice or eat raw cultured vegetables.  Not only will you get enhanced nutrition from the culturing process which adds enzymes and nutrients, but you will also get a beneficial and therapeutic dose of probiotics to help balance gut function and improve digestion.

Another option is to do shots of fresh, green wheatgrass juice.  Wheatgrass juice is very low in oxalic acid.

If you already are suffering from some of the ailments described in this article and suspect a high oxalate diet which includes green smoothies or a daily spinach salad may be the cause, stop this practice immediately and consult with a holistic physician who can guide you on the road to recovery and how to best rid your body of the oxalate crystals that are potentially irritating one or more of your body tissues.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Author, Get Your Fats Straight

Sources:

The Role of Oxalates in Autism and Chronic Disorders, William Shaw PhD

Think Raw Veggies are Best?  Think Again

Yet Another Reason to Cook That Broccoli

Determining the Best Traditional Diet for You

Picture Credit

 

Comments (1,251)

  1. I am 70 and in great health, neighbours giving me 10-15 years less, friends keeping quiet about it. Not thanks to my genes and not thanks to my eating habits either. An ex chain smoker, alcohol user and heavy coffee drinker, I credit my good health to my mind-style much more than to my having quit (cold turkey) ALL that crap. After having read more than thousand non-fiction books on human nature, MY OWN formula for great health is a good stress-management, insisting on a happy attitude, not complicating life and relationships, and yes – eating everything in moderation.

    Eating is more like my “back-up” concern. Worrying about calories and a whole army of those popular bio-chemical boogie-men parading in our health market – boils down to worrying; and in my VERY modest opinion you can worry yourself into sickness much easier than smoke yourself into sickness. Of course, it’s ME, and I am not being normative here, just expressing myself. Nutrition? Biochemistry? I have been there. There was a time when a health food store manager mentioned how I probably had more of those little bottles at my home than there was in his store. – These days you would see on my coffee table the book by Pam Grout titled “Energy Squared” – and staying there for weeks, or months, just as a reminder and an inspiration every time I see it . Or you would see it in my hands again – while I may be munching on a chocolate, have a banana smoothie, or a sandwich. Guess what – I am a great believer in placebo-effect. It works in conventional medicine, works in nutrition, works in energy medicine. Choose your cure – but for Pete’s sake don’t scare yourself. Some of my dearest books in those hundreds were books about human suggestibility and about the effects of our belief-fueled-emotions on our health and our quality of life.

    When I hear all those sermons about foods and their effect on health, I can’t help thinking about an old and senile sexologist very knowledgeable about sex. What’s missing in his equation is that certain “spark” which would make all his knowledge obsolete – that same spark for life and vitality that a happy heart would serve on your dinner plate. But, to each his own. Feel free to disagree – I just hope you feel as good as I do when you reach your 70.

    Reply
  2. I was sadden to hear that my new health idea by making veg/fruit/fiber smoothies could hurt me. I have tried this new idea since my last idea did hurt me. I use to take a multi-vitamin high in vitamin B’s to help my nerves and Lecithin to control my bladder. The Lecithin I took for 30 years with no trouble until now and my Vitamin for 20 years great until now. My body is now toxic and giving me right head pain. When I stopped both of these supplements the pain has decreased which talks loud. I still need my vitamins though since I have to protect myself from colds and flu’s not able to tolerate the flu shot for it put me in the hospital twice. Nutri-bullet shakes was the answer I thought to my issue. I only have one at lunch and eat healthy for breakfast and supper omitting junk foods from my diet. I have been feeling much better since doing this and pray that all I have read here will not be the case with my body. I guess time will tell.
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  4. 2 years ago I spent my summer health kick consuming tons of raw spinach, bok choi, chard ( it came in a large bag pre-washed at the grocery store), berries, nuts and other high oxalate foods. I didn’t want it to go to waste so I would end up eating the greens in salads or just handfuls. I figured, hey, the more the better, right? And I love the taste of raw spinach. Anyway, by the fall I started to experience dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), muscle twitching, tremors, cramping, fatigue, weakness, aches, tingling, restless leg syndrome, cold extremities, pre-syncope, breathlessness and a whole host of other weird symptoms. I went through a period of terrible health anxiety thinking I had MND. I had all the regular tests… vitamin levels, thyroid, heavy metals, MRI’s, neurological… and they concluded everything to be normal. I finally came up with a diagnosis of BFS (Benign Fasciculation Syndrome) on my own. I now believe I messed myself up with eating all the high oxylate foods. Hypocalcemia? Thyroid disorder? I still twitch but I no longer suffer from anything else including the anxiety. Thankfully, I did not develop kidney stones. Count me in as a believer of what this article preaches.

    Reply
  5. Anyone i have ever known that had kidney stones drank a lot of soda and or milk, but did not eat any greens or vegetables. Also back when our ancestors were living that’s all they had was raw fruits & vegetables that’s how the earth was in the beginning so how could something that is natural be bad for us that’s why the dinosaurs rotated the way they ate green leaves because they knew not to eat the same ones all the time. PEACE

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Are green smoothies really bad for your health? - Curaçao Chronicle

  7. . The amount of oxalate in certain foods.
    Although many foods contain oxalate, only nine foods are known to increase oxalate in the urine and kidney stone formation. They are: beets, spinach, rhubarb, strawberries, nuts, chocolate, tea, wheat bran, and all dry beans (fresh, canned, or cooked), excluding lima and green beans. It is best to avoid these foods.

    2. The amount of calcium in your diet.
    Low amounts of calcium in your diet will increase your chances of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. You need calcium in your diet to bind oxalate in the intestines. This helps reduce the amount of oxalate being absorbed by your body, so stones are less likely to form. Consuming a moderate amount of calcium every day (2 to 3 servings) from dairy foods or other calcium-rich foods is recommended. If you take a calcium supplement, calcium citrate is the preferred form.

    3. The vitamin C content of your diet.
    Oxalate is an end product of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) metabolism. Large doses of Vitamin C may increase the amount of oxalate in your urine, increasing the risk of kidney stone formation. If you are taking a supplement, do not take more than 500 mg of Vitamin C daily.

    4. The amount of fluids in your diet.
    It is very important to drink plenty of liquids. Your goal should be 10-12 glasses a day. At least 5-6 glasses should be water. You may also want to consider drinking lemonade. Research suggests that lemonade may be helpful in reducing the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation.

    5. The amount of protein in your diet.
    Eating large amounts of protein may increase the risk of kidney stone formation. Your daily protein needs can usually be met with 2-3 servings a day, or 4 to 6 ounces.

    6. The amount of sodium in your diet.
    Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet to 2-3 grams per day. Limit eating processed foods such as hot dogs, deli meats, sausage, canned products, dry soup mixes, sauerkraut, pickles, and various convenience mixes.

    Use the Food Guide Pyramid to plan a well-balanced diet. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are necessary for the proper functioning, maintenance, and repair of your body. In addition to these major nutrients, the body requires water, minerals, and vitamins for good health.

    Reply
    • Besides oxalates, kale is a goitrogenic food. This also includes other cruciferous veggies. Too much kale can mess with your thyroid. That doesn’t mean that if you are a normal healthy person you stay far away from cruciferous veggies (hey I don’t like brussel sprouts or cabbage much either but I eat them). Instead, just take them in a normal amount not large amounts of them daily. And eat selenium and iodine foods like brazil nuts, seafood, iodized salt, or seaweed.

      Calcium supplements. Mmm. Well, my doctor is pulling everyone off of calcium supplements because they’ve been linked to heart problems. Instead, the newest research points out that Vitamin D levels allow calcium to be taken into the bones, so you need Vitamin D healthy levels in your body. You should be able to get calcium from your diet like green leafy veggies or seafood or beans. With Vitamin D, it’s able to be fixed into the cells. The doc suggested instead of calcium that I should take a daily Vitamin D instead. That and the veggies in healthy amounts and varied (VARIED!!) should allow all the calcium needed. Exercise too helps keep you healthy.

      Reply
  8. I read up heaps on green smoothies and was convinced that they would be the solution to getting more veg into my diet. Alas I was wrong. Within days of making them a regular feature of my diet I had a gout attack flare up. Thinking it was only a one off I laid off the green smoothies until it had well and truly subsided but as soon as I was a few days back into the smoothie routine bang! the gout would return. I can only assume it must have been due to the extra fructose in the fruit. Not being a big fruit eater prior to having the smoothies I was adding about 2 serves of fruit to my shake (which I was having once a day) This was much less than many of the recipes I had found. I changed the types of fruit and veg I was having in my shake pretty much every day as well aside from usually adding one banana to the mix. The other fruit I was rotating was either cherries, melon, pineapple or berries and the greens were generally spinach, different chinese greens or leafy salad greens.

    Reply
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  10. Is wheatgrass safe for people with gluten allergies?

    Thank you – this article explains why my son’s asthma is aggravated and I myself start coughing after drinking too much of green drinks. Too much of a good thing! Yes – we both have yeast issues.

    Reply
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  12. Crap. I read this whole article before I realized it was based on WAP.

    I WANT THE PAST FIVE MINUTES
    OF MY LIFE BACK!

    I guess that’s what I get for reading nutrition advice on the internet.

    Reply
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  14. I think your entire story here is a crock. I’m a spiritual adviser and herbalist and spiritual healer.
    GREEN SMOOTHIES are not bad for anyone’s health, in fact this will help anyone Restore Health.

    ClearDestiny

    Reply
    • Lilissimo. Not saying that the story above is crook or not, but being a “spiritual” whatsoever is the guaranteed crook. You don’t even understand what you are talking about.

      Reply
  15. Too much of anything can be bad for you, yet I refuse to believe green smoothies is bad for your health. The show Freaky Eaters show people consuming nothing but pizza, cola, french fries and all kinds of junk. This is saying if I OD on veggies I will be sick? Maybe but not as sick as the girl who drinks 35 cola’s a day. I think I will continue to drink a green smoothie for breakfast every morning or late lunch or lazy dinner. Either way I will get in my veggies how I please, nice and raw.

    Reply
  16. before i went on green smoothies i steamed plenty of greens and got some scary kidney stones (calcium stones). the doctor told me to drink lots of water. Since I went on green smoothies I have not had any. Green smoothies are greens and at least on acid fruit. I add two tablespoons of braggs vinegar to my smoothie. You can also add fresh lemon juice(one lemon) all my fruits and veggies are organic as well as the hemp powder, flax seed, choc nibs, ginger, garlic, turmeric, olive oil and coconut oil

    Reply
  17. I can’t tell if this spammer is trying to get back and the blogger for this post, or spam out all of the critical comments from the first pages of view. Either way, scuzzy move and you’re screwing over anyone subscribed to comments.

    Thanks for that.

    Reply
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  21. Wow…I know this is from 2012, but I was thinking of making green smoothies of my health kick of 2014. But this post made me think twice.

    Thanks
    Kate

    Reply
    • I started these green smoothies recently, started drinking more water and added an hour walk each day. Feeling so much better, sleeping better, and so much more energy. I experiment with various smoothies, always adding a green leafy veg as a base. I’ve been excited about this healthy new routine and was dismayed to read this article. It just can’t have 100% validity….and why would parents be making these for their kids to disguise the nutrients in a pleasing taste based on credible health articles? I feel like I shouldn’t have one every day now after reading this – everytime we turn around, something else told that was originally good for us is now bad for us. Who in the world can be believed???? I can imagine blending up vegetables and fruits is a negative thing. Ay yi yi

      Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
        Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist July 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

        It’s negative if you overdo … you also haven’t been doing it long enough to assess the long term negative benefits of overconsumption of raw leafy greens.

        Reply
        • I’ve been making green smoothies pretty much every day for over three years. I definitely feel better with them than without them. I make a 32 oz. or larger smoothie.

          Reply
  22. LOLOL, are you citing YOUR own articles as sources?

    2/3′s of your sources are from articles you wrote, which in academia (college grads, masters, doctorates) is a joke. You can NEVER cite your own sources and be taken seriously…even 19 year old college students studying soft sciences like psychology know this basic tenant.

    Your article and it’s title–very misleading. Not trying to be rude here but it is what it is.

    Reply
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  24. Ahhh – oxalates. Yes. People with any type of kidney or yeast issues are advised to stay away from large amounts of foods that contain oxalates. Which are actually in many fruits veggies and grains. This type of article is quite typical – but really, it’s not something you should worry about UNLESS you are prone to yeast or kidney problems …. PLUS, a smoothie a day, part greens part fruit, is hardly a copious amount of anything ….. just sayin’.

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  28. Interesting article, but I’m sure green smoothies are fine in
    moderation (for most people).

    (Some of the healthiest people in the world eat truckloads’
    of greens.)

    Reply
  29. The day that having a lot of greens is detrimental to my health is the day I die. Give me a break with this artcle. lol. Can’t win it seems…

    Reply
  30. http://www.rawfamily.com/

    This is the family who invented green smoothies. They lived on nothing but kale / banana smoothies for 4+ months, and only then they started too feel something. So yes if you want to live on no thing but kale for ½ a year sure, maybe you should reconsider. But if you have ½ a brain just rotate your greens like they do.. We have been drinking 2-4 green smoothies every day for about 3 years now. No problems – rotate your greens

    Reply
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  32. Ok, enough! Now healthy food is bad for you too? For every article touting something healthy, there is another saying it’s not. Eggs are good! Eggs are bad! Eat nuts! Nuts will kill you! etc etc. I’ve had it with this crap. No more reading what everyone else thinks.

    Reply
  33. I don’t call sitting around a table sucking down Coors Lite a life either, Casey. Or wondering why I feel like complete garbage but it has nothing to do with what I’m consuming.

    Reply
  34. Has anyone here heard of the Gerson Therapy? Literally thousands of people worldwide have been cured of cancer and many other chronic degenerative diseases. The main component of this radical change of lifestyle (therapy)? Juices. Apple/carrot juices and green juices (leafy green lettuces like romain, water crest, swiss chard, escarole, beet tops, etc.). You have to drink around 10-13 a day. To be fair, they advise against eating raw spinach on the therapy because of the oxalates…but to say that drinking green juices can be detrimental to your health is completely flawed and poor advised. Note: I don’t completely agree with all the philosophy behind the Gerson therapy and I am definitely not anti-meat/protein/animal fat. I love them and consume them daily. However, I am pro-truth…and this article provides little of it. It’s very disappointing to me.

    For those interested, here are 2 documentaries on the Gerson Therapy:

    Dying to Have Known:
    http://youtu.be/DoUl7F7dWdE

    The Beautiful Truth
    http://youtu.be/9cMOKTlBlDk

    Reply
  35. People please do not forget the emotional nature of diseases. We are energy, and our vibration affects our body. Before blaming the green smoothies for causing any disease on you, I would have a look inside your mind and emotions first. Our body talks to us, please let us listen.

    I believe that is more important to be at peace with what we eat, than trying to have the imaginary “perfect” diet, that is not, and never be the same for everybody. Just listen to your body and try to eat natural organic foods.

    And just for the record, freens are full of life, that energy that will heal you from everything

    Reply
  36. Pingback: To Green Smoothie, or Not to Green Smoothie | Eat. Don't Juice

  37. The author just says that some people have this condition. I am one, and am so glad I read this because now that I have stopped the smoothies, I am symptom-free. And it was no fun!!

    Reply
    • The operative word is “can”. That means they (oxalates) “can” have negative health consequences, but not always. Normal human gut flora contains the Oxalobacter formigenes bacteria which helps the bowels utilize oxalates safely. So if you’re concerned about the dangers of oxalates take a good probiotic that contains Oxalobacter formigenes to help strengthen those colonies and you’ll be fine.

      Also, don’t confuse oxalates with oxidation. Oxalate is a stable ion so there aren’t any worries about it doing damage as a “free radical” (if my memory of organic chemistry is reliable it could be oxidized to form a free radical, but it would have to lose 2 electrons in the process which is highly unlikely).

      Reply
  38. The Benefits FAR Outweigh the Negatives!
    I find it hard to believe what is written in this article. To me it sounds like the author is blindly accepting some very poor research, based on one side affect of what is common sense. Eating nutrient rich dark greens like spinach and kale have far more health benefits than these negatives she so speaks of. If you have the ignorance to believe this well I feel sorry for you. Most North Americans have terrible diets to begin with, and adding a green smoothie to your diet in the morning might have some adverse affect, because the body may not be used to such high nutrient intake. So instead of removing the positive healthy green smoothies from the diet, perhaps think about some of the other foods you eat during the day, like the 20oz steak that is not mentioned in a negative light in the article that “The healthy home economist” cited in this article.
    I’ve been drinking green smoothies for well over 3 years now, and I’d never go back.
    Michael.

    Reply
  39. Pingback: From the Archives: The Raw Food Myth | Modern Alternative Kitchen

  40. I have been bothered by terrible itching and burning every time I urinate. The doctor was puzzled as there was no bacterial infection. The condition coincided with the start of a veggie smoothie breakfast plan. I noticed that when I traveled and did not do the smoothies, my condition improved, but worsened again immediately after resuming the diet. So…I guess I am one of those folks who cannot tolerate the veggie smoothies, which is a bummer.

    Reply
  41. Pingback: It’s That Time Again | KEEPING FAITH

  42. There different opinions regarding this green smoothie article,and maybe what the writer has been referring to is excessive addiction to green smoothie. I guess what will work for some, will not work for everyone. We are entitled to our opinions and beliefs, my stand is if you take green smoothies and feel good about it then so be it. However, if you have been experiencing the symptoms stated above, then the best option might be to try to reduce your green smoothies and see what it happens. I’d like to share an article I read that when taking smoothies we should still “chew” or move at least our mouth up and down to produce saliva. The article says that saliva contains an enzyme called Ptyalin that aids in digestion.
    For those of you who would like to do further reading on this “chewing” thing here is the link to that article: http://healthywildandfree.com/are-you-chewing-your-smoothies-juices/
    Kathy @ paleo for better health\’s last post: Your Paleo Meal Plan Made Easy Peasy

    Reply
  43. Oh dear! Finally people are eating, drinking, and enjoying veggies again, then someone comes along to say that’s no good either. Here’s my policy: most everything is fine in moderation. Know your body and what feels good. Listen to it. Eat and enjoy. Don’t worry so much. Worry and fear probably create more precursors to disease than oxalates.

    Reply
  44. Pingback: Breakfast Idea: Bacon, Yogurt, Wheatgrass | Amy of Escobar

  45. Marlene Belschner July 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Aloha…I live in Hawaii. We grow a plant here called Taro or Kalo. This plant has spinach like leaves. However, it is very high in oxalates. The oxalates are so high that if you tried to eat it raw – it would cut your mouth and throat up. You have to cook the leaves. However, if there are any raw-foodist out there that are so attached to their positionality and opinion of how great raw food is … go ahead and eat it raw. Then come back and let me know. Some things were meant to be cooked. Ancient Hawaiians lived off of cooked Taro for decades… centuries – in perfect health …. no disease … till the white man with processed sugar showed up. Also, there have been recent studies done that prove that cooked carrots provide the body with more nutrients than raw carrots. Also, look at the research done by Dr. Masaru Emoto (Messages From Water and other books) he shows that there are different nutrients that are released from cooked spinach vs raw spinach. In my opinion, none is better … just different and are both needed … in moderation. Jesus said to walk the middle path … meaning live life in moderation … not extremes .. that would included eating. To much of an alkaline diet and body is just as bad and dangerous as an acidic body and diet. Mother Nature is about balance … our original body design was about balance. Eat and live in balance. That would included a percentage of the diet being consumed as cooked food … mainly the ones that release more or different nutrients or remove harmful substances such as oxalates from the food. Even Gabriel Cousens recommends 20% cooked foods diet. Please, the answer is balance in all things … including diet. Aloha!

    Reply
  46. Thanks for this interesting article.

    I have a green smoothie almost every morning. My question is, when you say, “large quantities,” how much, precisely, is that. The amount of greens I can fit into my smoothie is not very much; about one large kale leaf, for example. I doubt if this will cause any problems and I also rotate the type of greens used.
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    Reply
  47. I am terrified of these high oxalates. I believe that unprocessed raw foods are the work of the devil and will be the death of us all. I suggest a SPAM and butter smoothie instead of green smoothies, which will definitely devastate your health.

    Reply
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  51. I’ve just started making smoothies and trying to eat healthier – now I find out this? I like having a little bit of spinach in it, and I like spinach salad as well. I have fibro also, so I will have to watch my intake of these oxalates. I also hear they interfere with absorption of iron, which most people eat spinach for!

    Reply
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  53. Hello!
    Thank you for your article.
    I have been reading about this topic for a while, and it seems wherever I look, there is another opinion. I would very much like to see any citation for this information if you have it. Some places say that you can eat a lot of greens if you rotate them and eat them raw only, some say cooking will create oxalates so not to cook greens, some say to only consume them lightly steamed, some say not to eat them at all. What are we supposed to eat? Fruit has too much sugar, meat is too acidic and low in fiber, grains spike the blood sugar, and now leafy greens are too high in oxalates. My head is spinning….
    Thanks for any citations you can offer.
    Lisa

    Reply
    • Hear, hear!

      And dairy is mucous forming but raw milk solves all problems, grains have anti-nutrients, and potatoes are too starchy and starch is bad, and cooked foods form acrylimides (sp?), but raw food is hard to digest, it goes on and on . . . .

      I have now decided to go on anecdotal evidence and my own trial and error to figure out all these nutritional paradoxes. One such piece of evidence is this: My father has had several oxylate kidney stones. He never touches greens and rarely eats any other food that contains oxylates. He does, however eat a 100% processed food diet and drinks soda instead of water.

      For the heck of it, I went online to see what foods HELP get rid of kidney stones and kidney problems in general since I’d be next in line for these problems if this is a hereditary thing. One of those foods was PARSLEY which is very high in oxylates! There were also several anecdotal stories of people curing their kidney stones/problems with parsley.

      My 2 cents theory on this one is that the high vitamin k content in the greens keeps all the calcium and oxylate in solution so the stones can’t form.

      My verdict is still out on the fruit, meat, grains, etc, . High protein/fat gives me heartburn and constipation, high fruit gives me tooth decay, but green juices help all of these problems, and no oxylate issues after months of consuming. So I’m not ready to give them up yet.

      Reply
  54. Oxalate is destroyed by Vitamin C – which by the way is also contained in almost ALL green raw vegetables. While the cooking process destroys Vitamin C, it does not destroy oxalates. People get kidney stones not by drinking green smoothies, but by eating cooked, dead vegetables. This article is extremely misleading. Do not fall for this.

    Reply
    • I am NOT falling for this either. I have been drinking about 40 ounces of green smoothie about 6 days per week, mostly kales, with some berries and coconut milk, flax, cacao and spirulina, for more than two years. Before this, I HAD previously suffered from very large kidney stones, 8mm and had to have two surgeries to remove them. Then, I stopped taking calcium supplement chews and pills and began getting all my calcium from my foods. I have not had any more stones and feel great. In fact, my diet is completely vegan (for 2 1/2 years now) and I have the best blood work results you will ever see. The food allergies I had before eliminating dairy products are now gone, too, etc. There is NO WAY I’m giving up my greens!

      Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
        Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist November 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm

        OMG. I will pray for you. Seriously … ? This is really scary what you are doing and not at all healthy.

        Reply
  55. Pingback: How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health | The Tripping Timeline

  56. Pingback: Why I Quit Being Vegan

  57. GOOD GRIEF – I have to worry about genetically modified foods….I have to worry about non organic foods……..oh no, red meats……..watch that you dont eat too much protein…..oh and stick to complex carbs…………no sugar or cut that down too………

    NOW Smoothies are bad – WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO EAT – I am ready to throw in the towel

    All of these articles are VERY upsetting and worrisome but as I say – WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT and really WHO is the expert as even experts & doctors disagree
    so – STOP THE MADNESS SOMEONE PLEASE

    Reply
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  62. Not all greens are high in oxalic acid, eg. kale (which is great in smoothies BTW). Spinach, parsley and chard are highest. And you fail to mentioned that carrots, beets and sweet potato are also high in oxalic acid, but you don’t suggest not eating them. I don’t think this is about green smoothies. It is about eating a BALANCED diet and that means not having only greens all day long. If you make a green smoothie with five or six leaves of green, or a handful of something like dandelion, you are not going to get kidney stones, unless perhaps if you have gout, arthritis or another kidney issue already existing. Keeping it real.

    Reply
  63. Ahhhh, the highly educated, well-intended naysayers.
    Educating people about entering a conscious relationship with their own body is the very heart of any discussion that presumes the topic of nutritional balance.
    A topic, most Americans are truly clueless to understand wirh significant benefit for their own physiological reality.
    A canvas of much more in-depth and simultaneous breadth, is the approach to take when attempting generalized information giving of this nature.
    Life is precious and nutrition-based health is a time-centered relationship with each individual and their own body. Value conscious development of this fact and stop catering to fear-based information proliferation, because the fact that the writer means well seems a given.
    Just take these choices as a community nutritional dissemination role far more consciously_ responsibly.
    Understanding the relationship to the body was a warning Aristotle left to us all: “If by age thirty you do not know your own body, you are a fool.”
    Nutrition and the rest of life are inexorably linked_ gentle wholistic, nutritional education matters greatly.

    Reply
  64. Carl Mason-Liebenberg May 3, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Much has already been said in regards to this article so I’ll simply say that I do most definitely disagree with this theology on dark leafy greens. I think it is just one more bit of information that does little more than confuse the consumer. Eat your dark leafy greens..in your smoothie or otherwise!

    Reply
  65. I guess I have the perfect storm of health problems to have oxalate issues — bad fat metabolism and a leaky gut. Thankfully, I have a faster marker than kidney stones: a high PTH that causes confusion, memory loss, and more. (Parathyroid hormone is released when the body is not getting enough calcium from digestion and signals the body to pull it out of the bones.)

    I always wondered why my PTH remained high and I still did not feel well after years on a paleo diet until my PTH went through the roof on a green juice fast last week (both the paleo diet and most veggies used for juicing contain high oxalate foods that bind calcium). Of course it did not help that I was not digesting fats (which also binds up calcium). On the bright side, I think I have just found my answers. I think a low oxalate, paleo, GAPS diet is possible, though not very sexy, for sure.

    Reply
  66. ..at best i take this as something to vaguely note if one has leaky gut. ( me ),
    i am sensitive to oxalates and my body tells me no or when its too much.
    The avg person would have to have a ton , a ton of high oxalate foods on a consistent basis.
    oxalate clears the system relatively quickly.
    “Ordinarily, the gut won’t absorb much of the oxalate from the diet because most of the oxalate will be metabolized by the flora or just leave the body with the stool. Under other conditions, such as when there is gut inflammation, a lot of dietary oxalate is absorbed. The difference can be as great as going from 1-2% of the dietary oxalate absorbed to as high as 50%.”
    this long list of food ( including many fruits ) with oxalate names celery, beet greens, dandelion, kale, parsley, spinach and swiss chard n the greens category .. ( I will add my fav herb purslane to this list )
    http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/pages/low-oxalate-diet.aspx

    Reply
  67. its ‘alkalanize’ or ‘to make something alkaline’

    not ‘alkalize’ … i am not trying to become alkali

    fyi

    Reply
  68. Honestly the most ridiculous thing i’ve heard of.

    Even if you had provided us with actual evidence of this would you all not agree that first of all we can’t really eat much then as everything that is sold in our stores today is basically modified from it’s natural state which surely has to be one of the most unhealthy things.

    Second, I live in the UK when i go shopping i look at the products and barely anything is ever locally sourced of course people will be getting unwell, when we had this horse meat scandal in the beef from our stores the media released alot of articles one of them showed you how the meat was Coming from Romania then going to 6 other countries before it reached the UK hardly Fresh food is it?

    Thirdly, surely things like the 4000 chemicals in cigarettes that millions and millions of people are smoking and inhaling everyday is far worse then some spinach?

    Reply
  69. You should be ashamed of yourself for discouraging people from eating more fruits and vegetables, which is proven to be extremely healthy for people.

    All vegetables have naturally occurring compounds such as oxalate that BOOST our immune system. In order to prevent build up of these compounds and possible ill-effects, we need to eat a VARIETY of vegetables, not limit them. Eating handfuls of spinach alone each day for months can cause harm but a variety of greens is necessary.

    Stop discouraging people from eating more fruits and vegetables. Would you rather them eat processed and refined foods?

    Reply
  70. Await a mintue .. Ha! How can drinking raw vegtables and fruit be bad for you? I’ve had several doctors tell me to eat as much veggies and fruit as I can and cut out processed foods. NEVER, has a doctor said eating too healthy it bad for you. There are so many stupid blogs and advice online that make no sense. Before I started drinking green smoothies I was always bloated and tired. Now, my stomach has gone down and I wake of energized. I find myself wanting a green smoothie becasue I feel good after drinking them.

    Reply
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  72. If you read through the bulk of the comments beyond the reactionary ones just stating how bunk they think the article is, no one is suggesting they are on an ‘all smoothie’ or ‘all greens’ diet. From what I gathered they are having on average one a day, for breakfast, and have clued me in that most are smart enough to rotate the ingredients.

    Reply
    • The idea is that one kind of food and one food only is a bad idea. A salad everyday does not mean just a salad. People tend to eat salad with other food. You would agree that just eating a salad everyday without variation would be bad?

      If you eat a salad with iceberg lettuce, spinach, cheese, and a bit of chicken every day without anything else thats not good.

      Its not saying anything is unhealthy as a general rule even high oxalate greens….I keep wondering if people are reading a different article than I am.

      Reply
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  75. Completely missed the point of Green Smoothies.
    A very negative view of something very healthy.
    Processed food, crisps, burgers……. You eat what you want and I will continue to eat healthy food, whxih will include green smoothies.

    Reply
    • I think what the author of this article is saying that consuming a LOT of green leafy vegetables MAY not be good for SOME people, especially those suffering from a candida yeast or fungal overgrowth. I had a yeast overgrowth for years and had to make some dietary changes which drastically improved my health. I starting eating almonds, lots of them, not knowing that they are very high in oxalates, as well as a lot of other healthy foods, almost all high in oxalates. Even though I started out feeling better I soon started experiencing a lot of pain, and further research led me to the pain-oxalate connection. I am now on a low oxalate diet and the pain level has gone down. So good for you if you do not have issues that require you to be on a low oxalate diet…this is not the case for everyone. But it certainly can have benefits for a lot of people, including those with autism.

      Reply
      • Karen, the same exact thing happened to me! I was eating almonds by the handful, along with lots of spinach and a few other high oxalate foods –AND– eating less calcium on my gluten and dairy free diet. The pain seriously interfered with my life and my doctor’s only advice was putting me on low dose estrogen for the rest of my life. Fortunately I looked into things on my own and discovered the oxalate connection. After avoiding just the foods that are high and very high in oxalate for two days, my pain cleared up. I am since completely off the estrogen (thank goodness!!), eating low and medium oxalate foods (which is seriously easy enough to do!), taking calcium citrate with each meal, and completely back to normal!!

        Reply
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  78. This information is rather misleading, there has been not a single case of health issues related to the consumption of green leafy vegetables, just the entire opposite, in fact there is an article wich clear us out so many myths about oxalic acid and how this in fact is good for us, almost every single one of the natural remedies or plants that are recogn to have anti-cancer properties are oxalic acid rich. You can check this information here!
    http://health-cancertreatment.blogspot.mx/2008/01/oxalic-acid-cure-for-cancer.html

    Reply
    • Its misleading that you can have too many oxalates? Considering the fact that you can have too much of anything including water…I think you can have too many oxalates.

      If your stomach bursts from eating 20 pounds of spinach…I think that’s too many oxalates. Its doubtful that its healthy to eat over a certain amount. You can have too much of anything.

      Reply
  79. But to post such an article about Green drinks as if its as bad as eating a hamburger and ff i find outrageous!!!!!!! I rather have kidney stones then heart disease

    Reply
    • @Ken btw my name is spelled Jonathan….its a pet peeve…its not Johnathan no biggy…anyway

      Why don’t you try and read my links and watch the video on the link about saturated fat? Saturated fat is not as bad as you think it is. The body needs saturated fat. The basis for saturated fats being called evil is flawed.

      There is plenty of good information if you would just read it instead of ignoring. Dr. Steven Gundry is an expert on fat. That podcast explains much of the issue with fats. There are indeed people that get inflammation from animal fats besides fish and seafood. That set of people is small.

      It is an issue with the saturated fat and how it reacts with their systems, but the saturated fat from vegetable sources such as coconut oil or red palm oil are fine for them. Also since fish contains little saturated fat it is also fine for them.

      Reply
    • @Ken

      This article mentions some ways of eating greens besides eating them raw and mentions the fact that some people can have issues while eating too many greens raw.

      It is not saying that green drinks are as bad as eating hamburgers….That is a stretch. Its saying you can overdo green smoothies. You can overdo pretty much anything including water which everyone of course needs, but if you drink too much too fast you will die.

      Its sad but people keep seeming to want to make this article mean something it doesn’t….the author is not saying that vegetables are worse than junk food or that you shouldn’t have green smoothies at all or anything of the sort. They are saying people shouldn’t just drink green smoothies and nothing else. They are saying green smoothies and just green smoothies can be an issue.

      There have been some explanations for why this can lead to problems. Much of it because really high Oxalate greens are used while not using other greens at all.

      Just try eating just Spinach and nothing else in green smoothies for a weeks on end….the result won’t be good. That doesn’t mean that I’m saying a Spinach smoothie is bad…just that too much of something can be bad.

      Reply
      • I have had a green smoothie, just about every day for twenty years….Prior to ingesting green smoothies, I had weak kidneys…I had cancer, I had achy joints….Now I have strong kidneys, no cancer and no more achy joints….You cannot have too many greens…The closest substance on earth to human blood, which makes human tissue, muscle and bone is the Blood of plants…chlorophyll…There is only one molecule difference and that is magnesium…which we need for healing. In WW II in Italy when they ran out of human blood they would give intravenous drips of GREEN JUICE….The more green I eat and drink, the better I feel….No one, not anyone believes my age…I hike, run, do intense yoga and still have an active career and I can outdo most women 1/2 my age. Green Smoothies ARE NOT HARMFUL…

        Reply
        • @Catherine

          I think people are being way too defensive with this article…no one is saying vegetables are bad for you. No one is saying Green Smoothies are bad and you should never drink one.

          Again no one said Green Smoothies are necessarily bad. They said that too much of a good thing can be a problem. This is true for everything including water….you said you had 1 green smoothie every day for twenty years?….Perhaps more some days?

          Did you ever eat anything else? I’m guessing the answer is yes. The problem isn’t in Green smoothies but green smoothies with only one type of vegetable all the time while eating nothing else.

          I guess it could be made up….but I’m guessing if people are talking about health issues related to consuming too many greens that its certainly possible. Perhaps it doesn’t happen much, but that doesn’t mean its impossible…its possible to drink too much water and water is one of the most important things for us to have good health.

          So it only makes sense that there is an amount of greens which is too much.

          I guess people are too caught up in their own defensive reflex that they aren’t reading what I’m saying…because no one has said anything about it.

          Reply
  80. So what your saying is Olive oil is good for you? i suggest you watch Dr. Caldwell B Esselstyn youtube video or read his studies…… Again we can either keep cutting people open, which doesn’t cure them…or we can stop heart disease in it’s tracks. People can decide, but remember moderation kills because the disease will continue progress. His studies shows just weeks after stopping all animal and oils the vessel open dramatically and the profusion flow of blood is shocking.

    Reply
  81. Why should he listen to you, he provided 3 articles and you refused to even glance at them.

    Never constrict yourself to a biased doctrine that refuses to ever stand corrected — despite all the evidence of bunk studies ignoring the grains, starches, and sugars consumed with the oils and fats in question, as well as the cooking methods.

    What about the constant floods of people curing themselves of the same things you mention, but with oils (in moderation) and quality meat and eggs as well as raw vegetables and some fruit? There are a steady stream of positive results from people with no bias in the world other than that they were unhealthy under doctor’s and dietician’s orders until they started eating that way. If it made them sicker, those people would be up in arms about it — it’s far easier to vent on the internet than it is to type up good experiences, as far as an average citizen with health concerns goes.

    People have been combining the value of raw vedge, SOME fruit, and a couple healthy oils and meats in moderation and having the same claims of curing themselves of heart disease and diabetes, and baffling their doctors. I’m not trying to convert you, just try not to box yourself in to a doctrine that may have bias since there are conflicting studies constantly being published.

    I can point you to studies proving the effect too much fresh fruit fructose has on the liver almost immediately, (despite any fiber buffer present) but that would be ignored too.

    In recent news, they found arterial blockage in mummies – something that might back up your stance a bit more than mine.

    Reply
      • Dr Scott Phillips March 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm

        Ken,
        That’s just not true – have you heard of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids? In fact, a defining property of oil – liquid at room temperature, is BECAUSE it isn’t saturated. So, not sure what you are trying to accomplish with your post, but it is just completely wrong.

        Reply
  82. @Ken

    More unwarranted fat phobia. The issue in The United States as well as many other countries with large rates of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic health conditions is processed foods and sugar. A whole foods diet of unprocessed foods including meats does not promote inflammation except as described below in regards to some small subset of people who don’t deal with animal fats well.

    Fat is only a an issue regarding cancer when the wrong fats are consumed. Inflammation is at the root of cancer and many other chronic conditions. An ideal Omega 3/6 ratio is one of the more important issues. That ratio is around 1:4 3/6 to 1:1.

    One of the major reasons cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions are on the rise is that people are eating too many Omega 6 oils in processed foods. People have a range of ratios from 1:20 to 1:200 depending on how much processed junk food with Omega 6 oils they eat. Omega 6 fats are not bad but when they aren’t balanced with Omega 3s it leads to inflammation.

    Much of it is vegetable, corn, and soy oil. They are PUFAs that end up getting oxidized in the process of making the processed foods and makes them even worse. Further hydrogenation of oils creates trans fats that are even worse than Omega 6s out of balance.

    Saturated fat is good for us as long as its not paired with large amounts of carbohydrates as in junk food. Candy, hamburgers, hotdogs etc.. Many of the “high fat foods” are also high in carbohydrates and there in lies the problem.

    They drive blood sugar and insulin up and lead to inflammation.

    http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/how-did-we-come-to-believ e-saturated-fat-and-cholesterol-are-bad-for-us

    http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-chol esterol-part-i

    http://www.askthelowcarbexperts.com/2013/01/35-dr-steven-gun dry-high-fat-diets-good-vs-bad/

    There are some people who may want to avoid animal foods besides fish because they may promote inflammation. These people should only get saturated fat from coconut oil and other vegetable sources.

    Its about 20% of people and can be determined by an ApoE gene typing test as detailed in the Gundry podcast.

    Reply
    • @johnathan.

      I never said fat!!!! Where did you get that from, read Dr Caldwell Esselstyn study how they reversed heart disease, everything else is BS…we know what cause heart disease, why keep putting fuel on the fire? 500,000 people will die from heart Disease and another insane amount will suffer. they have a study about the so called good oil, olive Oil, it still promotes plaque. people have cured themselves from diabetis from going all plant. It works, you may not believe it. they did tests on after just 1 meal of meat your arteries constrict

      Reply
  83. Funny, The united states has the highest rate of heart disease. If you want to see where they have the lowest, you can find it. It’s where people comsume almost 100% Fruits and vegetables. Its been now proven, if you remove all animals from your diet and oils you can now either stop heart disease and even reverse it. You can also cure diabetes as well

    Reply
  84. This article was very informative. From it I discovered I have an high oxalate problem. It got me looking at everything else I’m eating and drinking and I discovered that black and green tea is very high in oxalates. That means I Have to stay off of Kombucha, too. I’ve been substituting different kefer drinks in its place, but boy do I miss the kombucha.

    Reply
  85. @Kathy

    While I and most of us agree with most of what is posted in that forward, that forward is fraudulent, as Hopkins Univ never published that info, and actually has a warning on their site addressing this fraudulent email that started circulating around 2007.

    I agree with the things mentioned, but it makes the whole cause look bad if someone had to flat out lie and be deceptive to get their message out there. There is no need for deception, that all can be helpful, but it’s dangerous to abuse information like that. I can only assume that whoever originally made the false claims knew it would quickly be exposed in hopes to invalidate all the wonderful claims that can indeed be very helpful.

    That said, It’s extremely important to put that in perspective. What better way to detract people from truths we don’t want them to know than to discredit and expose as a fraud? Because “who’d take any of it seriously after knowing the context was forged?”. We know better. But we must check out sources.

    Reply
  86. AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY (‘TRY’, BEING THE KEY WORD) TO ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY .

    Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

    1. Every person has cancer cells in the body.. These cancer
    cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have
    multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients
    that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after
    treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the
    cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable
    size.

    2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a
    person’s lifetime.

    3. When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer
    cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and
    forming tumors.

    4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has
    nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic,
    but also to environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

    5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing
    diet to eat more adequately and healthy, 4-5 times/day
    and by including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

    6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing
    cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells
    in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc., and can
    cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

    7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars
    and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

    8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often
    reduce tumor size.
    However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

    9.. When the body has too much toxic burden from
    chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either
    compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb
    to various kinds of infections and complications.

    10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to
    mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy.
    Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

    11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer
    cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

    *CANCER CELLS FEED ON:

    a. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc. are made
    with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute
    would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small
    amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in
    color Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.

    b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the
    gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus.. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.

    c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based
    diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little other meat,
    like chicken. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

    d.. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole
    grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into
    an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked
    food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live
    enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to
    cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance
    growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building
    healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most
    vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw
    vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at
    temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C)..

    e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high
    caffeine Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer
    fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or
    filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap
    water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

    12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of
    digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the
    intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

    13.. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By
    refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes
    to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the
    body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

    14. Some supplements build up the immune system
    (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals,
    EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy
    cancer cells.. Other supplements like vitamin E are known
    to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s
    normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or
    unneeded cells.

    15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.

    A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior
    be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put
    the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to
    have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

    16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated
    environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to
    get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

    1. No plastic containers in micro.

    2. No water bottles in freezer.

    3. No plastic wrap in microwave..

    Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don’t freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital , was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

    Please share this with your whole email list…………………….
    Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food.. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

    This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in your life…

    Reply
  87. Interesting post! I’m sure some of it will be helpful to green smoothie junkies out there. I am a bit worried about your margarine comment, however. There really is no science backing your claim that margarine is less healthy than butter, which also makes me question the science behind your other statements. Are your statements backed by clinical trials or studies?

    Reply
  88. Pingback: Juicing The Natural Way |

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  90. All this information is very interesting if true but it sounds like it is made up or more opinionated than fact. Where is your proof and to back it up there is only one source? Very important research is missing such as how many green are suggested on a daily basis and which leafy greens have the most oxalates. You have the burden of proof since you are writing the argument which to say the least is lacking.

    Reply
  91. Pingback: Medication Get Rid Candida

  92. This is the biggest load of garbage article I have ever read! Greens are bad? Has this “author” (and I use that term very loosely) gone mad? What a bunch of crock!!!

    Reply
  93. This is so obviously contrived nonsense that I figure the author wrote it to get more readers. To that I say, “Well done!”

    Now I have to go eat french fries and drink coke, since greens are bad for me : )

    Reply
  94. After a diet of heavy raw veg every day, my digestive system began to revolt. I have a friend Who is pretty much vegan and her stomach hurts all the time. She now takes digestive enzymes to be able to handle all the veg and juicing she does, but still has some stomach pains. I didn’t know digesting the cellulose is hard on the human gut. I had to begin eating only cooked veggies…this also helped out with the cruciferous veg messing with my thyroid as well. Thankfully I used common sense and began to steam or cook my greens and limit cruciferous – my gut is much better. With summer coming I will gradually add more salads, but they will not be the majority of what I eat.

    The link below is sensible information about oxalates, I think.

    http://www.empoweredsustenance.com/oxalates-the-grain-free-diet-trap/

    Reply
  95. Jonathan Swaringen February 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

    There are some extra nutrients that you get with cooking in some vegetables and it degrades some potentially bad things. I think the problem is the all or nothing attitude….neither raw or cooked is best.

    A combination of raw and cooked foods is best because we’ve been dealing with cooked foods for awhile and there are advantages. I don’t think this article was saying never to eat raw…maybe I should reread…subscribed to comments been awhile since I read it…but pretty sure not anyway.

    It was pointing out the extra you get out of cooking while saying not to overdue it with certain foods. Someone already pointed out that many who do green smoothies rotate the vegetables and thats probably a good idea and avoids the issue of getting too much of one thing entirely.

    We should be eating a variety of raw/cooked/fermented real whole foods. Not just one or the other. The amount that we all need to eat of each is debatable, but I think both all if them is likely best…not all of one and none of the others.

    Reply
  96. ;)
    Sorry for picking – I overlooked your main issue in the process! I agree… though are some who suggest mildly cooking just the spinach portion of our vedge to help unlock the calcium and iron. I dunno if they’re right, but my taste buds still prefer it raw.

    Reply
  97. Sarah (NOT the home economist!) February 9, 2013 at 3:04 am

    “Be sure to serve cooked leafy greens with a healthy, traditional fat like butter”
    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
    How can anyone take this article seriously?!

    Reply
    • The same way someone will take a comment starting with LOLOLOLOL etc seriously if it supports their side. Butter doesn’t make you fat. Neither does a fat just because it’s saturated. Those too, are the results of flawed studies that happened to catch on.

      Reply
  98. Sadly I feel the need to preface this with the fact that I eat plenty of animal product and not just one type of “greens”, knowing it’ll still fall on deaf ears.

    Not everything that “catches on” is a fad. I’m against fads. I’m also against writing off good ideas because they “got too popular” with certain circles, even if those in certain circles rubbed me the wrong way for whatever reason.

    Some things catch on when enough people share what works for them when nothing else did over the years. I’m not talking about weight loss, I’m talking about healing what was left up a creek by every single avenue taken, suggested, or forcibly steered.

    I didn’t start eating celery (oh no, nitrates!) and broccoli-slaw (oh no, iodine!) because some hip nutritionist in Portlandia told me to. I started eating it because the one time I had nothing better to snack on yet another day I felt like I was hit by a bus where nothing ever improves that situation for more than a few minutes, I was left wondering how the hell these two items managed to make more improvement in that state than anything else. I was slumped down in my chair giving up my weekend, not showing off to a yoga instructor or whatever fantasy people have about this stuff. Those two things alone, are a chore to choke down (in the morning, when I needed them), especially as my kidneys were not functioning properly. This little tiny revelation was a base that I have worked off of, and I now rarely feel like I’ve been beaten to a pulp every morning I get up and try to face the day.

    Please, TELL me I’m a fad. Please tell me I should’ve kept going to my family doctor and living my life like a train-wreck even though I did my best to eat healthy and balanced (and no, not what the Food Pyramid taught me in 2nd grade).

    Tell us we’re all fads. At least something actually works. This is not fun stuff to have to worry about, or figure out, or talk about to strangers on the internet at 3 in the morning. If it didn’t actually work, the internet, the NUMBER ONE place to complain in public about all that sh!tty things in life that DIDN’T work for us as promised, would be filled of comments reflecting that. You wouldn’t have to look hard. What is it full of? It’s full of people who went years up a creek after getting nowhere, no matter how many doctors they threw their money at. There are good doctors that are out there are ALWAYS willing to re-evaluate new information and correct their stance and realize when they’re wrong about something and work on it.

    And Candida? Lay off the wheat, grains and sugars. Lay off the beans and bread and other baked yummies. Eat some Greek yogurt and honey. Nothing VeGaN about that (I eat meat, eggs cheese, and other good fats), but I sure as hell never got it from kale.

    Reply
  99. Pingback: Happy Belly Tangerine Blueberry Smoothie « Yoga and Yum

  100. Lindsay Glenda Lewis February 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Healthy Home Economist is an imbecile plain and simple. I think this blog proves that any idiot who wants to go to Best buy or walmart and buy a laptop can write a blog, post it, and call it truth – doesnt mean it is knowledge. Do your research carefully people! Any crack pot with a computer can give themselves a blog name and post something! This is illustrated here with “Healthy Home Economist”

    Reply
  101. btw, The ONE research is not peer reviewed. A fact requires consensus among scientists. Unfortunately through your own ignorance and fear you created more baseless fear among the gullible and deterred them from looking after their health. Always fact-check get this ‘health’ article off the net.

    Reply
  102. “Autism and Chronic Disorders” sorry can’t make a generalized statement and apply findings in a small group to a whole population.

    Reply
  103. Meh; I have been enjoying green smoothies for four years now. No issues, no problems. You could have as easily said “Leaving Your House Everyday Can Devastate Your Health.”

    Reply
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  105. For more on this, check our Susan Owens’ Trying Low Oxalates group at yahoo groups. She also gives free medical advice to people on the list and reads people’s OATs tests and lets you know if you have an oxalate problem and a ton of other advise too. She asks for a donation, but a lot of people get this medical advice free from her. she’s not a doctor but has a graduate degree and really knows her stuff.

    Reply
  106. What a joke… this article talks about cooking your greens with butter?
    Some people really do not know what their talking about :/

    Eating raw greens enables you to absorbs as many nutrients, minerals and vitamins as possible… also your eating LIVE foods and not DEAD ones (cooked foods).

    Reply
  107. Hello,

    I have been blending greens for some time now without any adverse effects. My routine include using my nutributtet to blend: kale, spinach, chlorella, spirulina, and a little stevia. I would recommend this to anyone. People should be more concerned about the amount of red meat, soda, fries, cake and deli sandwiches they eat for god sake. I an a 6 year cancer survivor and have never felt better since I started my routine. Alkanization is the way to go in my opinion. I really believe that detoxing your body and getting away from a acidic body is of paramount importance.

    Reply
  108. My green drink: cos lettuce cucumber celery and if you can get some wheatgrass great also sometimes broccoli. Put through a good juicer eat nothing else for an hour or it might make you ill. Don’t mix with any fruits or carrots. I also eat golden lint seed and hemp seed about 2 table spoons of each may be add to your cereal

    Reply
  109. It seems like this article may be excluding one important aspect of the current American diet. Most of us Americans have been living on cooked foods most of our lives. Introducing healthy green smoothies is a shock to our bodies, therefore, causing a slow healing transition where all these “symptoms” come up. When we go raw, our bodies start to extract the decades of built up waste from cooked dead foods. The only way to achieve true health is to eat uncooked foods and especially not with a slab of butter.

    Reply
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  111. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water! I have just started drinking green smoothies and in the Green Smoothie Bible by Kristine Miles she talks about oxalates and the need to vary your greens so that you don’t have too much of them. I came to this site because I am seeking information on which greens contain which substances so that I don’t suffer any adverse health effects. The dangers of consuming a highly processed diet devoid of nutrition are much more prevalent and an article like this one is likely to scare people off making a positive change in what they eat. I can hear the vested interests applauding!!!!!

    Reply
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  114. I must apologize. I choked on my green smoothie when I read this.

    There might as well have been an aside in this article reading, “so head to McDonald’s and enjoy Frankenfood.” Sarah, you are not a doctor, nor a licensed clinical nutritionist. So your editorial is just that. An editorial.

    Pesticides are a concern. Contamination of produce happens all the time. Green smoothies are great pre and post workout than the sugar-laden “smoothie” bars in gyms and what fast food chains try to pass off as “health” drinks.

    Reply
  115. Do you have any other sources than this one Dr. Shaw. When you google this man a lot of questionable items appear. You also do not go on to list all the other foods besides greens that are high in oxalates, including fruits, nuts, berries and seeds. Hopefully the people who read this are educated enough to know that every single thing you put in your body has pros and cons. It’s all about moderation. To tell people they should not be eating leafy greens is crazy. The human population got to were we are by those leafy greens, they are needed. It’s about moderation. If all you eat is spinach of course you will get sick the same can be said about any food. Shoot! Oxygen is toxic yet we need the right levels of it to survive. This whole post might be more convincing if there were more than 1 source. Education does not come from 1 place, it comes from all places. 1 source from a man who does not even have any scientific evidence….. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is trying to sell something, just like the “Doctor” who said vaccines are bad so he could market his own…… Who is spending the rest of his life behind bars for what he did. I’m sure I’ll be reading the same about this “Doctor” Shaw too.

    Reply
  116. For whatever it is worth, I have a masters in nutrition and a bachelor degree from and Ivy League school. Not sure that matters, but everyone here is so edgy and quick to attack, so I thought I would give my credentials.

    Reply
  117. Funny thing, I read this originally and thought, ok, some people need to rotate their greens, because some percentage of the population is sensitive to oxalates. And I thought that was the end of it. I am a nutrition educator and a former WAPF leader, but hadn’t really looked into the issue beyond what affects that smallish group.

    Well, I was wrong. Excruciatingly wrong. I ended up in the ER in December with a kidney stone, accompanied by vulvodynia I had never had. Caused by my pretty high oxalate diet–no smoothies, just lots of high ox foods like almonds, hazelnuts, chard, beets and their greens, tea, chocolate and more…much more. I haven’t been able to eat dairy for years, so the nuts were a convenient go-to food. Oh, add figs and dates to the high ox list–so LaraBars are OUT. Oh, and I had stopped drinking tea last year, after a lifetime of consuming it.

    I have now done a ton of research (and thanks very much to Susan Owens and Heidi and everyone else who has paved the way with real research and made it available to us all) and am slowly eliminating the highest oxalate foods. I now see that my body pains and thyroid issues are also related, so the kidney stone did me a service, gave me a wake up call that I am heeding.

    People who are dismissing this issue are being pretty intolerant…and you don’t really know if you will be next. So be kind to each other and realize that information is a good thing, not evil. Don’t be so harsh and mean about what someone else says that you don’t agree with. If you don’t like it, ignore it (but know that we will indeed help you when the time comes, even if you were a bit confused and judgmental here.) We all just need to help each other to be well. Dogma doesn’t/shouldn’t enter into it.

    BTW, the China Study is a bunch of hooey. Do your research there too. It has so many methodological flaws and been misrepresented so radically that it’s basically useless (and epidemiological studies are only supposed to point out correlations that point to issues for further study using controls and real science).

    Thanks for keeping us informed on obscure and controversial topics, Sarah–you never know when the information could prove useful!

    Reply
    • Mary Houston-Harvey January 5, 2013 at 12:42 am

      I am sorry but your diet didn’t make you sick with stones because of oxalates but because your diet was highly acidic period. In order for you blood PH to stay normal with this amount of acidity, it pulled minerals from your bones. When the minerals combined with the acids you created stones. IF you were drinking very alkaline green smoothies…which they are alkaline/—-and enough water to mitigate your overacidic food consumption you would be healthy with no stones. I suggest you relearn how to eat…I have been drinking green smoothies and raw green juices for 20 years…I cured kidney failure and stage 4 non Hodgkins lymphoma. This article and your and the author’s lack of knowledge is dangerous in its misinformation. I am a nutritionist and my husband a bio chemist and miicrobiologist. We have a successful practice and have referrals from doctors at Sloane Kettering because of the excellent results we’ve obtained with terminal patients. I suggest you go back and hit the books

      Reply
      • So glad your program helps people. Please don’t try to tell me how to eat, however, or to “hit the books”—your success does not entitle you to insult me or assume you know anything about me and how I eat.

        Keep helping folks, that’s where it’s at. Kindness helps, while you’re at it….

        Reply
  118. I’m not seeing very good sources noted at the end of this article to uphold the thinking that greens are bad for you. I’m beginning to think that the person writing the above article has an adversion to greens and this lets this person off the hook of having to eat them as part of a balanced diet. I remember when I was quite young, my older sister piled her portion of spinach on my dinner plate when my parents weren’t looking because she hated greens, too. I never knew eating/drinking greens was a fad. I grew up being told to eat my greens.
    If you want to state something as redicidulous as don’t drink green smoothies because they are bad for you, you better make sure you post better resources to back it up.

    Reply
  119. That is ridiculous to say that you shouldn’t eat green vegetables which are packed with healthy vitamins and minerals and to cook them ‘thoroughly’ would destroy any nutrition in them.

    EVERYTHING IN MODERATION

    Reply
  120. I tried reading this again to see if I misunderstood the first time. Are we saying that because oxalates effect 20% of the population, that the other 80% shouldn’t eat high oxalate foods? To me it seems as if that’s the same as saying since some people are gluten sensitive that everyone should give up wheat. I honestly think this message could have been given in the light that you should *check* to see if oxalates may negatively affect you. Similar to how World’s Healthiest Foods (whfoods.com) does. They always present balanced information.

    And I feel like people on both sides of this argument have valid points, and there are also irrational arguments on both sides. There are cultures that eat only vegetables and there are cultures that eat only animal products, literally. There are healthy people from each side too. I think it’s time to step back before we demonize food and understand the actual source of where we get our information to make informed decisions.

    Reply
  121. I think the use of One referance to support your information on not using green smoothies shows the little research that you have undertaken on the subject.

    Reply
  122. This essay outrages me! Green smoothies are not the problem. Anyone who enjoys them daily should know to rotate the greens, absolutely; to say to skip them entirely and instead enjoy greens overcooked and with butter is just- well it’s exactly what’s wrong with diet and nutrition in the US. It sickens me that you don’t reference any of your research so that your readers can see for themselves that they are an amazing addition to a healthy diet especially for those who don’t generally eat enough vegetables, fruits and greens!

    Reply
  123. Mark Timon, M.S. Clinical Nutrition December 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Sigh. A little information can be dangerous. Sarah’s article bashing green drinks is entirely too alarmist to be taken seriously. Although oxalic acid in spinach and other greens may be dangerous if consumed in excess in an unbalanced diet, the piddling amount that may be present in a scoop of green powder will carry no danger in its own right. Even if added to a vegetarian diet loaded with green foods, the tiny amount contributed by a daily serving of a green food supplement would not prove to be the tipping point condemning one to fibromyalgia, kidney stones or shredded cardiac tissue.

    I consider such reporting as self serving and manipulative. Rather than luring readers to your website with frightening and bogus expose’s, please build your reputation by offering sound education people can trust. Fact check you articles. For example, did you analyze a large number of green drink supplements on the market to determine the actual amounts of oxalic acid in them? Were some high, and some low? Did you compare those values against established safe levels of daily oxalic acid intake? Did you evaluate the oxalic acid contents of green supplements against other ingredients in the formulas that may be able to neutralize the oxalic acid? Did you have any hard data at all upon which to base your scathing remarks?

    Had you conducted a thorough analysis of the topic of oxalates in green food supplements, you may have found instead a further reason to endorse them as healthful dietary supplements.

    Reply
  124. I was vegan for 2 years. I did green smoothies daily. I weighed the least I had ever weighed up to that point. I felt thin and “clear”. However I couldn’t work out hard without blacking out, I had chronic bladder and yeast infections. The thing that finally made me think I hadn’t found the perfect diet was I lost a baby. I had a partial molar pregnancy. It’s usually caused by a severe lack of vitamin a. Common among vegans. I started eating traditional foods like this blog encourages. I am happy to say I got pregnant again. Ate lots of meat, good fats like butter, raw milk and cooked veggies and gave birth to a perfect healthy 8lb 11oz baby boy. My opinion now is that veganism is not the way to a long healthy life!! Grassed beef! Bacon!!

    Reply
  125. I have to play devil’s advocate here. The article to me at least, is alarmist. As the writer suggests, the green smoothie is a fad. In light of that information, how could one relate this ‘fad’ to a golf ball sized kidney stone in a mummy?? If autism is linked to oxalate issues, then how does a toddler who has had little to no exposure to oxalates develop them. I can understand how conditions can be exacerbated by over consumption of certain foods for sure, but throwing green foods under the bus as possible causes of IBS, burning mouth syndrome, etc. is kind of nuts. I have IBS, and at the time I was diagnosed I had never eaten oxalate foods. My daughter has burning mouth syndrome, and when she developed it at a young age, had always avoided green vegetables and other be foods linked to high oxalates. Maybe the author should warn Dr. Oz, who also consumes green drinks. I have been in the health food field for 25 years, and I have long grown weary of unbalanced, alarmist articles that thrown any particular food group under the banner of all encompassing disease causing enemies or conversely, the opposite, calling one particular food group or eating regimen the saviour of mankind if one follows it. Come on, how about some balanced reasoning here! Just because someone can write a seemingly articulate passage doesn’t mean they should be published. Did you know, 100% of people exposed to water will die ….

    Reply
  126. Sorry but this is ridiculous. I’ve been eating raw leafy greens my whole life actually, and it’s common knowledge that veggies are good for you. The American diet has far too much meat and processed food and not enough veggies and raw, alive food. I’m a new follower to your blog and I think you have some interesting info on here – but I really think you are doing a dis-service with this article to your readers, and that you need to do more research. With the issues of obesity the North American ppl are having in the modern age, and considering that you do TV spots and have a moderate amount of spot-light, I really think you have a responsibility to do your due diligence when giving out advice. This article gives no scientific back-up, and only one source.
    Here is a rebuttal to your article that all should read
    http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/green-smoothies/why-green-smoothies-will-not-devastate-your-health/

    Reply
    • GREAT rebuttal!! He has many many sources and I knew I liked what I was reading because he is about moderation of all things! This is a must read. This man is well researched and not only gives is opinions but supplies you with how to research what he says.

      And as always people should never just read 1 person’s opinion. RESEARCH!! It will save you from blinding following an opinion. Anything extremely one sided is bogus. The truth usually lies in the middle of all those sides.

      Reply
  127. if i could add one more piece of constructive criticism. a lot of commenters are saying things like ”oh good i don’t have to eat greens anymore” and when i was finished with the article i took away from it that you don’t eat greens unless cooked with butter. what about romaine lettuce and so many other greens? i just think you need to be a little more specific and provide other alternatives for those that don’t follow a healthy lifestyle at all. i came across this blog from a friend on facebook. for all of the ”why are you even here?” comments

    Reply
  128. There is actually more quality information from many of the comments than there is from this article. God help us all! Someone needs to delete this garbage article. Greens=Life!

    Reply
  129. The Bible Book of Daniel Chapter 1 verses 11-17 Show clearly that a simple diet of water and vegetables were healthier than all the delicacies of the Babylonian King. For those that believe the Bible it says that men only ate fruit and vegetables up until Noah’s day. After that God specified some meats they could eat. When God took the Jews out of Egypt they lived off manna for 40 year which is described as a bland slightly sweet bread like mushroom that grew in the dew. Clearly a simple organic and balanced diet seems most reasonable. raising Alkaline PH levels slightly makes sense to me. I care for a fish tank and 2 pools the same way. I’ve had a red pealing rash or something on my face that two doctors prescribed cream for that did not work. In 3 to 4 days of doing fruits, vegetables and drinking my water with lemon ,orange and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda it cleared up.That was not my purpose I was trying to lose weight and came across the internet info on alkaline. I have a feeling there is something remarkable to be discovered in alkaline rich diets whether daily or as a intermittent cleanse.

    Reply
  130. With all respect to the OP your article is merely taking a small percentage issue and blowing it out of proportion. The daily benefits of green drinks for 99% of people far out way the potential risks. Yes there are a small percentage of people who have other issues and large consumption of daily greens could be a problem . I’m sorry but I find you posting an article based on very very little clinical facts as just a way of making yourself sound a little more informed than perhaps you are…curious…what are your credentials?

    Reply
  131. I would say ignorance is bliss, but this is plain, unadulterated stupidly. Really? You should not believe something a quack doctor says, when the majority of the world, including the best in the Medical and nutrition field says the opposite. I can’t ever believe anything you say, so I will not go to this website ever again, until you apologize to your readers for your stupidity

    Reply
  132. Seriously? You’re kidding, right? I’ve never seen the NIH, AMA or ANY heart health organization, all of which tout the consumption of as many greens as you can, come with a warning to beware of oxylate toxicity. You really lost me at painful sex.

    Reply
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  134. WTF? Please tell me that I didn’t just waste 5 minutes of my life reading this false, negative crap. I can’t believe that anyone would believe this article, it is all nonsense. Not one of my physicians have ever told me to not eat green leafy veggies . In fact, that is usually the first thing that my doctors say if I am complaining about not losing weight. “up your veggie intake, green leafy vegetables should be the basis of all your salads. Try to eat at least one large salad a day, or more.” this person is just plain idiotic

    Reply
  135. This article just makes me laugh. No research sourced at all, and it mentions that majority of kidney stone problems are oxalate related which according to this article is purely green smoothies fault. Hahahah oh please! That would mean majority of people consume green smoothies which is obviously not the case. I don’t know anyone close to me that puts greens in their smoothies except for myself. In fact I hardly know anyone that drinks smoothies unless its from places like Starbucks or McDonald’s! This author needs to stop waisting their time and write more meaningful articles

    Reply
  136. Brad i was doing high fruit style eating, thats why i loaded on greens. It worked in the beginning but my then my health just went down hill and i put on alot of weight and was feeling hungry all the time. My body seems to be the total opposite of what other people experience. I was sick a few years ago, so my body is hypersensitive. I’ve been studying diet and nutrition for a long time and have come to the conclusion that i’am meant to eat what my ancestors ate. My body is doing well this way and im losing weight. On the previous diet i had jelly like fat. My fat mass on my stomach was bad and the massage therapist said to me it was unusual. I also suffered hypoglycemia. I guess some diet lifestyles work for some and others dont.

    Reply
  137. NO where do I see your credentials as a nutritionist, scientist or doctor. This is the problem with so many bloggers. Writing as if they are experts. Please further educate yourself dear reader.

    Reply
  138. Sarah thankyou so much for posting this article. If you had not posted this article i would not have known the destructive path i have taken. I was eating greens everyday and having green smoothies and eating salads and juices with greens everyday thinking it was so healthy. I always thought greens were the fountain of youth. My health started to deteriorate and i was suffering chronic fatigue. The fatigue got worser everytime i ate salad believe it or not. My reproductive system(ovaries) had shooting pains go up to my ribs, sex was painful. I put up with it not knowing my problem was too many greens and naively thinking it will keep me young. Actually my skin prematurely started ageing after a couple of years of greens. I was buying organic greens and had allsorts of ideas that the tiredness was from chemicals in environment.
    Please keep doing the work that your are doing informing people that these diets long term are causing damage.

    Reply
    • MazzaC – as a high-raw but still some cooked and even occasional meat-eating health-searching fellow being, may I suggest that greens in and of themselves do not usually or necessarily cause the problems that you list above? You don’t mention the rest of your diet, although I’ll assume that you attempted to balance it: if not, then please don’t blame the greens – if so, then I’ll speak from my own experience and say that it seems obvious that there are now and possibly were underlying health issues. I’m currently of the mind that we will each always be searching for our own particular combination of a balanced diet, and that it will probably also evolve and change as we go through life, as very little ever really stays the same. That said, I know it can be disappointing to do what we think is best and have it ‘go south’ so drastically, but can I encourage you to continue working toward a lifestyle of moderation and that word balance again, including having a good amount of leafy greens? We each need to keep searching for what works for us…I hope you find some healthy answers soon!

      Reply
  139. I would feel that this article might be reputable if it had more than one source. When writing an article about anything you should know to do your research and find the whole story. He Internet is full of people like you giving half the information. Next time do research in order to save yourself from looking ignorant. Green smoothies are extremely high in nutrients that many people are not able to get. They are one way to ensure that your bodies receives at least some of the fruits and vegetables it requires in a day.

    Reply
  140. Mary Houston-Harvey November 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I cured my stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma with green smoothies…The Dr. I worked with has cured many cases of advanced cancer and other diseases…Oxalates only effect you if the vegetable is cooked or steamed. Raw greens do not cause inflammation in the body. This information you posted is totally incorrect.

    Reply
    • Mary,
      Are green smoothies the only thing you did to heal? Did you not change anything else in your diet or lifestyle? Or add supplements?

      Reply
      • Mary Houston-Harvey November 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm

        Hi, Yes, I eliminated all sugars, including fruit. (cancer loves sugar no matter where it comes from). I eliminated meat and eventually fish. I went totally raw and twenty years later I am mostly raw and love it….I am now 67…Still run, do Yoga and when stopped by a Police Officer the other day for driving too fast , he couldn’t believe my age on my license and said he could’t believe I was even 50. I did also use supplements…anti fungals, sulphur based amino acids, and C, E. and a good natural multi…But the leading factor was green, green , green….The closest thing to human blood on the planet is the blood of plants…chlorophyl . Chlorophyl builds tissue, muscle and bone and rises the ph of the blood and tissue. I also meditate daily…You can read about me in the Book “Choose to Live”…Not about me but about a couple that worked with me and my husband and cured their own cancer…We must take control of our own health. We care the most about ourselves…Study study study…The person who wrote this article doesn’t know a thing about nutrition…She has been indoctrinated by Big Brother Pharma.

        Reply
  141. Pingback: Oxalates in Greens? Bad? — EmbracingHealthBlog | Alternative Health and Lifestyle Views

  142. Pingback: Long Live the Green Smoothie! | Plant Based Dietitian

  143. Pingback: How Green Smoothies Can Wreck your Health | HealthyLaguna!

  144. As always Sarah, you have provided another informative and useful article. Unfortunately, there are a considerable number of emotive, stressed-out naysayers posts that I have to wade through and as usual don’t really add anything useful. As stated, this is a WAP friendly site for WAP supporters. Peer reviewed articles are not all-seeing, all-knowing truth, especially those ones stating the efficacy and safety of big pharma. If visitors to this blog wanted the mainstream version, and whatever PubMed says they wouldn’t be here, right? Thanks again and keep up the good work.

    Reply
  145. Pingback: Five Days with your Vitamix: Smoothies - Granola Mom 4 GodGranola Mom 4 God

  146. I see some people stating they are now confused as to what they should eat. That somehow the article is stating that eating vegetables is now bad. The moral of this article is moderation. If you consume too much of anything is bad. What is that you say? You can eat as many vegetables as you like? Perhaps, if you are actually eating them. Your stomach would tell you to stop at some point due to the volume of food in your stomach. If you concentrate a pound(s) of food into juice form, you are obviously taking in more minerals than your body can handle. Please keep in mind this article is about over doing it with this new “health fad” and nothing more. Like I said if you consume too much of anything it will be bad for you. If you drink too much water, you can dilute the sodium content in your body to the point where it can be fatal. And that is WATER! The one thing we need more than any food, can also have ill effects if over done. (yes that is true, google it)

    Reply
    • Do you have any concept of how much water you would need to consume to make your statement evenly close to true..your as badly informed as the OP. you read one fact on google and now use it as a fact for not eating too may vegetables?, wow hahahaha

      Reply
  147. Hello fellow seekers of health! I have a suggestion. Take a deep breath, exhale, and consider how blessed you are to have this dietary concern. So many people around the world don’t have enough to eat. And so many people around the world don’t have the choices we have. Thousands of children in this country have never even seen a collard green or tasted a fresh raspberry. Enjoy your food and beware dietary fanaticism.

    Reply
  148. Pingback: Just Why Gardening Can Be Good For Your Health | Catering Brea

  149. I believe in moderation in everything but this article has me raising an eyebrow. I came from a small island where fruits, vegetable and meat are basically the breakdown of every meal and many of my elders lived long lives with very few of the symptoms you mentioned. I’ve also been raised on dark green vegetables and fruits and i only starting to experience health issues when i moved to the U.S and my diet changed to SAD. i think reactions to oxalates will probably be determined by genetics and sensitivity, so in a way the author isn’t too off mark. i do drink green smoothies (8 ounces 4 – 5 times a week made of kale, strawberries, and mangoes). but in moderation. if i miss a day or two its not the end of the world.

    Reply
  150. Cardiologist disapproves of this article October 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Allie,

    There is ample research on the benefits of pradaxa over warfarin (I suggest you use “uptodate.com” for the ample literature on this topic). This is not to say that pradaxa does not have it’s own side effects (I never said pradaxa was “safe”- I said it was “safer” than warfarin). I am sorry that you have had issues with the drug, but the fact is that the drug is far less likely to lead to hemorrhagic stroke than warfarin. You have to weigh the benefits and risks of any drug you take- i.e., I would much rather take a drug that I believe causes me to be dizzy than to take a drug that puts me at high risk for hemorrhagic stroke and it’s sequelae- coma, death, paraplegia.

    Let’s not get too far off topic though. This article is about the harmful effects of green smoothies. My post was primarily meant to point out that I believe green vegetables of any sort to be healthy. By searching google, you can find people posting about the harmful effects of literally any food out there. I just think it’s a little ridiculous and hope that people don’t actually give up greens because of stuff like this. I will refrain from further posts as I feel there is no persuading anyone otherwise on this forum.

    Reply
    • cardiologist,

      “Now, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that Pradaxa led all other medications in 2011 for number of deaths reported to the FDA. In an article published June 6, 2012, the paper cites a report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ QuarterWatch program, which tracks reports to the FDA’s MedWatch.

      The Inquirer noted that Pradaxa exceeded all other medications in the categories of total adverse reports (3,781), deaths (542), hemorrhage (2,367), acute renal failure (291), and stroke (644). In contrast, there were only 731 reports of hemorrhage and 72 deaths associated with Coumadin.” PRWeb
      Maybe Pradaxa is less dangerous, rather than safer.

      “I would much rather take a drug that I believe causes me to be dizzy than to take a drug that puts me at high risk for hemorrhagic stroke and it’s sequelae- coma, death, paraplegia.”

      Again, this response is the typical answer I was told by the nurse who lied to me. Please, for the sake of your patients, don’t respond to them in this way, it’s condescending.
      “dizzy” – I could not function during the day. I could not work and was told I had to take 150 mg. morning and evening, when being at just about zero risk for stroke. 150 mg. at night would suffice considering the blood thinning effects lasted in the body for 85 hours.
      “high risk” – Again, CHAD score, 0. Afib lasted under 36 hours. virtually, no risk.

      Here are some “safe and safer” alternatives that several afibbers are running to, due to the danger of the blood thinning drugs.

      Butcher’s Broom, Horse Chestnut and Ginger Root act as blood thinners, while Rutin (from buckwheat) keeps platelets from sticking together and forming clots.

      http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/nattokinase

      http://www.ctds.info/natthinners.html

      As far as green smoothies – they are not for every person who may have issues with oxalates or people who need less vitamin K. I took this post to be a wake up call to those who may be having this problem, nothing more.

      Those spouting moderation – what is moderation? every other day? once a week? once a month? bi-monthly?
      BTW- I do eat greens, as do most who follow this blog.

      Reply
  151. Pingback: Inca Peanuts Reduce the Risks of Depression :: Inca Peanuts

  152. Cardiologist disapproves of this article October 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    This article is absolutely nuts. I am a cardiologist and do transesophageal echos and all sorts of other imaging to look at people’s hearts in detail each and every day. I have NEVER seen someone with “oxalate shards lodged in their heart,” as the author references to in this article. Where are you getting this information? I absolutely agree that oxalate stones may be an issue with high oxalate foods, but kidney stones are VERY rarely life threatening and can be managed and eliminated through a multitude of ways. You’re telling people to eliminate spinach- one of the most nutritious and best foods available for reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and on and on and on, so that they simply may avoid getting a little kidney stone? I say, bring on the kidney stones. Next fact, it’s spelled lichen sclerosis, not “litchen sclerosis.” I know this is subtle, but it’s just further damaging your credibility. And lichen sclerosis is almost always caused by either autoimmunity or infection in perimenapausal women (definitely not oxalate). Lastly, yes, green vegetables are high in vitamin K and subsequently may reverse the effects of coumadin (warfarin), since warfarin is a vitamin K antagonist. But, we monitor PT/INR in patients on coumadin and attempt to keep it between 2 and 3. Eating leafy greens will simply lower your INR and potentially create the need to increase your dosage of warfarin. Yes, warfarin is a dangerous drug and I see elderly people all the time falling and hitting their head and having hemorrhagic strokes because they’re on warfarin, but the fact is that the dosage of warfarin is not what causes this- it’s the patient’s INR. The lower the INR, the lower the risk of hemorrhage and the higher the risk of ischemic stroke if a patient with atrial fib were to throw an emoblism. And besides, how many people here are actually on warfarin? In the next 5-10 years, we’re going to be using other, safer drugs to manage anticoagulation (like pradaxa) that aren’t affected by vitamin K rich foods sources anyway.

    Sorry for the rant, but I cannot stand for an obviously uninformed person counseling people to not eat spinach and other green vegetables that are “high in oxalate.” If everyone ate plenty of green vegetables each and every day, it would likely put me out of business. And I’m ok with that if it means even a few lives saved and their quality of life improved. Please pay no attention to this article.

    Reply
    • Pradaxa a safer drug? I think not. It caused severe dizziness in me when I had to take it for an episode of atrial fib brought on by the vagus nerve being assaulted from severe vomiting due to food poisoning. I was told by the doctor the dizziness was not caused by the Pradaxa. Funny how I would get dizzy about 20 minutes after I took it and the dizziness went away when I took myself off of the drug. All I wanted to do was take it at night while I slept so that the side effect would not keep me from being functional during waking hours. The nurse lied to me saying that the effects of the drug stayed in the body for 12hours and I needed to take it morning and evening. I called the pharmacist and asked how long 150 mg. lasted in the body and he told me 85 hours. She worked me over telling me I was putting myself and family at risk for a stroke and would change their lives forever and was being incredible selfish in not taking the full dosage day and night. Many lies, fear mongering for me to submit and take the drug that I knew was causing me problems. My CHAD score is 0, of course, I had to research this fact for myself.
      My gut has not been the same since the little time I was on Pradaxa. This has been well over a year and I’m still trying to restore my gut, which by the way could not handle (digest) raw veggies, so steaming them is the only way I could eat them until my gut is healed.
      Depending on the study, there has been up to 500 deaths in the first year alone for users of pradaxa. Since you a the cardiologist, I’ll let you digg to find the “outside the big pharma box” info for yourself. It is a 1-800- BAD-DRUG.
      So, for me this post about oxalates found in greens and the possibility of the overuse of green smoothies “may” be harmful for “some” people is benign to the claims you make.
      Coumadin is bad. Pradaxa is bad. “coumadin nurses” have to monitor people because these drugs are so harmful to the human body.
      With all due respect, for the benefit of your patients, think/research/practice outside the box and speak truth about the drugs you prescribe on a daily basis. Give the facts and let the patient make their own decision based on those facts. Pradaxa is not safe.

      Reply
  153. i dont know much about this stuff but i have read many artilces about health stuff and saw many videos or programs but still i only drink Green tea and it works and i think this is the best drink for health. and i also suggest you to drink green tea, do excercise, walking. you can see the difference quickly. your article is nice and it really helps people to think why are they doing.
    thanks
    Alan Green

    Reply
  154. @Beautifully human: I am pretty sure that modern man did not invent red meat. I believe the same Creator who put the grass and trees on earth put the animals there, too, and mankind has neen eating them for millennia. God did not, however endow us with blenders an juicers with which to drastically alter the structure of and availability of the elements of a leaf.

    Reply
    • And after a lifetime of eating the modern, highly processed diet, and sedentary lifestyle, that person’s organs are no longer highly functioning where absorbing the nutrients of “all the right foods” is very poor. Doing this to at least get out of a sickened state has benefits that outweigh the “risk” by a landslide. No one is saying “have smoothies for life”.

      They are saying having these vegetables in this manner have made life flipping differences to people who were already up a creek, stranded by doctors and all of the other fickle flip-flop health advice out there.

      Reply
  155. Sarah, I think that you should delete this article. The lack of scientific studies behind it is alarming. Right or wrong, what you are saying is unsupported. As the first article that comes up on Google, you are influencing people – and influencing their health. Something so precious should not be treated lightly. People deserve evidence, not generalisations. Then they can make their own judgments.

    Reply
  156. beautifully human October 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    who came up with vegetables can devastate our health its funny my Doctor tell me to add them all the time how can the things GOD put here for us Devastate our health I would think Sugar, Redmeat and GMO would Devastate our health not Veggies

    Reply
  157. Ashlee,

    How old are you? I’m guessing 20-24 or so? Where’s the “research” that “shows over and over” that eating greens is GREAT for you? WHERE? Please post some references.

    Replying to the blog’s author: The “Trying Low Oxalate” yahoo group is actually pretty sad. The same people on it for years, with worsening food ‘allergies’ and no real guidance, not many stories of improvement.

    Of course it’s better than the counterpart — the “Vitamin K2″ yahoo group, which basically is defunct.

    Reply
  158. It’s great that the author provided information but I’d like to believe that people who drink green smoothies also eat other foods, whether they are vegetarian or omnivorous. And how much green drink are they really taking in? I’m sure they’re not drinking gallons of it on a daily basis. Anyway, I think this is one of those articles I will take with a grain of salt.

    Reply
  159. I don’t think people should buy into this. It’s hilarious to think that eating greens will cause health problems. Crazy, in fact. bahaha! That’s what your body needs….research shows over and over again that eating greens is GREAT for you and actually fights off disease. Keep eating your greens people. It’s what your body wants and needs!

    Reply
  160. oh ok let me cook all the nutrients out of my food, then add butter to boot! sounds alot healthier than some raw fruits and veggies after a long workout….how could i have been so blind?

    Reply
  161. I have never commented on any blog, but this one really grabbed me. My family and I have been drinking green smoothies for 8 years and hearing it called a fad is kind of crazy. I also consume large salads on a daily basis.
    I have 50% kidney function (from a birth defect) and have never had any issues with the very large quantities of greens I consume. I do however feel pressure and flank pain when I consume animal protein (organic chicken, or fish). My greens work wonders for me!
    On the other side, I have three children and two of them (8 and 11) love green smoothies and do very well with them and ask for one almost daily. My 16 year old however, has never really enjoyed them, nor does she like most salads. She does not feel well after having green smoothies. Every BODY is different. I do appreciate the information Sarah is sharing. I think everyone needs to tune in and listen to their own body.

    Reply
  162. This article is all opinion and almost none of it stacks up to reflect the truth at all. For goodness sake, you’re telling people to limit their greens. Yes there is a proportion of people who are sensitive to oxalic acid in large quantities and it is certainly not 20%.

    What you fail to mention is that oxalic acid is formed in EVERY human body as part of normal daily function. Geez, did you mention that taking ascorbic acid can cause the body to create oxalic acid?

    What about warning your readers to stop eating peanut butter, or drinking chocolate milk, eating chocolate, fig newtons, cinnamon buns, tomato soup, graham crackers and coffee? All of those have high oxalic acid amounts.

    Where did you get your “1 in 5 people” are prone to these problems? If that were the case, there would be warnings on all the foods I mentioned. But no, that is not the case.

    Warning people not to drink green smoothies is ridiculous. The smart thing to do would be to let people know that, like anything, variety of good quality fresh (organic) produce is key. Don’t get stuck on 1 or 2 types of greens or vegetable, moderate your intake of most things and for heaven’s sake don’t believe everything sensationalist thing you read on a single blog.

    To be successful in convincing people (such as Carrie) that they are right to avoid something as wholesome and healthy as a smoothie with a couple of handsful of green leafy vegetables is downright irresponsible.

    It would definitely be cause for concern if you were warning people not to eat 3 green smoothies per day all made with ounces of spinach, sorrel and flavored with 3 tbsp of cacao. Then you might have something to say.

    Reply
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  164. Pingback: The Raw Food Myth | Modern Alternative Kitchen

  165. I am not surprised by this! I have never made a green smoothie in my life because they sounded repulsive to me. Another thumbs up for listening to the body. ;)

    Seriously though, I do like some kale or collard greens, well cooked, and dripping with bacon grease! Grandma did it right… with a little dab of Tabasco or vineger splashed on them at the table. WAY more digestible and tasty too.
    Carrie\’s last post: How To Survive The Hospital

    Reply
  166. I don’t know…I’m going to have to do more research on this. Definitely not convinced, especially if there is only one source listed. I try to eat 2 cups of spinach daily (never tried it in a smoothie, usually raw or sauteed). I find it odd that spinach is touted as being one of the best “power foods” rich in almost everything, yet it’s dangerous for my health.

    I liked a previous comment that if we don’t have any bad symptoms, this probably doesn’t apply to us.

    Aye aye aye, it makes me wonder what people even eat anymore since almost every food is of someone’s health concern!

    Reply
  167. Stop the madness. This is titled to provoke commentary and each comment
    moves the blog higher to the top of a search. Now it’s like 3rd or 4th if you search for green smoothies. Green smoothies is not on any list as the number 1 killer. Diabetes, heart disease and cancer are real problems. Obesity hello. Just use logic and reason when consuming to much of anything (including loaded blogs) but certainly eat more veggies then carbs and meat. Sally I totally respect you as a viral marketing person. I will use the same tactics clearly it works. It has been working since Punch and Judy. Hats off to you and your talent. Cheers. This is a tasty green smoothie right here oh no wait.. maybe a cup of butter and some beef broth so my vagina doesn’t hurt during sex or I could have candida better wait to drink that smoothie.. Green smoothies are great and I like them when I forget my salad or just am not in the mood to eat one.

    Reply
    • Bravo on recognizing some of the suttle/covert reasons for why this bog post was written.
      Yes I agree it is one-sided / misleading info. I have done my research on Green Smoothies, so should everyone, (instead of blindly following one source).
      Green Smoothies are great and rotating the greens is one form of addressing the oxalate issue. The benefits outweigh the risks.
      For every type of food there are some groups who are at risk. That doesn’t mean that it is bad for everyone who consumes it responsibly. Aside from that, personal experience tells me it is good for me, but I cannot speak for everyone because every health history is different,
      One of the largest bodies of research into vegetarian diet in general is Dr. Campbell’s “The China Study” which conclusively proves the overwhelming benefits of a vegetarian diet.
      Yogi\’s last post: Bright Minds, Small Business Show

      Reply
  168. With all due repsect, WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP! Eat your greens with butter?? Skip green smoothies altogether? Um please don’t listen to this guys!

    Reply
  169. RIIIIGHT! Cook the nasty LIFE right on out of your spinach and then… SLAP SOME BUTTER ON IT!!! Now THAT… is a solution… especially if you don’t suffer from such rare dis-ease! It’s one thing to make a decision for ones self but to try to re-color and SELL your beliefs to others via catchy titling and scare tactics… a bit much don’t you think???

    Reply
  170. Why is it you can smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and no one says a damn word but whatever you do don’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables! That’s unhealthy, give me, a freakin, break.

    Reply
  171. Pingback: Happy Belly Tangerine Blueberry Smoothie « The Lotus Manifesto

  172. Is this some kind of disinformation website to confuse people? I don’t care what someone’s credentials or education is. You teach people crap – like the schools do nowadays – and give them a degree and they think they know something and pass the lies on to others, and gullible people believe this stuff.

    We need enzymes and enzymes come from raw fruit and vegetables. Also, do some research on dairy and meat, they have been linked to cancer and so many other diseases. Why do you think that holistic cure for cancer to be a vegan and eat a lot of raw fruit and veggies.

    Reply
  173. The main point of this article makes NO sense. Most people are not drinking green smoothies even once per day. Americans do not eat enough fruits & veggies. Green smoothies help them eat more. Unless you are drinking more than 5 or 6 green smoothies a week, there should be no reason to worry. Everything in moderation!

    Reply
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  175. This article seems just mainly speculation and opinion/editiorial, given no worthy references or citing. Oxalates are one of the major contributors to kidney stones, however, there is no direct correlation in the literature to green leafy diets and formation of kidney stones. Since the rise of the ‘kale shake’ fad, wouldn’t there a direct correlation to a rise in reported stones?
    That does not seem to be the case, going off of recent peer-reviewed medical journals.

    Reply
  176. This web site is a great example of one of my pet peeves — people who assume that what is good (or bad) for them is good (or bad) for everybody. The author carefully explained about oxalates and how they can contribute to some diseases and how green smoothies should not be had every day (i.e. they should be used only in moderation and not by people troubled by oxalates). Then many of the comments jumped to conclusions, attributing their own person good health (or bad health) to green smoothies or the lack of them or high oxalate vegetables or the lack of them. Whoo boy! I was researching on behalf of my boyfriend who has had kidney stones and loves cooked green vegetables and especially spinach and eats a lot of them when he gets a chance. He’s not a smoothie kind of guy. So, from the original post I conclude that he should be moderate in his eating of spinach. Thank you — I appreciate the information.

    Reply
  177. According to USDA and Harvard, Kale is VERY LOW in oxalate acid. For 1/2 cup raw kale it has only 2 mg compared to a 1/2 cup raw spinach which is about 650 mg. Please do not lump kale in with the other greens. Collard greens are slightly higher than Kale with a very low amount of 4 mg/half cup raw. There are exceptions that are well documented.

    Thanks
    Clancy Cash Harrison MS, RD, LDN
    Registered Dietitian and Professor

    Reply
    • Alan – that was posted in June by someone else, maybe by Robin herself, this is September, most of us have moved on.
      Nothing new under the sun.
      Sarah – how does one get off the merry go round? Pls close comments, same comments over and over. Thx.

      Reply
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  179. YOU ADVISE ME TO EAT THE DANGEROUS “GREEN MONSTER” IN SALAD ETC. DO THE INGREDIENTS CHANGE WHEN I PUT IT IN A SMOOTHIE? SOUNDS MORONIC TO ME !!! I AGREE WITH SOME OF THE OTHER COMMENTS ABOVE, PLEASE USE REAL SCIENCE !!!

    Reply
  180. I’m cool with keeping it open for comments as everyone has a right to their opinion, whether I agree or not. But, to each their own. :)

    Reply
    • My request has nothing to do with people voicing their opinions, we’ve read them all…over and over and over, since “fly by” late to the party commenters keep repeating the same thing over and over and over with no knowledge of previous posts.
      The “horse” died in late June. Time to move on.
      Or at least, how do I get off the carousel?

      Reply
  181. I do not agree with this article either. Two years ago, I began drinking green smoothies after heart surgery and it was the best decision I made. I’m really tired of authors or articles trying to put the fear of God in everything I do. This article just takes the cake! Don’t consume green smoothies? Don’t eat your normal intake of fruits and vegetables as required by national health standards? Geez. How about giving credit to those us that find sometime in our daily busy CRAZY lives to inject some healthy habits that will sustain for long terms. Green smoothies are practical and quick. They are a VERY easy way to get our daily intake of fruits and veggies. I’ve even starting having my kids drink these. Much simpler to do this than having them not eat their veggies at dinner. I’m so over these articles. I recommend anyone who reads this article to do your own EXTENSIVE research into the health benefits of green smoothies. I’m sure any of these benefits far outweigh some negligible risks.

    Reply
  182. Hi. Sometimes I save the water from cooking veges and use it to water my plants. I wonder if watering my garden plants with this liquid is a mistake? Thanks!

    Reply
  183. bottom line is this article is completely unfounded. She has absolutely NO weight to this argument in terms of greens being the actual cause of kidney stones. These kind of articles are the exact reason people get so worried about what they should and shouldn’t be eating – for the wrong reasons. In addition there are no referenced peer-reviewed scientific journals or articles to back up her argument. Wake up people! this is the problem you get in todays society when you have the internet – you can literally post anything you want and people will believe you and follow it. Sarah has no scientific education behind her, especially in nutrition, which is obvious. Sifting through the mountain of inaccurate and unfounded health information is what confuses people. Seriously if you want health advice search peer-reviewed journals on whichever topic, or go and see a dietitian.

    Reply
  184. That is a bunch of horse ****. Cook green vegetables with butter? are you kidding. Let me guess a fat person wrote this article. You don’t get kidney stones from eating green vegetables. Just ask all the athletes, centenarians, and fitness experts and they will tell you green vegetables are vital for health in fact 2-4 servings of them a day should be consumed. Trying to avoid kidney stones? Watch the soy, coffee and tea, and liquors. The only way green smoothies can adversely affect your health is if that’s all you consume. Too many idiots drink nothing but smoothies and yes that will harm you but a a smoothie a day with a well balanced diet of whole foods and plenty of water consumption you will be fine. They are really meant for a nutritious supplement to a diet, not a meal in itself. The author should’ve mentioned that part.

    Reply
  185. This article is only going to keep unhealthy and misinformed people from eating greens – what a huge mistake!!!!
    The author is making a big scare about a rare illness. The way she is attacking a healthy habit just gave me a glimps of her “intelligence.”

    Reply
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  187. Seriously…Sarah, you talk of fad diets and smoothies yet promote fads at the same time. So greens are not that healthy for you and nor is a variety of nuts. So we take out a multitude of vitamins and proteins and replace them with what exactly? Isnt it time for people to listen to their bodies and not other people’s views? Why have we lost our ability to read our own bodies and feed them according to our needs. Im talking in a sensible way now. What works for Joe does not mean it will work for June. We see this in allergies. We are all individual with individualising requirements. So perhaps it is best to tell your readers to maintain the “at ease” stance and listen to what their bodies are telling them without punting a particular horror story ladened with all possible side-effects if they choose to go the way their body is telling them. It’s ludicrous. It’s even more ludicrous that people can be so gullible by reading this jargon and then changing their diets to suit what you suggest. I’m astounded by the scaremongering and how readers are falling into the trap of believing such nonsensical rubbish. Hunters and gatherers must have had an awful time when foraging for their food and wondering if oxalates or kidney stones where going to send shards through their hearts and make their kidneys shut down. All the women must have been skating on their behinds with such serious itching back in their day. Lordy, it must have been total mayhem out their without reading material as to what berries, nuts and greens could be eaten and then battling to join the dots as to why they were not fit enough to hunt a Wooly Mammoth with a spear because of a serious itch caused by a leafy veggie because it was not cooked in butter. How silly.

    Reply
    • Amen to that.

      The most nutrient dense foods is natural food (in particular dark leafy greens and nuts), but apparently these are bad for us so they must be replaced by over-processed foods that lack in nutrients so that we must then take supplements in order to get essential vitamins and amino acids. We have almost come full circle, get back to nature, eat simple, that’s all there is to it.
      Side note: butter is laden with cholesterol and animal fats that clog up arteries and is also high in calories and cooking food strips it of its enzymes, so, all in all, bad suggestion.
      For a so called “healthy” home economist, you don’t really know a lot about health or being healthy, I suppose you think all vegetarians and vegans are anemic and that people should drink a glass of milk with every meal, eggs and bacon at breakfast and a big steak for dinner, so about right?

      Reply
      • Alyssa & LS –
        you make many assumptions. study up the healthy home economist, Weston A. Price foundation, the latest studies which confirm the age old truth about saturated fats, clogged arteries and cholesterol. then comment.
        a simple difference of opinion and an attitude to agree to disagree is the way to go.

        “I’m astounded by the scaremongering and how readers are falling into the trap of believing such nonsensical rubbish.”
        you ass-u-me much.

        http://www.coconutsecret.com/saturatedfats2.html

        Reply
  188. For the record, a study was published in the New England Journal Of Medicine in 1993 suggesting that high oxalate foods do not cause kidney stones.

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199303253281203#t=articleResults

    “Oxalate is found in many foods, but the content is typically low36. Ingestion of foods high in oxalate can lead to hyperoxaluria and to the formation of calcium oxalate stones28. Oxalate values are not available for the full range of foods on our questionnaire; thus, total intake could not be calculated. However, our questionnaire included several foods with relatively high oxalate content. When we controlled for potentially confounding variables, the consumption of these foods (chocolate, nuts, tea, and spinach) was not associated with the risk of kidney stones (data not shown).”

    I have not been able to find more recent peer-reviewed research that contradicts the above finding. Are there any published studies showing that spinach did in fact cause kidney stones?

    Reply
      • Thanks for the references. It seems to me that the recommendations on these sites are not based on peer-reviewed scientific research, but rather on a general concern about foods that have high oxalate content. There is no published research, so far as I know, showing that either:
        [A] Spinach increases the risk of kidney stones OR
        [B] Cutting spinach out of the diet reduces the risk of kidney stones.

        Both A and B above would need to be true for people to benefit from eliminating spinach, and neither has been demonstrated. I also observed that these sites mentioned spinach and Swiss chard, but no other leafy greens, so there’s even less evidence that other greens are harmful in any way. Even in the case of spinach, there’s good reason to believe that its high calcium content neutralizes the potential harm of the oxalate.

        In summary, I wouldn’t entirely dismiss the possibility that eating too much spinach too frequently may not be ideal, since every type of vegetable may have some potentially toxic component. In my own green smoothies or salads I strive for variety, rotating among spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, collard greens, or mixed lettuces on different days. Each type of green has a different nutrient profile, so it just makes sense not to stick with only one type. And if there’s any harmful substance in a particular leafy green, the rotation strategy minimizes exposure to it and gives the body more time to eliminate the toxin. In my opinion, the great benefits of dark, leafy greens for health and longevity far outweigh the potential risks, for people who haven’t received specific medical advice to avoid greens (and even that advice is sometimes not based on the best science).

        Reply
  189. Rusty Shackleford August 1, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Moderation is key to moral virtue. I try not to consume anything juiced or blended in an amount that I would not otherwise be comfortable eating raw as-is at any given time. Conversely, the day I see “spinach overdose” as a major contributing factor to any illness is the day I would ask for a second opinion. You can find or create “harmful” compounds in just about anything in your produce aisle. They balance with the good as yin is to yang. For those that haven’t figure it out yet: something at some-point is going to kill you; it probably will not be your smoothie.

    Reply
  190. Lj, I agree with you, as I stated on my blog: the key to health is to understand and love your own body. Treat it right. Do some research, make your own decision what is best for your health. I notice after drinking green smoothies for almost a month that I feel calmer, my sweat doesn’t smell & poop doesn’t stink as strong as it used to be.
    Candra\’s last post: Green Smoothie alert?

    Reply
  191. I don’t even know what to think of this post. NO MATTER what you try to do something comes out about how bad it is for you. Like…what exactly IS supposed to be okay to eat? I personally feel better then I ever have eating high raw which includes green juices and smoothies. My acne cleared up, chronic constipation cured, more energy, need less sleep, skin glows, hair and nails grow faster, no longer need deodorant, severe sinus problems greatly improved, acid reflux cured, poop no longer stinks and the list goes on. If raw greens in high quantity are supposed to be so bad then why so many benefits? Any time I go back to meats, dairy and low produce diets for a brief time problems I’ve had in the past start coming back and I feel heavy and slow and meat…sheesh that crap doesn’t digest till the next day, it’s gross.

    I guess all I’m saying is no matter HOW you eat there is someone some where saying how horrible this that or the other is… First dairy is good, now it’s bad, swap with soy milk, now soy milk is bad, swap with almond milk, now almonds are bad… that type of thing. How is anyone supposed to know how they’re supposed to eat? I think I’ll just listen to my body other wise I’ll have to starve myself based on all the ‘latest’ news that comes out LOL

    Reply
  192. This is Funny…. Ever since I cut out the arthritis prescriptions and processed food (not all :) ) I went from Crutches and Slings to a Active Normal life Via the GREEN SMOOTHIES!!

    7 Years of Greens and never had any of the symptoms they talk about… Not to mention I havent gotten sick since…
    Its All about the Dollar!!! Watch out for People who write this kind of bs!!!

    Reply
  193. This is another case of scaremongering and an example of why some people should be allowed information as they turn it on its head and exaggerate everything. What the hell is supposed to be good for you anymore? What could we eat if we read and listened to all the articles about dangerous food? We wouldn’t be allowed to eat anything.

    Reply
  194. In response to your article on green smoothies, I wrote a blog on this subject, analyzing the pros and contras of green smoothies diet:
    loving-living-in-vienna.blogspot.co.at/2012/07/green-smoothie-alert.html.

    Maybe the only safe ‘food’ to eat on this earth is just sunlight ;-)?
    A woman features on ‘the Sun Light Eater (Breatharianism)’ claims that she only lives on sunlight and has been doing it for 2 years:
    loving-living-in-vienna.blogspot.co.at/2012/06/light-eater-httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvl0u6.html
    Candra\’s last post: Green Smoothie alert?

    Reply
  195. I got an oxalate kidney stone after being on the South Beach diet, which recommended the vegetables listed, along with a ton of lean protein. Afterwards, they gave me a list of what to avoid, and all the vegetables in the diet were on it, along with the excess of protein, which also has effects on kidney function. And I’m thinking, no wonder! I agree with those who say it is different for everyone, but I’m telling you, no more veggie omelettes for me, and the prospect of a green smoothie makes me blanch. They did recommend lemon juice in water daily, and I do that–hot in winter, cold in summer. Can’t hurt. Meanwhile, I have returned to smaller portions, less sugar, small amounts of protein, and a balanced consumption of a varied diet, along with filtered water. Knock on wood. So far, I’ve been okay. I still have some weight to lose, but I’m heading in the right direction. (Another thing that worries me about raw fruits and vegetables is bacterial contamination, and that goes for things grown at home, too. Only thing that kills those puppies is heat.)

    Reply
  196. Yeah look out for the oxalates! Don’t eat leafy greens! Be sure to load up on the butter though! Total laughable nonsense and bullshit.

    Reply
    • Someday you all are ‘goint to get it’ and whoa what an eye opening day that will be! A little light bulb will go off and you will say ‘oh my gosh Sarah was actually RIGHT!’ Mmmmm real bacon , real eggs, real butter……ahhhhhhhhhh so good! OHhhh and real honest to goodness milk! If our government doesn’t take it all away first . :(

      Reply
  197. Pingback: Eat your greens and love them! | I Believe In Butter

  198. I think what it all really comes down to is genetics. If you have Hyperoxaluria or any history of kidney stones then it is possible that by consuming a large amount of oxalate rich foods daily can harm you. Everyone’s bodies are different, due to our genetic makeup certain things that harm one person may not do very much, if any harm to another. Reading through many comments on this issue from people, I have read about people who have been drinking green smoothies for over 5 years and never had any problems and feel great, and others who have had problems with kidney stones and had to lower their oxalate consumption. So based on this I do believe not everything is for everyone.

    I drink green smoothies and have never seen anything but positives on this. I do switch up my greens though, I never do just spinach. I’ll do a week on one then I will switch it up with a different green leafy veggie. But I love the dark ones. I have read and experienced too much good to give up dark leafy greens based on any article. I am in tuned with my body and I choose my foods that way. Also no one in my family has ever had issues with kidney stones. I really believe if you have a family history of it, or your body is just more susceptible to it then you are it risk from way more things you ingest and green smoothies are not the only thing that is going to get you.

    Different strokes for different folks…eat what does YOUR body good…listen to your body before you listen to any article whether it is for or against…

    Reply
  199. Ok this is the absolute perfect reminder that anyone at all can run out, sign up for a blog account , come up with some catch phrase name like healthy home economist or what have you and start writing articles. That does not mean that you take them for being factual information. I am appalled that you Sarah, would post garbage like this up here. And then to whine publicly that the mean people are saying mean comments, and you felt the need to show your kids (are you trying to guilt-trip us?) is ridiculous and shows your immaturity and lack of professionalism. I ask that people take your entire blog with a grain of salt and read it with the knowledge that you are simply a regular joe who decided to grab a “virtual pen” and start gabbing. Do you know what you are gabbing about? No.

    I am certain you have lost some blog followers over this one. Get real woman.

    Reply
  200. To all the haters; I have this great recipe for you:

    morning, drink 1 pound of rhubarb smoothie
    evening, mix 1 pound spinach and swiss chard

    ps. don’t add any dairy product to the smoothie, if you must substitute I recommend almonds..
    pps. drink these smoothies every day for as long as possible, it’s better than SAD and therefor healthy..

    Reply
  201. This all sounds so silly to me. If you’re getting stones from too many green leafy veggies, you are probably not drinking enough water. Won’t drinking plenty of water flush it out of your body before it forms stones? That’s what I’ve always read about kidney stones.

    Reply
  202. Really? Because eating a green smoothie is no different than having a small side salad at lunch…except it’s blended. This article is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

    Reply
  203. how come there wasn’t an argument about: diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, stress, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, smoking, processed food, etc., i mean how bad can blended leafy greens and organic fruit be for you? every time i drink a smoothie vs. a soda or high fructose fruit juice or cookies…………this has to be a government funded sight. i live in a diverse metro area and for the next two blocks: chinese food x 3, burger king, mcdonalds, pizza shop x 2, fried fish stand, dunkin donuts and a rite-aid which has sold out of prescribed high blood pressure medicine twice since ive been on it.

    Reply
  204. all they really need to do is take some calcium citrate and magnesium citrate with each green smoothie–the calcium and magnesium will complex with the oxalates, making them insoluble and unabsorbable, and the citrate will also compete with any left over oxalate for absorption. It is an issue for people with kidney stones, candida overgrowth or chronic fungal infections, and some others–but supplementing calcium and magnesium citrate with green smoothies (and spinach salad, chocolate, or other high oxalate foods will prevent absorption, which is a good thing to do.

    Reply
  205. This article completely disregards the existence of biochemical individuality—the fact that each of us has different requirements for nutrients and TOLERANCE levels for so-called toxins, whether they naturally-existing phyto-chemicals or creations of humanity. Not everyone who eats raw spinach regularly will develop kidney stones. There is something about the way a person susceptible to kidney stones processes oxalates that is different from those who don’t have kidney stones. I know people who don’t even eat oxalate-containing foods (they dislike vegetables), and don’t eat cocoa, who have kidney stones. I have observed that their diets are based on meat and starch and white bread, plus they drink no water. These foods are acid-forming to the body, changing the chemistry and allowing for the deposition of minerals in the kidney in those with genetic predisposing factors.
    Oxalates are no more a poison than is corn (organic, non-GMO, that is). It’s the dose, frequency of exposure that increases the chance of ill health from oxalates, paired with your genetics. Obviously, elephants and other large herbivorous mammals have no difficulty with oxalates—their metabolism is designed to handle them without difficulty. I hope this article will not stop readers from eating their greens because they are important sources of nutrients.

    Reply
  206. Pingback: - Jean Cornell

  207. All of these over the top reactions. Talk to a nephrologist. Get the list of high oxalate foods to avoid or consume in moderation with rotation. I found this info out when my FOUR year old was dealing with the pain of kidney stones that were calcium oxinate deposits.

    Thanks to the author for giving information that isn’t mainstream or popular. Wish I had known how much harm I was causing my child when I thought I was promoting his health. Do we avoid all veg? NO! Is this author promoting that? NO.

    I think the point is to educate and cause the reader to move forward with info rather than blindly follow a trend that can really damage the health of some people.

    Keep calm
    And do your research.

    Thanks, author, for bringing this up. Glad to see I am not the only one who just didn’t know hidden dangers in these foods.

    Reply
  208. What a bunch of bull. Im a seasoned CrossFitter and consume my own organic green smoothies everyday, coupled with grass-fed/free-range/wild everything in the form of the Paleo Diet and Im fitter/healthier/happier than ever. Also you neglected to mention that oxilate deposits form when the overall diet is poor, in combination with a lack of hydration – this article is poorly opinionated.

    Reply
  209. Oxalates are going to be present in varying amounts in all greens. They are in there and act kind of like a mild poison, to keep you from eating too much of any one green.

    The key is moderation and rotating your greens.

    Reply
  210. Pingback: How Green Smoothies Can Be Bad for Your Health | Effortless Eating

    • Space here does not allow for all the data, but you can get the rest of the scientific information on the oxalic acid from Dr. Walker’s book “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices” pp. 52-57.

      Dr Walker became seriously ill and healed himself with raw vegetable and fruit juices. He was a scientist and founder of The Norwalk Laboratory of Nutritional Chemistry and Scientific Research in New York.

      Links to articles on the benefits of oxalic acid:

      http://health-cancertreatment.blogspot.mx/2008/01/oxalic-acid-cure-for-cancer.html
      OXALIC ACID THE CURE FOR CANCER
      “Having adequate levels of oxalic acid in your blood eliminates all abnormal cells effectively with no harmful side effects. This is God’s Poison With Purpose. If you seriously look into every alternative cancer cure that shows some success, you will find the foods, herbs, grasses, and teas they suggest all contain high amounts of oxalic acid.”

      http://sproutman.com/sproutblog/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Raw_vs_Cooked.pdf

      I like Dr. Walker’s scientific research best of all for his common sense.

      Reply
      • Yes, I was referring to the content of the article, not to your comment. Sorry for the confusion. I think this was a very irresponsible article to write without citing evidence whatsoever.

        Reply
        • There is overwhelming scientific evidence for the benefits of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables if you want to pour your self into all the scientific data. Ronald Ross Watson and Victor R. Preedy have conpiled extensive scientific research data in their book “Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health, Fruits and Vegetables”. The title for chapter 26 is “Spinach and Health: Anticancer Effect” writen by scientists from Japan. This is not fun easy reading, it’s just hard scientific facts. Some of the processes of these leafy greens have been patented like Fenugreek extract to cure asma, inflamation, diabetis. You can go to US patents on line and see this information on fenugreek. The extracts are a concentration of the plant’s healing properties which in most cases are high in oxalic acid.

          I am not saying don’t eat your raw, organic butter and your grass fed meat, many have healed and thrived with these foods like Jordan Rubin, but I just want to put emphasis on the fact that we all know these green leafy grasses high on oxalic acid are the ones that give health and nurishment to your meat, milk and butter.

          There is much conflicting information and we just need to use some common sense some times. What you do in this blog is good to help sort and evaluate things out. We are all in the search for what is best. I know your intenions are to help. Keep up the good work and may the Creator of the universe bless and guide you in all that you do.

          Reply
  211. Thank you for the awareness on the matter, which is as serious as you discribed it when you eat large amounts of cruciferous greens that have been cooked. I have done some research on raw food and of course the oxalic acid concern always comes up. What I have found out is that oxalic acid is really bad for you if you cook these veggies and eat them in large amounts, but if you eat them raw they are acctually beneficial. The oxalic acid from live raw foods is important for proper paristalic motion and for mineral absortion. The key to balance is to rotate all your raw greens and eat a large varitey of them in thier organic, raw live state. You can find more information in Dr. Waker’s book “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices”. Dr Walker is considered an authority in juicing. Here are some sections on oxalic acid from his book pp. 56, 57: “Organic oxalic acid is one of the important elements needed to maintain the tone of, and to stimulate peristalsis.” “… the oxalic acid in raw vegetables and their juices is organic and as such is not only beneficial but essential for the physiological functions of the body.” “The oxalic acid itself, when converted into an inorgnic acid by cooking or processing the food, it often resuls in causing inorganic oxalic acid cristals to form in the kidneys. It is worthy to notice that the minerals in our foods — iron, for example — frequently cannot be assimilated and used completely if they have become inorganic through cooking and often prevent the utilization of other elements through chemical and other action.” “It is well to bear in mind, therefore, that as the organic oxalic acid is so vital to our well-being, the fresh-raw juice of the vegetable containing it should be used daily to supplement the eating of these raw vegetables includied in our daily salads.”

    Reply
    • Thank you…exactly correct information…Scientifically based unlike what is in the article which totally confuses people. Thank you

      Reply
  212. Hey Sarah, Last time I checked, cooking veggies in butter is quite counterproductive and a completely ridiculous… Where the heck did you get your information. Hello… Read the China Study, it just might teach you a thing or 2…

    Reply
  213. Kat, since I’ve seen you write this a couple of times now, the word is digestive “tract,” not track. And sorry to say this, but since you went there first…Sarah isn’t exactly the picture of health either.

    Reply
    • oops my mistake, I actually did not double check before posting. indeed i am quite aware that its digestive track. But may I ask you? is that the best thing you had to say regarding the post?

      And what do you define as healthy? She looks quite healthy to me. She is not puffy, looks like she is at a healthy weight for her body frame,etc…again I am a bit puzzled that all you had to say was in regards with a typo and commented on Sarah’s look?

      The reason i mentioned Victoria was because she admitted it herself but also because she actually is the one who goes on about how people should be drinking green smoothies…This fact actually has a lot of raw vegan (big on greens) quite puzzled…

      But yeah i will give you that, next I will double check before I post anything that scientific terms are actually spellt correctly. Thanks for pointing it out!

      Looking forward to hearing from you (with a bit of substance this time I hope rather than commenting on people’s spelling :) )

      Reply
  214. Again what a shame, someone who chooses to quote Walker….Again his work is based on what I would call emprirical studies at best….I think it’s great that people want to make this world a better place and help people improve their health but is it helpful to give them advice based on poor science?

    Again this article written by Sarah by no means suggests that people should go and binge on junk foods rather it gives the reader more information so people can make informed choices. Empowering!

    Good luck :)

    Reply
  215. I think this post is absolutely ridiculous. Everything in moderation people! INCLUDING green smoothies. Why would so many people feel so good after drinking them day after day, they are fine, there is no reason to freak out about green smoothies!!! There is so much more evidence that points to the fact that greens and green smoothies are beneficial to our health than not. Decide for yourself but I for one am going to continue to drink my quart a day! :)

    Reply
    • Actually there is…Open any books on anatomy and physiology and you’ll see that humans cannot digest cellulose (essential components in greens)…And the evidence that ‘shows’ that green smoothies work are based on empirical studies (if I can even call it that) but no real scientific evidence.

      When I look at say Victoria Boutenko (who coined the term green smoothie, however it was first used by Ann Wigmore) I truly wonder if greens are the way to go….I am not trying to be offensive but she does not the perfect picture of health. Most importantly as I have mentioned it in another comment, the people ‘selling’ you the idea that greens will change your life base the core of their argumentation on the following: look at cows and gorillas they are strong and muscular so of course we can get our proteins from greens because that’s what they do….

      Well again should I have to mention that cows and gorillas have a digestive track completely different of that of us humans? Cows have four stomachs and can digest the cellulose contain in greens because their digestive system is based on fermentation. Again this information is out there, just look for it! And I think that a nutritionist who comes up with these kinds of arguments to sell you greens, is a disgrace! I am quite sure she did not learn any of what she sells in her book when studying nutrition at Uni…Like a lot of nutritional gurus in the raw food community, she got it all from Arnold Ehret and Norman Walker’s books published last century which contain no scientif evidence…Read them! I have! You will see that all these nutritionist choose to discard what they have learnt in their degree to instead focus on the information contain in these books. Probably explains why every single book out there in the raw food workd is the rehash of someone else’s.

      If people feel good when drinking green smoothies it is certainly because of the fruit…lso what if before introducing the green smoothie they were instead having a breakfast of cereals or other grains, inorganic ultra pasteurised milk,etc…? Of course they are going to see a difference!

      Just do your own research before saying there is no evidence of this or that because there is….

      All the best :)

      Reply
  216. I have to kindly disagree with this post. And only one source listed? Seriously? These are some big claims you are making and you aren’t backing them up with any real knowledge.

    Your blog is great and has some very helpful things for people looking to get healthy but is not only misleading, its simply not true.

    And my personal experience is this. I have so many kidney stones in one of my kidneys the doctors would like to remove it. It only functions at 5% and is full of stones. I’ve been on daily green smoothies for 18 months now and haven’t had a single issue with my kidney stones. I drink 40+ ounces per day of raw, organic greens! In addition to kidney issues, I had thyroid issues related to endocrine and adrenal failure. 31 symptoms in all, I was a mess. Green smoothies have turned my life around and 30 of the 31 symptoms are GONE.

    Please do some research!

    Kindly,
    Kristen
    Kristen Scherer\’s last post: Mango Avocado Salad

    Reply
  217. I have personally experienced the ill effects of high oxalate foods. I was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 years ago. So I began eating almonds, peanut butter, spinach, etc. A year later I began having extreme pain in my lower back. A CT scan diagnosed me with bilateral medullary nephrocalcinosis. This is not kidney stones. This is actual deposits of calcium into the cells of my kidneys. Basically turning them to stone. There is no way to reverse the build up, you have to find out the cause and elimated it and stop causing damage to the kidneys. My nephrologist did a 24 hour urine and, low and behold, my oxalate levels were through the roof! So, not only have I had to give up gluten for the celiac, I have to avoid high oxalate foods for the rest of my life. The good news is that ct scans have shown that the damage to my kidneys has not progressed.

    Reply
  218. I have consumed a plant base diet (90% + raw) for almost 10 years now. My daily staple would be either a green juice or green smoothie with attention to rotating greens regularly.

    I truly believed I was consuming the most nourishing food for my body, however my health was deteriorating. Few of the symptoms I was experiencing were, exhaustion, lack of ability to focus or recall a conversation, extremely dry skin, eczema, zero tolerance to the cold, acne and I could go on.

    Lucky for me a friend of mine who also was living a very clean plant base diet with an
    emphasis on green juices happened to be struggling with similiar health issues. This friend was not blinkered like I and dared to explore nutrition from different sources.

    What she found is greens are NOT health generating, they contain high amounts of PUFAS which are toxic and highly inflammatory (no such thing as moderation when it comes to poisons/toxens).

    Took me a little while to come to grips with why and how so many “educated” health authors/gurus could be so wrong….naive.

    I have experimented with removing greens and following a diet that is anti inflammatory, the result I have achieved is mind blowing and educational….the symptoms I have puzzled over and struggled with for years have disappeared almost over night.

    I encourage people to do their own research ask questions and more questions and be careful not to follow what has clearly been the flavour of the month for sometime now.

    Could it be that people have notice success with greens smoothies because the green smoothie meal is replacing a more toxic meal in the hierarchy of food choices? If this is the case it would leave one capped with what they will achieve with health or worse one could ultimately experience degeneration in their health.

    If you are interested in fully researching this yourself check out everything you can from Ray Peat, this gentleman is a genius, a true educator!!

    Reply
  219. Pingback: the ultimate detox

  220. So, is anyone else sick of hearing about how great and educated ‘most people who follow this blog’ are? The truth is that this post has far exceeded the reach of your traditional readers, so quit defending this post in that manner! Many people reading this particular post need to change how they eat and adding veggies is a good idea for anyone. So if you want your ‘reading this blog club’ to be exclusively you who think the same, quit posting this on your damn Facebook pages and we won’t be inclined to read it and put in our 2 cents!

    Reply
    • Scott- you clicked on fb to read the post. You choose to comment. You are also choosing to be fairly rude to people you have never met. Certainly you are more of a gentleman than this.
      BTW – we eat veggies and I have yet to see it on my FB feed, maybe you need to hide or unsubscribe some friends.

      Reply
  221. Sarah, it’s interesting that you post an article about the “devastating” effects of green smoothies. Yeah, it might be a fad for now, but for people who don’t get any leafy greens or vegetables in their diet, it’s a great introduction to this food group. Instead of bashing on green smoothies, maybe you can redirect people to think a little more critically about what they’re putting into their bodies. The fact that people might be ingesting something a little better than a MacDonald’s Cheeseburger or Cheetos is a positive thing. Don’t get me wrong, skepticism is critical when discussing our health and the foods we eat, but it’s important to balance the skepticism out with education. What I disagree with is that you polarize people into believing one extreme without really providing optional perspectives. Shame on you!

    Reply
    • Dan – most, if not all people who follow this blog do not do the McDonald’s, fast food, processed food diet. Personally, I came out of the vegan low-fat, vegetarian lifestyle. I became sick while eating this way and was told by a nutritionist that I needed animal protein. Grass fed, pastured, clean, & organic. I’m still in the process of learning and healing. My gut cannot handle raw veggies any longer, so this blog as well as others have taught me about fermenting to make them easier to digest. It also has taught me about soaking my grains and nuts for the same reason. I have learned about kefir and kombucha to help in restoring my gut.
      This is a real foods blog. We are aware of the bad SAD diet in the western world. Pretty sure no one would be following this blog if they are happy in their choice of the SAD American diet.

      Reply
  222. and I would encourage people who believe greens are the way to go, to do the same and look at the science behind this. Most of the information come from Norman Walker’s books written and published in the 70′s and which contain no scientific research, i’ll call the research emprirical at best.

    I would also encourage people to keep an open mind and do their own research starting off by studying the anatomy and physiology of the human body. QUESTION everything you come across!

    Reply
  223. I think it is very important for each person visiting this particular page to make informed decisions with regards to taking the information presented on this page on board as it pertains to his or her health. Please consider the sources, the studies and outcomes of those studies. Conclusions, you can draw yourself. Be carefully scrutinise the evidence before drawing conclusions. Here are the footnote references for those studies Kat refered to in the above link:
    Onderstepoort J Vet Res 1989 Jun;56(2):145-6.
    Nature 1994 Apr 21;368(6473):683-4.
    Comment in: Nature 1994 Aug 11; 370(6489):408. Aust Vet J 1992 Jul;69(7):165-7.
    Indian J Med Res 1991 Oct;94:378-83.
    In Vivo 1998 Nov-Dec;12(6):675-89.
    Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(5):253-60.
    Life Sci 1997;60(19):1635-41.
    Food Chem Toxicol 1999 May;37(5):481-91.
    Int J Food Sci Nutr 1998 Sep;49(5):343-52.
    Med Oncol Tumor Pharmacother 1990;7(2-3):69-85.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1980 Aug;77(8):4961-5.
    Br J Rheumatol 1994 Aug;33(8):790-1.
    Nutr Cancer 1988;11(4):251-7.
    J Toxicol Sci 1984 Feb;9(1):77-86.
    Chung Hua Chung Liu Tsa Chih 1985 Mar;7(2):103-5
    Proc Nutr Soc 1977 Sep;36(2):51A
    Am J Clin Nutr 1995 Sep;62(3):506-11.
    J Environ Sci Health B 1999 Jul;34(4):681-708.
    BJU Int 2000 Jan;85(1):107-13.

    Reply
  224. Interesting. Thank you for the link. Here is one of the conclusions the author came to:

    “Animal proteins, and fruits, because they contain the lowest levels of toxins, should form the basis of the diet. Not all fruits, of course, are perfectly safe—avocados, for example, contain so much unsaturated fat that they can be carcinogenic and hepatotoxic.”

    Quite revelatory… particularly for one who has gone the Atkins route, and so understand the “science” behind this thinking. The journals that were listed were in themselves quite astonishing, not the least of which was this:

    BJU Int 2000 Jan;85(1):107-13. A maternal vegetarian diet in pregnancy is associated with hypospadias. The ALSPAC Study Team. Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood. North K, Golding J Unit of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, Division of Child Health, University of Bristol, UK. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the possible role of the maternal diet, particularly vegetarianism and consumption of phytoestrogens, in the origin of hypospadias, which is reported to be increasing in prevalence. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Detailed information was obtained prospectively from mothers, including previous obstetric history, lifestyle and dietary practices, using structured self-completed questionnaires during pregnancy. Previously recognized associations with environmental and parental factors were examined, focusing particularly on the hypothesized hormonal link. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent associations. RESULTS: Of 7928 boys born to mothers taking part in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood, 51 hypospadias cases were identified. There were no significant differences in the proportion of hypospadias cases among mothers who smoked, consumed alcohol or for any aspect of their previous reproductive history (including the number of previous pregnancies, number of miscarriages, use of the contraceptive pill, time to conception and age at menarche). Significant differences were detected for some aspects of the maternal diet, i.e. vegetarianism and iron supplementation in the first half of pregnancy. Mothers who were vegetarian in pregnancy had an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 4.99 (95% confidence interval, CI, 2.10-11.88) of giving birth to a boy with hypospadias, compared with omnivores who did not supplement their diet with iron. Omnivores who supplemented their diet with iron had an adjusted OR of 2.07 (95% CI, 1.00-4.32). The only other statistically significant association for hypospadias was with influenza in the first 3 months of pregnancy (adjusted OR 3.19, 95% CI 1.50-6.78). CONCLUSION: As vegetarians have a greater exposure to phytoestrogens than do omnivores, these results support the possibility that phytoestrogens have a deleterious effect on the developing male reproductive system.

    Right.

    Reply
    • I can understand your reaction :) …After years of juicing greens, this article rocked my world…Don’t draw any conclusions on just reading this one single article. Do your own research! By all means you don’t have to believe Ray Peat. But start looking into anatomy and physiology and get a better understanding of how the human body works.

      To me what is really scary is when I hear a nutritionist (such as the one who responded to this article) compare us humans to cows and rhinoceros to justify that we can get our proteins from greens. Doesn’t that nutritionist know that cows have a digestive track thats completely different to that of a human? They have four stomachs for a start not just one like we do.

      Don’t take my word for it or that of anyone word for that matter, just do your own research and come to your on conclusions. Just be very wary of those who believe/claim they have all the answers but little is based on actual scientific facts.

      And if what you’re doing is working for you, then good on you :)

      Good luck :)

      Reply
    • Be interested to read this response, particularly the substantiating literature citations.

      I have read this entire thread, and have yet to see a reference to studies or research to support the initial assertation as valid advice for the general population. The conditions being discussed affect 1.4% of the population. What percent of the population are affected by cancer? Heart disease? Those are “devastating” diseases, not renal calculi.

      There have been many calls for reference to supporting literature, all of which have been ignored. This speaks volumes to the credibility of those assertations.

      Reply
  225. I’m shocked and dismayed by the vitriol directed at this blog post and the Healthy Home Economist.

    Green Smoothies aren’t going to be the be all and end all for everyone. I hated them. Maybe it was because I didn’t use the $600 blender needed to make them really smooth. Maybe because it really didn’t taste great. Maybe I would have preferred soup. In any event, I will not be drinking or trying to drink any more green smoothies.

    Cooking green vegetables in a little real butter makes sense to me.

    Reply
  226. There are many people that…. Drink soda everyday, drink energy drinks everyday, drink coffee everyday, eat red meat everyday, eat processed sugar everyday, go to fast food places everyday, smoke everyday, drink alcohol everyday. I feel much better having a green smoothie loaded with vitamins and antioxidants each day than any of the above. ;)

    Reply
  227. Everyone body is different. If you have thyroid issues YES you need to cook your veggies. For some, green smoothies have done wonders for their health. Others, no. To say that everyone shouldn’t drink them or everyone needs to stop eating spinach? Kale? Are you kidding? The post should be how everyone needs to stop eating fast and processed foods that are the true killers. But no … it’s human nature to read something like this and go overboard and that overboard is telling people to stop eating green veggies … ludicrous!!
    Learn and do what is good for your own health. Listen to what your body needs. Eat real food, mostly plants, not too much … how’s that for advice

    Reply
    • Bonita – educate yourself on traditional real foods and this blog before making assumptions in your “drive by” comment on what this post needs to be about.
      We know about the dangers of fast and processed foods. Most following this blog and the like do not adhere to he SAD American diet, so there is no point in making a post about it.
      No one has told anyone to “stop eating green veggies”.

      Reply
  228. Pingback: How Green Smoothies Devastated My Health « The Wellness Wordsmith Blog

  229. After reading much of Victoria Boutenko’s work and research I decided that I needed to try green smoothies for my health. In addition to various veggies I add avocado and coconut oil. They are extremely nutritious and good for my body. Anyone who wants to question the opinion of this author should read some of Boutenko’s books. It’s based on actual experience and research, not a silly opinion.

    And here’s yet another opinion from incrediblesmoothies.com
    “The short answer is “generally, no”. There are a few rare medical conditions such as Primary Hyperoxaluria and Enteric Hyperoxaluria where one would need to restrict their dietary intake of oxalic acid. Also, those who are susceptible and have been treated for calcium-oxalate kidney stones, and therefore at risk of forming them again, should watch their intake of oxalate-containing foods.
    Otherwise, oxalic acid is not believed to be a health concern for most people. Keep in mind that your body regularly produces oxalic acid, often synthesizing other substances such as vitamin C into oxalic acid. Whether you eat foods that contain it or not, your body maintains a naturally-occurring level of oxalic acid and regularly produces it whether you consume it in your diet or not.”

    Reply
  230. WOW isn’t this ridiculous?? So all that fuzz about “eating your vegetables” turns out to be DEVASTATING after all??? LOL hey you dear Sarah idiot, what’s your next advice? Twinkies and Coke for breakfast? Since healthy food devastates your health, maybe we should start skipping it altogether. Get to school for Christ sake!!! Learn about health and nutrition!!! DOn’t just quote and article you half way understand.

    LOL No salad for me, I ate salad this week already and the crazy home economist told me I may die if I eat healthy leaves more than that

    Reply
    • Wow, Leslie, you sound like a winner. Is this how you argue at home also? Calling people names and showing your ignorance? If you have ever read Sarah’s blog or anything related to Weston A Price Foundation or Nourishing Traditions you would know that she would NEVER recommend Twinkies or Coke. And there are enough typos and grammatical mistakes in your post that should make you embarrassed to tell someone to “get to school”. We wont even mention using the Lord’s name in vain. Classy.

      Reply
      • Leslie you might want to do more reasearch…Read Deep Nutrition by Dr Cate Shanahan. Also look up Josh Rubin on youtube.com. A bit sad how you just insulted the writer of this article and made the wrong assumptions on what she was saying just because you disagree with her but do not have anything (SCIENTIFIC) to back-up your opinion with….

        Reply
        • Ohhhh You Kiki don’t really argue that well either, oh by the way, sorry for the typos and the grammar errors, English is not my mother language as I don’t live in the US, but at least I speak another language, i bet you don’t, you sound like the typical American ignorant, blind follower of stupid pseudo scientist like the writer of the article. And I stand by my advice to her to go back to school! I’m no t claiming to be proficient in English grammar, but she actually IS claiming to be an EXPERT on nutrition. And you Kiki, learn to debate better

          Reply
          • Leslie, hon, the difference is, I am not arguing with you just letting you know that your way of arguing would, in my professional opinion (I am a mental health counselor with a master’s degree in Psychology) be considered abusive.

            As a matter of fact, English happens to be my second language as I am of Cuban descent and did not learn to speak English until I went to grade school and even then spoke only Spanish at home until about 4th grade.

            Oh, and about debating, I am not nor have I ever claimed to be a debater; I was, in fact, just stating what was obvious to everyone else, that you are rude and obviously don’t care what anyone thinks of you.

        • What? your reply to my reply is scientific? Wow, you are telling me you believe that eating (or drinking in this case) green leafy vegetables can DEVASTATE your health? Really?, you watched some Doctor on youtube and that is proof of science? Do you know why I felt like insulting the author? Because her stuipidity may mislead ignorant people into thinking (or confirming) that greens are bad and should not be an important part of the diet. Seeing how tremendously obese the American population is, I bet you don’t need to hear such nonsense. You criticize for not offering anything scientific back up, well neither did you! But hey if you think words by a random doctor are SCIENCE, well go ahead, but don’t preach

          Reply
  231. Thank you for your post and for drawing attention to the potential dangers of high oxalate diets and drinks! I want to join in the conversation to say that oxalate problems are real and sometimes severe. I was disabled for many years due to oxalate-related symptoms. When you absorb or make too much oxalate, your body tries to defend itself by tucking the excess oxalate away in other tissues (thyroid, eye, brain, muscles, joints, genitals are all common “tucking away” places). Which tissues it chooses varies by individuals, but it eventually will cause health problems when the levels get too high. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t realize that what is causing your pain, chronic fatigue, irritability, brain fog, burning sensations etc. is oxalate. I invite anyone who wants to read more about the low oxalate diet and who can benefit from a low oxalate diet to visit my blog – Low Oxalate Info. I personally follow a Paleo/WAP-inspired low oxalate diet and my recipes and blog reflects this.

    http://lowoxalateinfo.com/the-low-oxalate-diet/
    Heidi
    Heidi @ Low Oxalate Info\’s last post: The Low Oxalate Curry Guide

    Reply
  232. The very thought that green smoothies place our health at risk is a classic example of throwing the baby out with the bath water!
    This entire article could easily pas as an advertorial for the processed and junk food industry.
    This is a well written encyclical seemingly designed to confuse those interested in health.
    It’s as if it was funded by the Foundation for Promoting Nutritional Genocide!! :)
    I never dreamed of the day that green leafy veggies would be described as foods we should carefully moderate and in general limit.
    Any metabolically savvy clinician understands that greens are the foundation of any healthy diet and that whole plant based foods set the biochemical parameters for minimizing any tendency to crystalization in tissues.
    How many years have well intended clinicians discouraged green leafy veggies when placing patients on coumadin!
    For over a decade, research hematologists have clarified that patients needing coumadin should eat ample amounts of greens and even take 100mcg of Vitamin K daily! Then the coumadin is adjusted to the diet – not the other way around!

    Just like with all clever lies there is some truth in the article but the message is completely false!

    Of interest is the way the articles author sought to established credibility by naming her source as Dr. William Shaw. If you read his article you find great information about oxalates but in a very different context than portrayed in her article (Source: The Role of Oxalates in Autism and Chronic Disorders, William Shaw PhD)
    The focus should be that the average person needs to eat far more greens but also properly balance our diet with healthy forms of protein, fats and high fiber starches. In addition, we must never forget that health requires paying attention to all wellness parameters – not just diet. And finally, due to our unique genetic variability each of us should take advantage of broad laboratory testing. These tests gives us clues regarding our multiple weaknesses and therefore give us specific direction in our journey to interventional wellness.

    Wes Youngberg, DrPH, MPH, CNS, FACLM

    Reply
  233. I’ve been reading and listening to all these comments on a simple article where everyone thinks their way is best and I have come to the conclusion that rookies to the alkaline or vegan diet like me are totally confused by the disagreements of the seemingly experts on here. There are comments from all walks of life, herbalists, nutritionist, alternative medicine doctors, etc. Comments from professionals, comments from laymen like me! Most all are in disagreement!
    I really think it boils down to the fact that if you eat too much of anything it can be bad for you. Likewise, if you eat foods based upon the diet (The Western Lifestyle Diet) of the unhealthiest societies in the world you’re gonna suffer the consequences of sickness and bad health.
    Maybe we ought to look equally as well at the foods we eat and how they are produced! Monsanto’s GM grains, imported foods from countries that lack laws governing certain pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, etc, etc.! Look at the illness and deteriorating health of some South American countries where the blatant use of Roundup and other pesticides is killing people and ask yourself, HOW is that effecting me and the foods we eat!
    We can all eat right but if the foods we do eat are NOT right what good does it do? Might as well eat at “Micky Dees” and enjoy that Big Mac and fries and a hi-fructose laden Coke!!!!! Our food is gonna kill us either way if we do not awaken the world to the atrocities of big food producers, big grain producers and unscrupulous chemical producers all of which are putting the greed of profit over our health!

    Reply
  234. Also I can’t believe all the hatred on this post directed towards Sarah and the Weston Price Foundation, who have done so much to educate people on matters of nutrition and health. If you don’t like what she has to say, no one is forcing you to keep reading. Just click away. Or learn how to debate intelligently without name-calling and ostracizing. My health has improved leaps and bounds since discovering the Weston A. Price Foundation. (No, they did not pay me anything to say that.) I would not trade the knowledge I’ve gained for the world. Spend some time educating yourself before you blindly parrot what the status quo “knows” about saturated fats, etc.

    Reply
  235. Is this a joke? You’re recommending to “be sure to eat greens with butter”?? I’ve never once read or heard a reason to eat butter as a part of healthy diet. I’ve also never heard of greens being bad for you. What DO you suggest people eat instead of the times they’d have the green smoothies? I replaced coffee with green smoothies/juice and my chronic headaches have gone away, along with TMJ, bloating, weight gain… the list goes on. I’m curious to the sources of this article… surely it’s not just the one.

    Reply
    • GTFO this blog if you don’t know that butter is part of a healthy diet! UGH! I’m getting frustrated with these ignorant comments.

      Reply
    • Then you NEED to do more readings Linday…I’d highly recommend you’d read Deep Nutrition by Dr Cate Shanahan and read Ray Peat’s articles on his website (that’ll answer your question)…You’ll understand WHY (all backed-up by science not ‘spiritual’ theories often conveyed by raw foodists) saturated fats are healthy amongst other things…mmm what peopel eat instead of greens? Gosh that’s a hard one lol Let me see fruit (pears, apples,persimmons,oranges,etc…), organic dairies from grass-fed animals, root vegetables,etc… Thsi article does not tell you to load up on junk, it tells you to eb careful taht greens do contain toxix substances. thsi is no secret. The information si out there you just need to look for it…

      Reply
  236. I am wondering why the post I sent to this blog yesterday did not get published.
    It was Victoria Boutenko’s well-cited response to your article in her most recent newsletter.
    As many know, Victoria has popularized, researched and published widely on thehealth benefits of green smoothies and I am sure many here would be interested to know her response .
    I hope you will make this available to your readers.
    Let’s try one more time:

    Here is the link:
    http://www.rawfamily.com/newsletters/raw-family-newsletter-archive-2012
    Scroll down to the May 2012 newsletter with topic “Oxalic Acid and Green Smoothies”

    Reply
  237. Sarah,

    I watched your Youtube video to the right of this article. I commend you for being extremely mindful of diet, nutrition, and wellness! I appreciate your articles and I think that you should right an article on the Moringa Oleifera Tree; I think you will be enlightened, stunned, and very excited just as I was. I am an Independent Distributor with Zija International. We are the Moringa Company and I would love to discuss research already done and hopefully the research you and others you may know (ex. “Dr. Price”) will conduct. Moringa is powerful and truly delivers what our bodies require. Please get back to me and may you Drink life In! I hope you read this and thank you so much for your time doing so and your work with this site.

    To your Wellness and Success,

    Jonathan Hernandez

    Independent Distributor with Zija International

    Reply
  238. The real issue some are having is with the realization that what they have believed for so long or have been told even by health professionals could possibly be incorrect. I used to be in the same boat. But most if not all of these references that are cited from the so called” experts” or REAL nutritionists’ are established on bad science and backed, funded and promoted for some kind of special interest or business tactic. Bottom line is, do your own research, and decide what is right for you and your family. Eat natural foods, work with and around whatever genetic potential or conditions might be there and give your body and brain whole food nutrition so that your biochemistry is capable of producing health and happiness!

    Reply
  239. The only thoughts I have are these:

    I’m sure high oxalate levels can be dangerous, but my goodness, EATING SHOULDN’T BE THIS COMPLICATED! No one should have to be a nutritionist or a doctor or have to spend their lives studying food to know what to eat. Just for kicks, imagine that God created dark leafy greens for Adam and Eve but then told them that they had to eat them with butter (“butter? what’s butter?”) to get the most nutrients from them. Do you think they really went and found a cow and figured out how to churn butter before they ate spinach? Oh and then where did they cook it? No, they probably ate some raw nuts and seeds (natural fats) as a part of the many different natural foods available to them. Or imagine that he had to tell them not to eat too many vegetables, or nuts, or fruit, etc, because of “high oxalates.” Eating really shouldn’t be so complicated.

    I agree with the “moderation” comments, and with eating things that are in season. I am one of those who has a green smoothie every day because if I didn’t, I’d still eat the fruits and greens anyways. I like the convenience and taste of the green smoothie, and I like how I feel. And you know what? I’ve never felt better. I rotate my greens and don’t put too much. I’m eating fruits and vegetables rather than basically zero-nutrient meat, cheese, milk, and cancer-promoting processed food like I was eating before, and like typical Americans eat. My skin is vibrant, I have more energy than I’ve ever had, I’m losing weight, my digestion is regular, and I feel great.

    Eat a VARIETY of REAL NATURAL FOOD, the way God made them. Not too much. Lots of veggies and fruits. Exercise daily. And LIVE YOUR LIFE!

    Reply
    • Rachel – there were no blenders, or electricity in the garden, so smoothies were not a part of the menu. The garden was perfect, the food was perfect, then they fell. It is clear in the scriptures that meat, dairy, butter, grains, fish, fruit, veggies were all eaten about 10 generations after Adam and Eve.
      You may want to look at what the Lord had to eat with Abraham in genesis 18:1-8. Curds can be translated as butter. God gave manna and they boiled or cooked it. He gave quail. In Leviticus he sets the parameters of a clean and health lifestyle which includes meat and dairy.

      I agree with you that eating should not be this difficult, but we live in a polluted and broken down world where all things are groaning for, “that day”….some of us are looking for the best diet for ourselves….some have ended up with the wapf diet after trying veganism or the SAD way of life.
      Hopefully one day, in the new heaven and earth we will be back to eating only that which was in the Garden, no more animals.
      After being a vegan, I worked through this thought of meat….have come to the conclusion that because of the fall, death entered the world and this for animals as well. Maybe our fallen bodies need animal protein to survive…God ordained it and gave it to us….meat, dairy, butter, grains, veggies and fruit are through out the bible. Now if it all could be raised and grown properly, as God intended, then maybe we wouldn’t have so many issues with our food.

      Reply
  240. Ohhh Sarah! I am surely finding out just how people just do not know. They just are so brainwashed ….and just don’t know. But boy have you got them thinking! And that is a really good thing. Most haven’t even bothered to ‘know’ you or what you stand for….just want someone to bash. And it’s a shame because these people will never enjoy the health just because they won’t think outside the box or get out of their comfort zones. I admire you more with each bashing! Yeah raw cow’s milk, real butter, grass fed meat and eggs from chickens on pasture …..they just do not get it. And they won’t . Oh a few will ….but the majority won’t. And that is so sad.

    Reply
  241. I am outraged by this article. How irresponcible can you be to make the insinuations and suggestings this page contains. Cook all vegetables and eat with butter??? You would rather we kill off some of the vitamins and nutrients, despite the fact that this will be unlikely to affect oxalates (according to you only paragraphs earlier), and then add in lipids that human bodies also have trouble breaking down? The same dairy product many nutritionists believe leads to clogged arteries?

    We are in a country where the average American eats less than 5% vegetables in his/her diet. And if less than 1% of Americans suffer from oxolate health problems… couldn’t it be deduced that vegetables are NOT the issue here? Not to mention the vegetables to blame are not ALL dark leafy vegetables but a sample of 10 or so high oxolate veggie cuplrits. This page reeks of bias, from the first paragraphs describing a SMALL PERCENTAGE OF AMERICA who are WORKING OUT and trying to TAKE CARE OF THEIR BODIES. You should be ashamed. It is so sad that this misinformation has been shared and turned EVEN ONE person away from changing their lifestyles and health.

    Probably the most reprehensible paragraph award goes to this gem:
    “Given that the majority of people today suffer from gut imbalance/fungal issues caused by antibiotic and prescription drug use along with consumption of processed foods, a high oxalate diet which includes green smoothies is an unwise practice for virtually everyone.”
    —You first say the gut/fungal issues are CAUSED by prescription drugs and processed foods, and then say that this somewhere somehow means people should not drink green smoothies. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. WHO ARE YOU WRITING THIS FOR? ILLITERATES!?

    -still fuming

    Reply
    • Elizabeth – seriously. This information on green smoothies and the use of butter makes you this upset?
      Can’t you just simply agree to disagree without being so angry and on the attack?

      Reply
      • This article is making a lot of people very uncomfortable so they go on the defensive. But it IS making them think. I guess….those that get the meat of the issue! :)

        Reply
  242. I’m not going to read through every comment here. I just have to say that you all who think Green Smoothies are the culprit for all of your health problems are completely insane. Use your reasoning and logic! Green foods are the absolute healthiest for you on the planet. So, is the problem that you can’t process them because you have a diseased body in one way or another? You got kidney stones from spinach and it was SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN that in fact, it was the spinach? I highly doubt it. Once again this is a case of focusing on the NEGATIVE rather than the positive benefits. There are much fewer anti-nutrients than there are beneficial nutrients, and you WORRY that the anti-nutrients are causing damage? WHAT ABOUT YOUR STRESS LEVEL AND WORRY? Are you eating a healthy, plant-based diet along with your green smoothies, or are your smoothies an excuse to eat junk all day long? Are you on any medications that can be interfered with by consuming ‘high’ level of oxilates? Consider all your options before you blame the greens. Science is not black and white, most all of the data is not conclusive enough because of the controls. (When in doubt, follow the money. Who paid for the study?) Food science is new and whole foods are much more complicated and complex than the known nutrients that they contain. USE YOUR BRAIN. SPINACH HATERS BEWARE.

    Reply
  243. Hi Momma’s out there! I just wanted to encourage you to not give up! I know after reading this I got angry, then cried, then felt like a helpless failure of a mom. After a couple days I picked myself back up again by the truth. We don’t have any control over how we die. Isn’t that what everybody is worried about here? The people here think that they are right…. and when that is challenged, it makes them feel like they are losing their false sense of control. Ok, so pull yourself up by your bootstraps and find another way. Don’t use green leaves that have high oxalates, use something else! There is plenty of other veggies to put in yours and your kids smoothies. Its not a fad for me and if its not for you then don’t listen to people that make you feel like you are doing something wrong. Among many other benefits, smoothies are helping my kids to love the taste of veggies when they can quite chew lettuce yet. If you are making Jamba Juice/ high oxalate smoothies everyday to replace meals then… well, just try and think how you can change them by what you’ve learned here.
    You can do this and you are not a terrible mom! :)

    Reply
  244. Laura Farnsworth May 30, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Sarah, where is the research to support this opinion? I have never heard of kidney stones resulting from plants or plant-based diets, which is usually from high meat or protein intake. Crazy to scare people into not eating what’s ultimately a healthier option. See “Food Matters,” a fantastic documentary. We’re all deficient in what green plants give us.

    Reply
    • My dad had kidney stones and was told to avoid strawberries and spinach (two of his very favorite foods) as they are high in oxalates and lead to kidney stones. Growing up in Europe we didn’t have other greens like chard or kale but spinach was pretty popular.

      Reply
  245. Author of this article – please cite published, peer-reviewed studies which demonstrate the reality of the dangers you are describing. You can link them here in the comments if you wish.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  246. this blogs post is full of shizzz they probably haven’t even had a vegetable in the entire live. so super shut up to your bull shizz

    Reply
  247. Oh well…. I’ve been alternating every morning between making Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie, and making a green smoothie made with a big hanful of spinach, 8 carrots, slices from 1/2 apple, and 2 big strawberries, and I’ve havent had any breakouts on my face for almost 2 weeks! Unless it’s life threatening, I will not stop consuming these.

    Reply
  248. oh geez…this article is so one sided…why dont you mention all the benefits of the green smoothie?
    why dont we all go back to eating all the processed and genetically modified crap that is thrown our way or shall I say rammed down our throats!!…is that your answer to good health?

    Reply
  249. LuvGreenSmoothies May 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    We’ve been having our green smoothies on a daily basis for a year now. Just recently, our annual check with our doctor revealed that our blood tests came back normal. No more anemia, no more high cholesterol… everything was normal! And we feel great!

    Just because some people may not be able to process it well, does not mean we have to avoid it. Everything has to be in moderation but at the same time, you have to look at what you eat as a whole. Eat more local and organic food rather than conventional. Eat more raw/less-processed foods than the usual. Eat more plant-based foods than meat. No fast food. Read labels. It’s a lot of work but you are what you eat.

    At the end of the day, you follow what your body tells you. To me, adding butter does not solve it.

    This article is very one-sided. It may be true but I wish it presented the possible benefits as well.

    Reply
  250. Please do some of your own research before you stop nourishing your body with the healthiest foods on the planet!!!!

    If you have a disorder that predisposes you to high oxelate levels, speak to your doctor about how to keep eating greens while controlling your levels. Personally I have been drinking green juice every morning, including a big bunch of spinach, for the past few years with no problems and amazing results. Oxelate levels is an individually specific issue and should not be geared towards the general public.

    http://www.kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2012/05/29/response-to-article-how-green-smoothies-can-devastate-your-health/

    Reply
  251. Sarah in her own words, from a post she wrote yesterday:
    The next time a bizarre, modern notion like eating a simple bowl of scrambled eggs is dangerous comes along, just think about what your Great Grandparents ate. If they scrambled their eggs, chances are good that you can safely eat them too!

    Just replace a few words and look at what you get. Funny! :)

    The next time a bizarre, modern notion like eating a *green smoothie* is dangerous comes along, just think about what your Great Grandparents ate. If they *ate greens*, chances are good that you can safely eat them too!

    Reply
    • Yeah, and they ate them slathered in pig grease and butter with hamhocks. Oh no!
      I think the point is – green smoothies MAY be too much for SOME people.
      Green smoothies CAN be devastating for SOME people.

      Reply
  252. Natasha Zeligs May 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I think you’d better do some more research. Most of these conditions are
    1) Extremely rare
    2) This toxicity is mainly attributed to high consumption of animal proteins
    3) Kidney stones are indicative of other issues within the body, namely a highly acidic state.
    I have been drinking at least 3 Green smoothies a day and look and feel amazing (I’m 52).
    I am a certified nutritionist and have myself and my clients add good fat (coconut oil) and protein powder (raw rice protein) to them and they are balanced and extremely high in nutrients.

    It’s too bad that you read a couple of articles and then deemed it reasonable to publish the ridiculous information you did.

    Reply
  253. What a load of crap. Telling people to enjoy salad, greens, and green smoothies in moderation is the exact opposite of what people need to be doing.

    If this was a link bait article you accomplished your goal. Unfortunately, for a few links and page views, you will be adversely affecting the health of people who read this and become afraid of probably the most benign and healthful food they could have. Hope you sleep well at night.

    Reply
  254. I’m a nursing mother and I have green smoothie daily, I love the way i feel and i love the way i look, from an asian family i was raised eating green leafy vegetable and i can’t imagine living without it. I have never studied nutrition but i do listen to my body very carefully and work very hard to give it what it needs. So far, no kidney stones, no painful sex and no fungal infections that i used to have. I have respect wisdom and knowledge and thank you for kindly sharing your knowledge and your experience with the world.I felt that the article intensions was very brain washing in a very negative way and it needs to stop.

    Reply
  255. I’m curious as to which “traditional cultures” cook their vegetables in butter…? What the hell are you even talking about?

    Reply
    • In India, greens are traditionally cooked in clarified butter. In Europe butter or olive oil. In parts of Africa, they are cooked in butter,

      Traditional cultures did and do consume soups which are made from essentially green smoothie veggies together with their pot liquor. That isn’t so different since cooking likely increases oxalate availability in undrained cooked veggies. Most people who drink green smoothies use them as their primary vegetable source, they don’t live on them. And a lot include yogurt or other sources of calcium or magnesium which will bind the oxalates.

      The single article you cite Sarah is not a scientific source, it is an opinion piece by a PhD who I will assume is a scientist. I’ve been scouring pubMed for backup, reading journal articles and checking research. That is where you find scientific sources.

      Here is an article on hyperoxularia that provides a quite different take on oxalate build-up (and I cite it as a confirmed carnivore.) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/444683-overview#aw2aab6b3 :

      High-protein (meat) intake is known to be a significant risk factor for calcium stone disease because of its effect on urinary calcium and uric acid. A 2001 European study by Nguyen et al evaluated the effect of a diet high in meat protein on urinary oxalate in healthy subjects versus patients with idiopathic calcium stones and those with mildly hyperoxaluric calcium stones.[33]

      The investigators found that approximately one third of those with idiopathic calcium stones responded to the high meat-protein intake with a significant increase in urinary oxalate excretion, while no effect was noted in healthy subjects. This suggests that, in addition to its effects on urinary calcium and uric acid levels, excessive meat-protein intake may increase urinary oxalate excretion.
      …………………………….
      Incidentally milk or yogurt lowers oxalate excretion:
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2011.02741.x/abstract

      Reply
  256. this is nuts. every person is different. you should tell people to visit their dr to talk about these issues instead of telling people straight out that it is horrible.

    reading through these responses boggles my mind. think for yourselves people.

    Reply
  257. Pingback: Response to Article: How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health

  258. I cannot believe this ! I went camping on Saturday and this battle was raging and I came home today and it’s still going on ! GOOOOOO SARAH! WHOOOOOOOOO! Love ya girl!

    Reply
    • Thank you Bryan, I replied to Sarah’s reply telling her that after being raw for 2years if I eat anything with any form of an animal product even if its a trace of milk, my body reacts immediately and that anyone consuming the raw greens should abstain from any animal products completely :-)

      Reply
  259. This is so interesting!!!! I’m a nursing mother and in order to pack in a lot of nutrition I was having a green smoothie daily. After a few weeks of this new practice I started getting horrible bloating and gas. I originally chalked it up to the recent re-introduction of dairy back into my diet after a two week break for my nursling {it didn’t help}. But it didn’t really make sense because dairy makes up a large portion of my diet, especially while pregnant or nursing, and I’ve never in my life had an issue with dairy. Our son’s doctor suggested that I always had an issue and didn’t realize it or perhaps it was the probiotics I was taking, which could be true I suppose, but I started laying off the smoothies and my symptoms started subsiding. Again I chalked it up to my body adjusting to the dairy. Then I had a smoothie for the first time in a few weeks and there again was that horrible bloating, cramping and gas. I could not believe it was the smoothies! I even bought new spinach thinking maybe I had a funny batch. I still don’t know with 100% certainty that it was the smoothies but my instincts of late have been to avoid them. This just proves that everything in moderation is best :)

    Reply
  260. Agents of misinformation like this Sarah —no last name- are actually doing humanity a favor. They help us weed out the dumb and stupid who believes in this anti propaganda BS. So go ahead and if you were on Green Smoothie and want to stop it, great. You just leave more fresh green for the rest of us. Go and eat your GMOs, the Good American Beef and contribute your last dollars to the ecological problems by giving your dollars to Big business who funds these misinformation agents.

    Reply
    • Bluehat – with all due respect, big AG/gmo are not part of those who follow this blog, your comment is out of ignorance to a traditional foods diet.
      personally I purchase a great majority of my foods from a local organic farmer who is in network with other like farmers. No gmo’s…no big AG.
      Please educate yourself with the “ins and outs” of a traditional foods diet before making assumptions.

      Reply
  261. Definitely checking into this further. We have a child with Multicystic Dysplastic & only one healthy kidney. We make green smoothies & juice a couple time a week. Plus, I add Amazing Grass to these drinks. Sarah, I appreciate your willingness to share this post. I do believe all things in moderation and making sure fruits/veggies are organic and GMO free is a must…BUT…for our family, knowing that oxalates could cause kidney stones is a sincere concern. It amazes me that nephrology specialists didn’t warn us about kidney stones caused from certain veggies. We must be our own advocates!! Thank you for making us aware. Now it is up to us to research and make the healthiest decision for our child and family. Blessings -

    Reply
  262. More research is being done at this moment on oxalates. Besides already being in the body they are in fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds, legumes, grains, chocolate, blk tea and cocoa. The problem is humans overdo everything especially when it comes to food. All of our bodies are different, some people do fine with lots of oxalates in the diet. Listen to your body it will tell you what you need and what it does not tolerate. Our body is always talking to us and It’s only when we refuse to listen or when we don’t understand what to listen for, that our bodies “turn up the volume” in an effort to get us to pay attention. This can often result in a manifested illness or dis-ease in the body. Here is a wonderful chart for those of you that want to pay more attention to their oxalates in the diet.
    http://www.ohf.org/docs/Oxalate2004.pdf

    Reply
  263. Thank you for the great article that alerted me to the oxalate levels in my vegetables. I definitely agree that naturally occurring fats are the only good fats for you. My husband and I were raised on margarine and processed foods and have resigned myself to the fact that I will probably die of cancer, however, slowly but surely we are changing the foods that we eat. It is not a change that is easy on $40 a week food budget for 5 people.

    I find it interesting that there are people who comment about vegan and raw diets helping cure cancer and believe it is true. A friend of mine dealt with cancer in this way. I believe people need to realize your advice is given to have a healthy life if one is not facing a life threatening disease, or a severe allergy. Obviously, if one has such a condition you treat that condition first. I haven’t seen the author contradict that the RAW diets have helped those suffering from cancer. This article seems to deal with a more specific ailments caused by too many oxalates in one’s diet.

    Reply
  264. Kathleen Conner May 29, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Holy cow. There’s a lot of people upset and saying that you are wrong. But you’re very clear that this applies to SOME PEOPLE.

    Well, I’m “some people”, and am astounded. I’ve been feeling bad for years and years, like I’m doing something wrong, because I feel like certain foods or ways of eating disagree with me. In fact, EVERYthing you mentioned is what bothers me! I’m blown away. Thank you so much. Once again, I need to be OK just listening to my body. I’ve been feeling guilty because I cook almost all my veggies, and can’t bring myself to eat things like kale. Well, no more! It’s amazing how having a name for a condition makes it OK in my head, but there it is.

    Once again,
    Thank you! And for everyone so upset—cut it out. This is helpful to some people. If it doesn’t apply to you, then pass the article by.

    Reply
  265. Jim Robicsek, M.H. May 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Dear Sarah,

    I make no pretense to be a medical doctor or scientist, just so we’re clear going in. Rather, as a Master Herbalist in private practice here in Vermont, I can report to you that green smoothies are a favored part of the natural healing programs that I have been putting people on for decades. Contrary to what you’ve said, everyone who has engaged this practice has seen benefits and no one has ever reported the slightest problem, quite the opposite. “Science” is infinitely confusing for most people and you’re only adding to the confusion. A suggestion–stick with direct personal experience and avoid scientific mumbo-jumbo. The proof is in the pudding. Green smoothies are awesome! Try to put aside the tendency we all have to validate the activities we engage in and find out for yourself whether something works or not. Experiment, explore, question. Some people I know have been doing green smoothies almost every day for 10 or even 20 years. They are among the healthiest people alive, vibrant, life-affirming, loving, energized and extremely active. Please take a second look before jumping to an unfounded conclusion.

    Reply
    • Hi Jim, I’ve been having a terrible time trying to find more positive based scientific feedback around green smoothies. I’m new to green smoothies, only discovering them a few months ago. But as someone who does not like veggies raw or cooked, this was a perfect solution I thought as I’m happy to put it all in my vitamix and drink it down. I’ve been using a cup of various berries, a sweet fruit like banana or pineapple, and 1 to 2 cups of collard greens. Do you have any advise as someone who has been doing this for years as to what veggies to use for maximum benefit as well as the quantity per drink? I’m mid 30′s, in good shape, and suffer no known ailments, just want to be healthier. I’d like to have a formula that I can tweak to my own personal body. If I had a list of veggies I should use for maximum health and vary them every couple of weeks or months, that’d be great. I’ve just had a hard time finding good discussions around this, only the negative “if you eat or drink this too much you’ll harm yourself” which doesn’t help. Especially when “Too Much” means nothing to me, I need at least some quantifiable data. Thanks for any help!

      Reply
  266. I’m sorry but this article reeks of BS. I understand that for SOME people this could be an issue. But to further state that one should eat salads in moderation and not everyday is comical. The article then goes on to suggest we cook the greens in butter to “maximum absorption of minerals.” is down right irresponsible. The moment you cook a vegetable it begins to lose nutrients, and adding butter only adds cholesterol and saturated fat! Sure there is a little calcium in butter, but I’d rather eat an orange. Good grief, no wonder people are so confused about what they should be eating!

    Reply
  267. Where are the citings for the scientific evidence to validate this article? Do oxalates from dietary sources contribute to oxalic build-up in the body or does the Candida Albicans overgrowth create it? Why is the author so motivated to tell people to STOP drinking green smoothies instead of suggesting rotating types of greens used and drink in moderation? Chronic dehydration, high salt, low potassium diets, carbonated fountain drinks, sugar, and anti-acids all play roles in oxalate crystal formation. It is very irresponsible to discourage people from a high green diet with no evidence that it is harmful when the benefits are substantial.

    Reply
  268. How about we focus on soda & sugar instead of beating on people who have a way healthier route going on, even if it’s not perfect?
    Soda is consumed by billions more people in far larger quantites than green smoothies and soda truly is devasating for our health in a myriad of ways. It literally is killing us. You will do far more good for mankind if you concentrate on getting people to stop drinking soda than putting the fear of god into people who are eating lots of vegetables. Let’s get some focus on the things that are really doing the damage instead of getting people on the right track all fired up and confused.

    Reply
    • Carrie – most, if not all, who follow this blog do not consume sodas and are well aware of the damage they cause.

      Reply
  269. Pingback: The Calcium Lie | Dr Carolyn Dean MD ND

  270. Harold Kamperman May 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    This article is a little out of balance. Yes, oxalates are a building block for certain types of kidney stones, bladder stones etc (I spent my PhD. studies on substances combatting this) but the underlying causes are a lot more complex. When we make green smoothies we use maybe 6 small Swiss chard leaves for the whole family (8 of us). That is much less than the average meal serving. The benefits far outway the “negatives”. One factor this article completely ignore is the amount of oxalates in black teas. Should all of the South stop drinking sweet/unsweetened tea? A reference for the oxalates in tea is http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12495262 BTW, the 6 cups of tea/day the article refers to are the small British style “cup and saucer” size, not the enormous glasses consumed here in the US!H
    To compare relative oxalates content in foods the following link has done an adequate job … http://www.ohf.org/docs/Oxalate2008.pdf
    Anyway, maybe the old saying “too much of a good thing …” holds true, so people with episodes of kidney stones should definitely take care. The rest of us would do well to do things in moderation. America has had too much of “super-size it”.

    10 minutes ago · Like

    Reply
  271. I swear I can’t seem to get ahead when it comes to nutrition. I don’t like vegetables, never eat them, don’t want them. I finally thought I had a work around by creating my own smoothies with veggies and fruits, I can chug it, be done with it, and at least get some nutrition. Now it sounds like that is going to kill me. Except if I eat a salad in moderation it won’t? What if I take that moderate salad and make a smoothie out of it? Is there something about the blending process that is more dangerous than just eating it all raw? And what is moderate? I was eating a breakfast sausage biscuit at MacDonalds before work, now I switched to a smoothie. Both sound like they’re going to kill me. So I still haven’t heard what the healthy path is, but it sounds like there is no middle ground. Is it any wonder why Americans are so unhealthy, we can’t seem to come to a consensus on what will kill us and what is a good course of action.

    Reply
    • Different greens have higher or lower amounts of oxalates. Spinach and chard are extremely high. Turnip greens, arugula, kale, lettuce and mustard greens are quite low and can be enjoyed in large quantities.
      If you really want to be healthy though you need to eat more than just leafy greens.
      PattyLA\’s last post: Low Oxalate produce in season now!

      Reply
      • I would like to continue to eat better, I’ve been feeling so much better than on my fastfood breakfast. But what is considered healthy and in what proportion. I have a vitamix so I make the drinks myself and have complete control over what goes in. Are high oxalate veggies right out, or are they still good in small infrequent batches. What would you or anyone reading this suggest for a monthly morning routine. For the past few months I’ve been mixing 1/2cup mixed dark berries (blue,black,rasp), 2 leaves of collard greens, with an optional banana or pineapple wedge, as well as a small spoon of coconut oil. Should I just vary the veggies I’m putting in on a weekly basis? Any particular veggies people recommend for health and more importantly that won’t cause more harm than good. And what proportions? I see too many terms like small, med, large, moderate, excessive, common sense…. Those don’t help. When someone comes to me and asks for advise on how to make their computer faster, I don’t tell them to get some RAM but use common sense on how much, or just get a moderate amount. Unhealthy folks like me have little to no understanding when it comes to nutrition, we just know we aren’t healthy. And thank you for that link, as someone who wants to live better I appreciate the help!

        Reply
    • Joe, if you don’t have kidney stones or fibro, it isn’t a problem. Only 1.4% of people (20% of those who have calcium oxalate kidney stones) lack the intestinal bacteria to break down oxalates. Stay away from the antibiotics listed above, if you are worried take calcium citrate with your veggies, drink plenty of water and don’t live on unlimited spinach and rhubarb. Doesn’t sound like you are overdosing on the greens anyway.

      It isn’t that green smoothies are a problem. In those people with an inability to break down oxalates, excessive high oxalate foods might -and the jury is still out with the research- do better with lower levels in their diet. (And with painful conditions may not want to chance eating high levels.) Oxalic acid in the correct amount helps with bowel movements and may even fight cancer, but too much can precipitate out and cause painful conditions.

      Reply
      • Hey thanks for the help. I’m in the dark when it comes to nutrition, but am trying to turn that around, so it’s nice to know I’m not inadvertently causing more harm than good! I’ll start changing up the veggies I put in every month to give some variety too I suppose. I did notice one odd issue when I first started. I used only kale as my veggie, about 1.5 to 2 packed cups worth of it every day in my drink. After about a month of this, I started getting a tiny split in the tip of my tongue when I woke every morning. I stopped with kale and went to collard greens and no more split. Very odd, so I guess I’ll keep reading health forums and make sure I don’t supersize any one veggie!

        Reply
  272. There are a few gut bacteria that will degrade oxalates and the most promising is Oxalobacter formigenes which uses oxalates as its primary food. Other oxalate-degrading bacteria that have been isolated from human stool samples include Eubacterium lentum and Enterococcus faecalis. In contrast to O. formigenes, these species are able to use other foods than oxalate for growth, and whether they will degrade oxalate in the gut where alternatives are provided is not known. This research cited below does not mention Lactobacillis acidophilous which may also have a mild effect on oxalates.

    20% of the population lacks Oxalobacter formigenes, the gut bacteria that degrades oxalates, possibly due to antibiotics listed below. It is being isolated to be sold as a prescription by Oxthera Products and also I understand by Ixion, but is currently not sold in the US. Unless it is available overseas (and I have no knowledge) the only way to get it now would be fecal implants from a healthy person without oxalate degrading problems, and that has a pretty substantial ick factor even if done with medical supervision.

    The literature doesn’t specify whether O. formigenes is found in any probiotic foods. It is anerobic, so won’t grow readily in the presence of oxygen, Rice bran contains an enzyme that can break down oxalates though, so you might experiment with boiling food with rice bran (based on traditional Japanese bamboo shoot treatment.)

    The article Oxalobacter formigenes and Its Potential Role in Human Health ( http://aem.asm.org/content/68/8/3841.full ) found that many of the antibiotics they studied can and do kill this microbe, with Doxycycline and clarithomycin being the worst:

    doxycycline (the only nongeneric tetracycline studied)
    clarithromycin (Biaxin)
    chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)
    nalidixic acid (no longer used in US)
    co-amoxiclav (Augmentin)
    metronidazole (Flagyl)
    polymyxin E (Colistin)
    tetracycline
    one strain of O. formigenes was sensitive to clindamycin (Cleocin)

    Several of these are given for urinary or vaginal infections.

    Avoiding these antibiotics may be more important than dietary changes while you build up a variety of gut flora.

    Reply
  273. Greens,in patricular leafy greens contain the highest levels of nitrate.Which protect the cardiovascular system from nitric oxide.Go look up The Hippocrates Health Institute,The Gerson Institute,The Budwig Diet.All of these alternative disease fighting diets contain veggies and juicing.Greens,especially chlorella,spirulina,wheatgrass,barley grass contain thousands of phytonutrients that help the body to detox and heal. Wheatgrass, for example ,is a blood bulider.It contains all of the vitamins and most of the minerals needed for human well being.Wheatgrass contains chlorophyll which is molecularly similar to hemoglobin. I believe that pastured meats,fish,broths,pastured chicken,pastured eggs,fermented cod liver oil,raw milk,raw cheese, are absolute staples to good health. But,I would be foolish not to include cancer fighting and health promoting greens.

    Reply
  274. Kiki Becerra Bacaro via Facebook May 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    WATCH OUT, Annika Rockwell FoodforKidshealth just posted on the unhealthiness of Hummus, another current diet fad…let the assault begin!!

    Reply
  275. Ginger Bisharat May 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

    This article is unnecessarily dramatic. I can see oxalates being a concern for someone who has a pre-existing condition such as the ones you mention, and wants to drink nothing but green smoothies for an extended period of time. But the way your article is written suggests that no one should drink green smoothies. And your suggestion to avoid even salads of fresh greens because of oxalates is ridiculous. Kale, chard and the like are well-established to be of the highest nutritive value among all food on the planet AND the levels of oxalates are higher in other foods.* Not to mention that a kidney stone does not “destroy” your health – sure, it’s a problem and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, but destroy is too strong a word. Hepatitis destroys health. AIDS destroys health. Cancer destroys health. A kidney stone is something a person can recover from and does not belong at the level you have placed it.

    I feel sorry for people who let blogs like this one dictate what they feed their families. Children especially need the B vitamins and calcium found in leafy greens, and green smoothies are a great way to get them one of their two servings a day! How else are we to raise them to have healthy digestive systems?? By serving them whole foods with high nutritive value!!

    *”Oxalate occurs in many plants, where it is synthesized via the incomplete oxidation of carbohydrates. Oxalate-rich plants include fat hen (“lamb’s quarters”), sorrel, and several Oxalis species. The root and/or leaves of rhubarb and buckwheat are high in oxalic acid.[8] Other edible plants that contain significant concentrations of oxalate include–in decreasing order–star fruit (carambola), black pepper, parsley, poppy seed, amaranth, spinach, chard, beets, cocoa, chocolate, most nuts, most berries, fishtail palms, New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) and beans.[citation needed] Leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) contain among the greatest measured concentrations of oxalic acid relative to other plants. However the infusion beverage typically contains only low to moderate amounts of oxalic acid per serving, due to the small mass of leaves used for brewing.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalate)

    Reply
  276. While I love this blog, I find this particular post disturbing on many levels. The blanket statement that green smoothies are devastating to health is quite extreme, and most people do just fine adding green vegetables to smoothies for added nutrients. People need more creative ways to get more vegetables into their diets, and steering people away from greens is doing them a huge disservice!

    Just because traditional cultures didn’t eat green smoothies doesn’t mean that we cannot. Traditional cultures also did not have environmental pollution like we do now. What worked for them just might not work for us. Nowadays, people need the more alkaline vegetables in their diet to achieve vibrant health.

    Yes, oxalates can be a problem for some individuals, but they are not only found in green leafy vegetables. They are also found in buckwheat, cocoa, nuts, and many other foods. To single out only the green leafy vegetables is not giving your readers enough information.

    FYI… If you are concerned about stones forming, just add some raw apple cider vinegar to the water that you drink, and this can help prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place.

    Ultimately, each one of us needs to listen to our body. What works for someone, will not work for someone else. Your body is the ultimate guide to determine what food works for you and what does not.
    Becky Mauldin, N.D.\’s last post: Natural Remedies for Strep Throat

    Reply
  277. What about wheatgrass? I just read candida book and it suggested eating wheatgrass daily to help get rid of yeast. What is your opinion. Thanks..

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I’ve been drinking wheatgrass IN MODERATION for 15 years (1-2 shots a week). Love the stuff. I did do a very short stint when I first started wheatgrass where I did a shot a day for about a month to speed up detoxification and then backed off to a moderate level since then. Like anything, just don’t overdo and go wild with it like green smoothie junkies do with their green drink of choice. Even healthy things can become unhealthy when they become addictive, excessive, “gotta do it everyday” type behaviors.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Devil’s Food Cake

      Reply
  278. Pingback: Primalisms: Gag Laws, Raw Food, Green Smoothies & More

  279. This is an alarmist article. I find it more harmful than good that anyone would elicit alarm for consuming food sources rich in nutrition, antioxidants and vitamins by default. For most people, eating the spectrum of leafy greens is incredibly healthy. The trade-off to not eating greens over paranoia of issues associated with an oxalate diet is far more of an issue to me than avoiding them. If you’ve been eating greens and you feel great, don’t stop over this article, pay attention to your body. I imagine coffee, alcohol and fast food also contribute to oxalate build ups. And what about balance? Is it not possible to consume high oxalate greens for the benefit of all the wonderful nutrition value and then add other things in your diet that combat oxalate build ups? Aloe Vera inner leaf gel/juice for example, i’ve heard is great at combatting oxalate build ups. I personally want all those antioxidants, vitamins and life healing properties from the greens and I have not experienced any issue other than health and happiness from it.

    Reply
  280. Some important studies to read to find out what just adding spinach to the diet can do can be found here:

    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/18/3/233.pdf

    and here:

    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/17/6/557.pdf
    and there are more of them, but this is what you can find already on the web.

    In these studies adding spinach to the diet was compared to adding the lower oxalate green, turnip greens.

    One of these studies said:

    If to a diet of meat, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes, rela
    tively low in calcium but permitting good though not maximum
    growth and bone formation, spinach is added to the extent of
    about 8% to supply 60% of the calcium, a high percentage
    of deaths occurs among rats fed between the age of 21 and
    90 days. Reproduction is impossible. The bones are ex
    tremely low in calcium, tooth structure is disorganized and
    dentine poorly calcified. Spinach not only supplies no avail
    able calcium but renders unavailable considerable of that of
    the other foods. Considerable of the oxalate appears in the
    urine, much more in the feces.

    The same study said:

    By the
    time the age of 90 days was reached, five animals on the
    spinach diet had died while all those on the diet containing
    turnip greens were in excellent condition. The average
    weight at 90 days of age of animals receiving spinach was
    134 gm. while of those receiving turnip greens it was 205.”

    Take a look and read the studies yourself and see what you think.

    Whoever reads these studies really might prefer adding turnip greens rather than spinach for your smoothies!

    Reply
    • Susan Owen, thank you so much for taking the time to make several informative responses in this matter. I’m encouraged to have this new information that may provide insight and answers for someone in my life who for many years has suffered from fibromyalgia as well as vulvodynia, arthritis, fatigue, and something that led to a laminectomy in the lower spine. Could all of these be related? If so, could they potentially be addressed and improved by following the LOD protocol? I just joined the yahoo group and see many documents in the files — are there ones in particular that I should look at first?

      Your generosity in sharing your expertise is very much appreciated.

      Beth

      Reply
      • Beth
        I used to have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, bladder pain, and severe arthritis in my knees, All of these are completely cured after a number of years on the low oxalate diet. I also have vulvar vestibulitis and it is about 80% better on the LOD. Oxalate problems are real, yet often overlooked by the medical community. I imagine your loved one could really benefit from a low oxalate diet.

        I don’t agree that everyone needs to be on a low oxalate diet, but there is a lot of evidence that lower oxalate greens such as dino kale, turnip greens and mustard greens are a lot healthier than spinach! I would definitely suggest people err on the side of caution or at least read about oxalate-related symptoms, so they know what to watch out for if it becomes a problem for them.
        Heidi @ Low Oxalate Info\’s last post: The Low Oxalate Curry Guide

        Reply
        • Thank you, Heidi, for this and your other responses. And for pointing out your excellent and informative blog to us.

          Reply
  281. Conor, and others,

    Our paper in the European Journal of Paediatric Neurology was conducted in such a way to address a myth that is “out there” that the first sign of oxalate being high in the body is kidney stones. I found out years ago that doctors and scientists assumed that was so, but I also could see that no one had tested it. I attended a long professional development conference on kidney stones and learned that issues local to the kidney is what causes certain people to be at risk for kidney stones. People with kidney stones have about the same amount of oxalate in their urine as everyone else, Something ELSE makes them vulnerable there.

    Because that belief has been so pervasive that kidney stones will be the first sign of an oxalate problem, as of today, almost 100% of oxalate scientists are kidney doctors and by talking to them, I’ve learned that they have been brushing off problems oxalate might have caused in their patients in other organ systems. They would just tell the patient those other issues were unrelated.

    This is why our study addressed indiectly whether oxalate can be present in the body in dangerous levels when there is no evidence or even risk of developing kidney stones. The data clearly leads to that conclusion, and the same conclusion likely applies to other patient groups as well….groups that have never had their oxalate tested because of low suspicion.

    Kidney doctors use a test called the BRI (Bonn risk index) to assess how likely someone is to develop kidney stones. If you are interested, you can read about it here http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925400508008332, here, http://www.indianjurol.com/article.asp?issn=0970-1591;year=2011;volume=27;issue=2;spage=301;epage=302;aulast=Dwivedi, and here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1805047/

    The BRI test works like this: You take a urine sample, and in measured amounts add more oxalate to the sample until oxalate starts to crystalize out. The more oxalate it takes to get to the point of crystallization, the lower the risks of developing kidney stones.

    The Bonn risk index when it was applied to the children with autism in our study showed that they had virtually NO risk of developing kidney stones. That was not because they were low in oxalate. They were high. The study found their blood and urine oxalate was as high in some of these children as other scientists had found in children with primary hyperoxaluria. That’s a genetic disease that affects one in a million people. It can be fatal because of problems that develop in the body from excess oxalate being stored in tissues..

    The children with autism were two and half times higher than control children in urine and three times higher in blood, but they had virtually no kidney stone risk and none of them had kidney stones as was determined in the hospital where the tests took place.

    Our study also found that the two compartments in these children didn’t “agree”. There was a sixteen fold difference in the ratio of blood to urine oxalate in the children with autism. which means you cannot measure oxalate in one place and assume that tells you what its levels are in the other place.

    Only one child with autism overlapped with any of the control children in both blood and urine. That is out of 36 children with autism.

    So, Conor, the concern about oxalate is not just about kidney stones. I have now seen testing for people with all sorts of disorders where oxalate has ended up a major issue, and reducing oxalate from its previous levels has helped people regain their health.

    Readers here just need to be aware that some people may develop problems who try the high oxalate smoothies. We don’t all share the same risks, but oxalate seems to be related to a lot of chronic conditions, especially ones that involve pain. It can negatively effect sleep, growth, energy, anemia, skin issues, bone composition and more. For people who find that their health does not get better with the green smoothies when they include high oxalate veggies, there is a very logical reason why that may be so.. This is certainly something that can be confirmed with very objective diagnostic testing, but not if people avoid the testing to find out…

    Susan

    Reply
  282. I’m sorry but this article does not seem to be well written at all.

    “Cook your veggies” “Throw out the cooking water” “Serve your veggies with butter” “Minimize greens”

    I don’t agree with practically anything this article states.

    However, freedom of speech is a beautiful thing.

    Reply
  283. Saibah, please know that I appreciate and am intrigued by your story, and wonder what is different in your body and in the about 4,000 women or so in the Vulvar Pain Foundation who found reducing oxalate was the solution to their vulvodynia. I am not at all doubting your story, but am wondering why your experience is so different from theirs.

    One reason may be that you have different flora that are more adapted to a high oxalate diet, and detoxify the oxalate you are eating for you….microbes like oxalobacter formigenes. Lack of this microbe has been one of the repeated findings in cystic fibrosis. Many of them that develop oxalate problems with that diease have lacked oxalate degrading flora in their stool. I’m still working on getting this test that shows the oxalate degrading capacity of the flora to get picked up by a commerical lab.

    Saibah, I’m not at all against green smoothies, but they don’t have to be high in oxalate. It is simply a matter of which veggies you put into the blender. There are many low oxalate green foods and other fruits and veggies to make a quite healthy low oxalate drink.

    Oxalate trafficking in the body is tied to transporters that regulate many things intestinal. The pancreas releases enzymes to help digestion, but its function is known to be somewhat compromised in conditions where oxalate is known to be a problem, like cystic fibrosis and celiac sprue, for example. The release from the pancreas of digestive enzymes involves transporters that might be negatively affected by oxalate being too high in that organ.

    For that reason, maybe just substituting lower oxalate veggies in your smoothie might make it where you would no longer need the digestive enzymes any more.

    One way to tell if your body is storing oxalate is to cut its levels back, and see if the body starts to detoxify.

    I don’t recommend suddenly going to low oxalate for someone who has been very high in oxalate, as the results of that can be an overly rapid detoxification which can be miserable, Because our project has helped almost 5,000 people with this detox process, we have learned that people should only slowly reduce oxalate to eliminate the negative symptoms that occur as tissues release oxalate that has been stored. This typically starts happening a few days into reducing oxalate.

    If there has been no absorption and storage of oxalate, then reducing the oxalate in the diet may not produce changes. Some people make oxalate endogenously (in their own cells), and they may not have the detox reaction because they have that different source of oxalate that is still there. Whether you are making your own oxalate or not can be determined by lab testing by the detection of two markers.

    Reply
    • Hi Susan,

      Actually maybe the other reason why I didn’t or don’t experience any problems on a high oxalate diet is maybe because I do use a lot of spirulina and chlorella too which have been known to reduce high oxalates also while I was transitioning to the raw food vegan diet I was doing colonics to help clean the colon which can have a high amount of backed up fecal matter from over the years which can hinder any progress one is looking for. I strongly believe that a clean colon only promotes good health as long as it is maintained and taken care of while eating healthy foods that are high in enzymes. I also use a lot of raw coconut oil which I use as an antifungal, it works miracles for vulvydina. I used to use it topically and also injest it. I also use Oil of Oregano another powerful anti fungal which I add to my green juices just to maintain and keep candida albicans in check. I also take a vegan probiotic to maintain healthy intestinal and vaginal flora.
      I did an experiment where I ate some animal products( dairy, meat) and immediately my system was in chaos, it flared up by getting immediately acidic and I got the vulvydina plus a yeast infection and swollen gums plus I was feeling lethargic and in pain. I immediately went on a juice fast and also had a colonic while also ingesting noni juice.

      I strongly believe in eating a diet high in alkaline foods especially the green leafy veggies because they are truly medicine for me. I believe that the high oxalates would not affect anyone who is vegan but would for a person who continues to eat animal products while ingesting raw greens.

      Reply
  284. That reminds me… GREEN SMOOTHIE TIME!!

    A very rare amount of people have this. This might also be that they aren’t 100% raw vegan, but eat a S.A.D. diet otherwise. A friend of mine who has/had fibromialigia went raw vegan for a few months and had great relief. I had hypothyroid (low thyroid) and when I went raw, with most of my meals consisting of green smoothies or salads, my thyroid levels are back to normal and I lost weight. I am now off meds :) Please think before you read!

    Reply
  285. I’m really curious about whether these cautionary tales apply to green juicing with celery and cucumbers and carrots? I feel this keeps me so regular – it’s gotta be good.

    Reply
  286. I spent about 20 minutes reading all of the comments on here after I shared your post yesterday. Amazing how heated people can get! I wanted to commend you for being brave and sharing information that some people were unable to open their minds to receive. I never took you as saying green smoothies are all bad, or that eating copious amounts of fast food is a better choice. I thought you used sound rationale to bring another perspective to one of the “latest crazes”. Thank you. I don’t believe, for me, green smoothies are a problem, but also don’t do them daily, and rotate the ingredients. (Mine often tend to be more purple anyways <3 ) I appreciate, however, that you have presented a perspective that will have value for some, and could be that "aha" moment in their quest for vitality, connecting some dots they had never considered. I certainly now have this perspective in my brain should I ever be concerned about oxalates. I'm always here to support anyone thinking critically about health. Shame on anyone who commented in a way that invalidates the considerable time and energy you have invested sharing your own critical thinking and passion for health. I truly doubt many of the less-than-respectful commentators spend NEAR the time or energy exploring vast amount of information, from multiple respectable sources, as you do to generate the posts you so graciously share with us. Again, thank you! Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration! (That doesn't mean I'm going to stop drinking green smoothies….haha)

    Reply
  287. I was diagnosed with candidiasis and after trying all kinds of conventional medications including antifungals which didn’t work, the only thing that works for me now for the past two straight years is becoming a raw food vegan and my main focus is juicing green leafy vegetables and green smoothies. Please do your research before you start blasting the green smoothies.

    Reply
    • Forgot to mention that I also used to suffer from vulvodynia before I started the raw vegan lifestyle and since then I have never experienced vaginal pain and vaginal dryness since I started on my raw vegan path actually sex is great and has never been better. I used to also have terrible body odor and that is in the past now. Green leafy juices and smoothies are my main medicine because they purify the blood while alkalizing the body and preventing viruses including bacterial and fungal infections. I also take a vegan probiotic and enzymes to help with digestion :-)

      Reply
      • Saibah and Kim – why the need to supplement with digestive enzymes and probiotics?
        As you attack others for the way they choose to eat you discredit why they have moved on from veganism – I messed up my gut over time doing the raw diet. I did feel great for awhile, but then got sick. Now I have to steam most any veggie I eat, except for lettuce….and yep, digestive enzymes are now required. I’m unable to break down the cellulose in the raw veggies and fruits.
        People have searched out what is best for them, many have moved from the low fat , vegan based diet to wapf for a reason, and not because they are gullible, but because they have researched and found what nutrients are lacking in thier sick bodies. Believe me, it was a 180 for me…i researched traditional foods for a year before diving in…I hadn’t had butter in years, it was definitely a strong vegan mindset I had to push past. This was after a holistic nutritionist told me by body was sadly lacking in nutrients found only in animal products.

        Please, you do not know eveyone’s nutritional story who follow this blog and others like it, we are people looking to restore and maintain health, just like you. Can we just agree to disagree on the way that is done for each individual and drop the attacks and ugly tone?

        Reply
  288. Sarah,

    When an Aspergillus infection makes enough oxalate to cause a rise in systemic levels of oxalate, the infection has already taken over most of the lung and is generally fatal. I have scoured the literature and have found absolutely NO evidence that candida makes even measurable amounts of oxalate. Dr. Shaw heard me lecture in Spain and saw a slide where I showed that candida (and now I know some bacteria) may metabolize arabinose to form d-erythroascorbic acid, which is a look-alke compound to vitamin C. At about the same rate as vitamin C, it can be converted into oxalate. It provides no more threat than that. Even so, oxalate is known to insert itself into carboxylase enzymes and impair their activity. When these enzymes are broken because of a genetic glitch, it impairs the immune defense against yeast and it is often seen that these patients may develop problems with candida. So the arrow of causality is much more likely going the other direction, that oxalate increasing in the body may spur on candida infections. The experience of people in the Vulvar Pain Foundation and those in our Autism Oxalate Project at ARI is consistent with this view, as many lose their tendency towards yeast infections as they reduce oxalate in the diet. People can get more information at http://www.lowoxalate.info and its associated yahoogroup, Trying_Low_Oxalates@yahoogroups.com. Also, some of your readers may be interested in reading an article on oxalate in autism that was published in the European Journal of Paediatric Neurology that you can read about here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21911305. I’m one of the authors.

    Reply
  289. I think this is so controversial because people still don’t view food as medicine. Food _is_ medicine. What you eat matters and if you’re eating the wrong things (like taking the wrong medication or eating GMO and processed foods) you will not be well. Listen to your body and don’t just jump on fad solutions because “Hey, it’s natural. It can’t be bad, right?” Lots of things found in nature are not good for us or are only good in moderation. Think about what you’re eating and keep a journal if you have to so you may note symptoms.

    Thanks to THHE and thanks to those who have an open mind.

    Reply
  290. Deborah Jackson via Facebook May 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Articles like this only further confuse people who already don’t get enough healthy food in their diets. Green smoothies have had a healing and positive impact on my health but we are not created from molds. We must discover and live our own truths…

    Reply
    • Articles like these are written by people who have a superiority complex. They see things like the raw vegan diet or drinking green smoothies a fad and with little to no research, they write something that state an exaggerated view on the worst case scenario and add in some of their own ‘facts’ to sweeten the pot. I really hope people aren’t ignorant enough to believe any of this hoohaw

      Reply
  291. Deborah Jackson via Facebook May 25, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Articles like this only further confuse people who already don’t get enough healthy food in their diets. Green smoothies have had a healing and positive impact on my health but we are not created from molds. We must discover and live our own truths…

    Reply
  292. This is an interesting piece purely as it provided a bold counter balance to a particular fad that probably isn’t helping anyone’s health all that much, That said, this artlcle has really gone quite bit too far the other way. Like everything else, the odd green smoothie is probably very good for most people. Demonising oxalates as being “devastating” (what a stong word!) to the health is frankly totally OTT! Oxalates in moderation tend to be bound out by calcium in the diet and once one is adequately hydrated, the chances of kidney stones are slight. Few foods in nature provide only benefits when taken in quantity and there’s often a trade-off to consider. (Quick example: there’s hardly a food or drink that’s good for the body that isn’t harmful to the teeth..)

    The fact is that many of these green foods are incredbily healthful in a whole host of other ways providing a range of nutrients, B Vits, magnesium etc. that are very frequently lacking in the typical Western diet. On balance, the oxalate risk is scarcely a factor for anybody of normal health. Personally I’d rather live to be 100 and take a tiny risk of having to get ultra sound blasting of a kidney stone at about 90, than die at 70 due to nutrient deficiencies with a fine set of kidneys getting buried with me …

    Reply
  293. Hi Sarah! Thanks for this article! As someone who occasionally enjoys a green smoothie, and as someone who’s mother had the first kidney stones of her life (while drinking green smoothies), I’m very interested in the effects that the green smoothie movement has had on folks. From the responses here, it would seem that the results are mixed. I’m wondering if you would be willing to cite some sources (medical journals, studies, etc.) for further reading. Again, thank you for bringing this up!

    Reply
  294. Pingback: Backing it Up with Science – Can Green Smoothies Really Destroy Health? | OxVox.com

  295. Hey Sarah,
    What do you think of steaming spinach in butter and then eating the whole thing. Thats how my family grew up eating spinach and we all loved it. Thanks

    Reply
    • That approach will have no effect on the oxalate content of the spinach and you are likely to consume quite a lot since it shrinks so much when cooked.

      Reply
  296. pretty much all foods has its pros and cons, such as grains with its phytates. if one were to avoid any type of food that has problems, you might as well starve to death. i don’t think green smoothies are all that bad considering its a great way to increase veggie intake. my family enjoys drinking them as an supplement to their diet. besides the info that is presented isn’t new; one can find that out when researching green smoothies.

    Reply
  297. Wow, this could explain a lot of mysteries for me! I don’t eat most vegetables raw, but we have been relying on leafy green salad mixes a lot. Lately I’ve been having a big salad for lunch every day. I don’t have broccoli, kale, chard, etc, raw, but those are our favorite vegetables and we eat them steamed or sautéed regularly. Wow, this is a lot to digest. Thanks for provoking my thoughts and the discussion… over 600 comments and counting!

    Reply
  298. Hi Sarah, I posted this yesterday, if you have a moment to answer I would appreciate it.
    Someone mentioned a blog you wrote about whey protein powder and neuropathy (sp?) I couldn’t find it in the archives; can you please post a link for it?

    Thanks,
    Joyce

    Reply
  299. I know someone that had horrible kidney stones from eating lots of greens and blueberries. She was told that she should have been consuming lots of lemon too. Has anyone heard anything about lemon helping?

    Reply
  300. Wow! I just read this article and, as is so often my response to this blog, thought, “That’s really interesting. I didn’t know that. I’ll have to look into that further.” And then I saw there were were nearly 600 comments.

    After reading them, my thought is, “I fear for the future of our world. The vast majority of these people are violent and insane. It’s a blog. It’s a WAPF-based blog. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. If you don’t agree, don’t follow it. Really?…shock, fear, horror, insults, calls for Sarah to be silenced? It’s a smoothie. Drink it if you want. Don’t don’t drink it if you don’t want. A smoothie will neither save nor destroy humanity. But this extreme reaction to a post suggesting drinking tons of raw spinach may not be super healthy makes me understand how we end up with riots, wars and holocausts. Really, you’d throw out the constitutional right to free speech just because you disagree with the speech? If someone disagrees with your speech, should you be silenced? Is that right? How did you all even find this blog when you clearly have no idea what it is about?”

    Reply
  301. Surely its like another fad that some have taken to the extreme, there cant be anything wrong with having the odd smoothie when you feel alittle unwell, and need alittle boost of vitamens and minerals or simply when you just feel like it. There is nearly always something we can find with some food item that we ingest that is’nt good. The odd time that I have a glass of carrot juice or a smoothie, I always feel better; generally it is with the thought of providing fibre and reducing acid in the body but I always put 2 tablespoons of good quality Olive Oil with it. Would this help with the oxalate situation? I have a keen interest in health issues and my conclusion is ‘the closest to natural the better’ and while avoiding things that obviously upset you, a well balanced diet seems to be key.

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist May 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Of course .. someone with common sense who actually read the post and didn’t knee jerk on that title! Hurray! :) High oxalate veggies in moderation is of course a fine way to approach the situation!

      Reply
  302. Let me get this straight – green smoothies might be a problem for 20% of the population, so NO ONE SHOULD EVER EAT THEM? Not exactly solid logic, even if the claims here are true. But I did enjoy the hysteria.

    The only good advice here is to find out what does work your body, and don’t jump on any fads without checking into it.

    Reply
  303. I juice 4-5 times a week: carrots, kale, turnip greens, chard, collard greens, jicama, daikon, cabbage, aloe vera (fresh cut) apple, beets, cauliflower, parsley, tomato, broccoli. No problems for me, and my girlfriend is losing weight and eliminating whereas before she suffered from constipation. We also eat tossed salads with the kitchen sink thrown in. The above essay is food for thought, but I think my previous diet was a bit veggie-poor so this seems to be a good way to get fresh goodies.

    Reply
  304. I left soy off the list of foods that people with hyperoxularia may need to avoid. The list is pretty short though, and adding calcium-rich foods at the same time will help.

    One caveat on the lists of foods: they are based on urinary excretion of oxalates and you may actually be better off with them out than in- but you need lots of water so they flow out and don’t form stones or attack other organs.

    Reply
  305. It isn’t 20% of all people who are sensitive to oxalates, it is 20% of those who produce oxalate kidney stones ( in turn 80% of those who form kidney stones according to even Shaw.) (http://www.ushealth.org/urology/oxalate/11252) Since 8.8% of Americans have a history of kidney stones, this translates to 1.4% of Americans who are vulnerable.

    Some have an enzymatic deficiency called hyperoxaluria and those may possibly benefit from reducing dietary oxalate but it won’t cure their condition since you can produce oxalic acid even from Vitamin C. Some have enteric hyperoxalauria from more intake than their GI tract can deal with and may need to lower spinach, rhubarb, purslane, amaranth, quinoa, parsley, chives (not that you’d eat the quantity in the last two) and lambsquarters and probably late season nettles and horsetail. (Oxalicacidinfo.com) These would be the people with weak digestion and huge vegetable intakes- except note that vegetarians have lower rates of stones with large veggie intakes, so the dietary intake theory is speculative. Other individuals in this group may have too low calcium, calcium not taken with meals or too much dietary fat (not sure about the last one, from UW urology.) If you take some, preferably raw, milk or high calcium foods with your oxalate-rich foods, you can bind the oxalates.

    A 24 hour urinary oxalate excretion test combined with information about calcium intake can diagnose whether you need to restrict oxalates or increase calcium or both.

    Other strategies include high frequent Vitamin B6 which reduces oxalic acid formation and probiotic therapy with Oxalobacter bacteria. Note that we need oxalic acid in reasonable amounts as it helps move the bowels and prevents cancer, but some people get too much.

    Reply
  306. That is why it is recommended to rotate the greens daily…so you won’t build up too much oxalic acid from any one type of green. I have been witness to literally dozens of people who consume these daily and noone has had any problem, so long as they rotate their greens. I personally have been on them for over a year and have had nothing but positive results. This article is not balanced or fair.

    Reply
  307. wow, I was really impressed with this post! I really had no idea. It’s amazing how we think something can be so great for our health, when it can actually do harm.
    Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
  308. Oxalic acid and alkaloid poisoning problems will come if you eat raw spinach consecutively over and over again, or any other type of green for that matter. If you simply get a wide variety of greens to put in your smoothies and constantly rotate them its impossible for you to have this problem. I never eat the same green 2 days in a row I am always switching the type of green and fruit every single day.

    GREENS I USE
    - Kale
    - Dinosaur Kale
    - Purple Kale
    - Rainbow Chard
    - Green Chard
    - Dandelion Greens
    - Parsley
    - Cilantro
    - Spinach
    - Bok Choy
    - Watercress
    - Carrot Greens
    - Collared Greens

    Each one of these greens has a different and unique balance of vitamins and minerals which all add a piece to the puzzle of nutrition and our bodies. When you blend the greens your are breaking the nutritional cell walls which release more nutrients. When we chew our food the chances are most of us cannot chew our food to break these cell walls. What better more simplistic way to get this range of vitamins from all these different types of plants?

    Green smoothies are designed to get health into your regime in a very simple and fast way so that you can get on with the rest of your life and not have to worry about it so much. Forget about your “identification with green smoothies” the reason why people talk about them so much and “praise” them is because the difficult battle with nutrition just became that much more SIMPLE AND EASY!! :) Why wouldn’t you go on a rant about this to all your friends? There are people who are simply passionate about food and health and some people that just want something simple to add to their lives that will give them the vitality to carry on in other areas.

    Green smoothies are the answer either way in my opinion.

    Have A Wonderful Day!

    Reply
    • This was an awesome resource as to what we can substitute for the higher level greens thank you so much for this TC!

      Reply
    • Do you have any recipes for green smoothies I can try TC? I am really trying to get my family on a alkaline and healthy road and these smoothies are the easiest way I can get my little one to eat her veges.

      Reply
      • @Amanda

        Go to this website and sign up.

        http://greensmoothiesblog.com/recipes/

        It is a free web app which has all sorts of different recipes for green smoothies.

        The best thing I can recommend is usually only use 1 or 2 types of greens, usually just one but if you want to throw parsley, dandelions, and cilantro as a side green it works well. Then use 1 to 2 types of fruits, I usually put a tiny bit of juice in mine Ceres is a good brand, put ice as well to make them cold. Keep it simple, simplicity is the key to making them not taste bad and you dont want to cancel any of the vitamins out of one another

        Juice that works well (the Ceres brand is really good and easy to find)
        - Pear
        - Guava
        - Berry
        - Mango

        Sample 1 (All time favorite simple recipe)
        Kale
        Mangoes
        Guava Juice
        Water
        Ice

        Sample 2
        Rainbow Chard
        Carrot Greens
        Cucumbers
        Mangoes
        Peaches
        Guava Juice/Water/Ice

        The last thing I can recommend is to get a book called

        Green For Life 2nd Edition by Victoria Boutenko

        This will give you a lot of information about greens and green smoothie nutrition.

        Cheers

        Hope that helps!!

        Reply
  309. This is very interesting – I am a holistic chef and curious about using these ingredients in green juices? (Maybe you have an article on here- I’ve yet to look around). Also **is there any way to cleanse out excessive oxalates?**

    Many thanks for your information!

    Reply
  310. Thank you for the information Sara. I am curious if you have any information on juicing and oxalates, specifically does juicing remove oxalates? I do not juice regulary, but the reason I ask is because for many people in critical states of health, juicing provides significant benefit. I have always believed that juicing was best for detoxification or providing large amounts of nutrients to the body in critical cases such as cancer, but a daily smoothie (I don’t advocate lots of kale, etc. either) was best for health maintanence…mostly because it is a great avenue for sneaking in the cod liver oil and other supplements. So my curiosity about oxalates has been struck and I am wondering if juicing removes them, otherwise I would think people would not see such great benefits from juicing. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

    Reply
  311. Kiki Becerra Bacaro via Facebook May 24, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Just wondering if it’s worth substituting for lettuces since I thought lettuce has very little nutritional value…

    Reply
  312. Jennifer Bacaro via Facebook May 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Im curious why so many of you are fans of this page if you are clueless about the fats and cooked veggies thing. You’d think some of you birthed the freaking green veggies yourself with how you’re defending it. I’ve seen political and religious debates that were more peaceful than this. Crazy.

    Reply
  313. So I found this Blog this morning while typing “Low carb Green smoothies” in google, then once I saw this post I got stuck reading the argument for hours (hehe very interesting). The passion that every one of you sparkle with, inspires me. It seems people have lost there passion for health so even though everyone is disagreeing it’s a beautiful disagreement! I think where the argument has went wrong is, while everyone is searching for the truth or at least understanding of our bodies, we all have our own interpretations of it sorta like the bible and religion. I notice the writer (sara) is very passionate about her beliefs, and loves to help people and feels very strongly about that which is amazing and wonderful, but not once has she taken a speck of advice from any of the posters, just keeps standing her ground with no acknowledgement that she just might not know everything and maybe we are all here to learn from each other??….. Yes Sara, you are probably a dictionary of amazing information and I respect that, but the core foundation of *Human communication* is listening, being heard, and understood, but while we are listening, hearing you, and understanding you not one of your readers who disagree with your post being heard and understood by you. Instead of acknowledging that everyone has value and that some of the things they are saying might be able to be added to your post, you just shun every critic instead of validate the fact that you might have made just a few small of errors in your post and fix them. Maybe even thank these people for helping your post be successful and helpful by adding in a couple of fixes such as sizes, substitutes, or how to’s. If it weren’t for these critics I was about to give up on all greens because your post scared the bajeezes out of me with this oxidation stuff, but now I understand it’s all a matter of perception and I thank those critics for that as well as you for taking the time to write the article. Also instead of telling your children everyone else is bad and that you won’t let them get under your skin, maybe show them how everyone’s voice matters and that you will learn and listen to them with the same respect that your followers give you. There are many people out there that live off of McDonalds and Burger King so if they add a green smoothie to there day, I’m pretty sure they might be taking a step in the right direction and maybe you can add some exceptions to your blog about that. Your correct that this is your blog and that we don’t have to read it, but don’t you want us to? Don’t you wanna help us and all of us come together to help each other live better? If you do, then those words just create a volatile defensive environment that is actually way more harmful to our health then any f the leafy greens we can eat. I bet more people had there blood pressure up by reading this article then McDonald’s could have done in 3 days. So maybe re-evaluate what your providing here and if you are here to help others, and if so, listen with your heard instead of your defensive side then things will make a lot more sense to you. Oh and Love your passion for health, I have a Autistic little girl that’s 10 and was just diagnosed and I’m on my own journey to helping her. Thanks Amanda

    Reply
    • Amanda, I think this is a fantastic, insightful response. You are right on the money – Sarah is very knowledgeable about many things, but like anyone she is also often incomplete and sometimes flat-out wrong, but she NEVER accepts or acknowledges ANY criticism, even if it is offered in a constructive and helpful way. This is why I’ve stopped reading her blog as regularly as I used to. I hope she reads your comment (and mine) and takes your kind suggestions to heart!

      Reply
      • Wow- she never accepts any criticism? I think the WAP people are so self righteous about their diet and just write off anything that has to do with veganism etc; and green smoothies are huge in raw vegan world. Seems like they just want to discount it and redirect people to a *traditional* diet.

        Reply
    • Amanda, that is precicely what I was trying to say earlier. This is very typical of her character sadly. I can only guess that this character is going to be worsened in her children sad to say. I’m all for learning from her wisdom, but she has a mentality a lot like many doctors and religious people; she can’t see past her own perception and biasis. She really is her own God! You Amanda sound like many Agnostic and Atheist people who unlike her apparently, realize their humble place in this universe is to be a part of a community. We need eachother for accountability when we just can’t see things, and should welcome people’s well meaning advice. We never know who can teach us something. Unfortunately Sarah has made it clear that she knows who can teach or correct her. . . . No one!

      Reply
      • Angela, Thank you for this. “You Amanda sound like many Agnostic and Atheist people who unlike her apparently, realize their humble place in this universe is to be a part of a community.” Non-believers have an undeserved bad reputation and it does my heart good to read things like this which are so true.

        I love my grass-fed and pastured animal food and delicious butter, but I’m going to also keep eating all of my various greens in many forms which many years ago helped me heal chronic asthma.

        Reply
      • Do you realize that you are talking about someone in very hateful tones as if she can’t hear you? WHY? Just leave quietly. I would ask that you take note of the viciousness of the attacks on Sarah, just for differing in opinion? That really makes no sense. If one has a position and allows others to comment, then whether or not this person chooses to accept someone’s criticism (debateable whether it is constructive) should be that person’s business, not anyone else’s. (This includes you) No one can read another person’s mind, so it would be wise for those who are self-appointed, to stop. Just enjoy the blog of your choosing. I am.

        Reply
      • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        You are quite correct .. I am completely immoveable on things where the only argument folks have is based on a modern fad that is selling a lifestyle not health and using slanted “science” that has not had the benefit of decades or centuries (such as traditional diet has) to discern its insidious, health robbing effects such as a green smoothie habit. Many things science thought were true were proved over time to be completely and utterly wrong. Consuming large and obscene quantities of greens in green smoothies on a frequent basis for years on end is one of these. Be a statistic if you like .. I choose to go with the tried and true :)

        If you want a wishy washy … here’s what I’m doing today based on the hype of the moment type of blog, there are plenty of those to go around.
        Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Health Freedom Amendment to Rein in FDA Power Abuses

        Reply
        • Quoting Sarah: “I am completely immoveable on things where the only argument folks have is based on a modern fad that is selling a lifestyle not health and using slanted “science” that has not had the benefit of decades or centuries (such as traditional diet has) to discern its insidious, health robbing effects such as a green smoothie habit.”

          Sarah, firstly, there are more than enough common sensed and scientifically more informed and precise comments in your opponents’ answers than in your article to stop being “immovable”.
          Your rhethorics in this case are defensive, childishly stubborn and won’t serve your position at all.

          second, the diet “had the benefit of decades or centuries ” has proven to make civilisation sicker than humanity had been before that.
          If you had informed yourself of Boutenko’s theory and reasons behind the blending of leafs, namely the incapacity of our degenerated teeth to actually extract the nutritional elements out of the cellulose, the subsequent change and increase in healthy chloric acid in the stomach leading to a far healthier and more thorough digestion and less bacterial content going to the intestins, he benefits of the highly concentrated energy content of cloropyll, the benefits of raw food in general…you wouldn’t call the green smoothies “a fad”. Insidious, health robbing?? Excuse me, but your statements are misinformed, highly polemic and unreasonable, disguised as no-bullshit hard facts but not backed up at all!
          Why don’t you just try green smoothies for yourself, read Boutenko’s book and stop treating us experienced and healthy smoothie afficionados like some sort of moronic and mislead hype followers?

          Reply
  314. @Marnie I got my candida under control a number of years ago and so yes, I do avoid high oxalate veggies (and of course soy which is high as well) as you can never be sure exactly how much oxalates your body is producing. It’s better to be safe than sorry and bone broth offers minerals in a very easy to digest way and drinking lots of bone broth in the diet is a much better alternative to green smoothies. Many traditional cultures ate no leafy greens whatsoever and were perfectly healthy. But all traditional cultures made bone broths for minerals and easy digestion. I am missing nothing by forgoing the leafy greens. I don’t agree that we all need more greens in our diet. That is USDA dietary pyramid propaganda.

    Reply
  315. First off, thanks to Sarah for writing this article. It’s important that all sides of any issue are represented. There’s no reason why we can’t all discuss this like level-headed adults instead of taking these statements personally.
    Everyone commenting here is a different person, from different backgrounds and ethnicities, and will therefore have different physical needs. Personally, I tried the green smoothie fad with zeal but always felt horrible afterwards. I tried them for my young son and he always became hyper, with a gut ache and blood sugar crash afterwards. But I also have a close friend who has regained her health by drinking a small smoothie each day. Our bodies are different! Even good, helpful diets like GAPS are NOT meant to be eaten our whole lives. Some diets should be followed for a time to heal from disease and regulate our bodies, but if stuck with for too long they can be harmful. The mindset that everything is good or bad for everyone, with no variations, is silly. It’s good to have articles like this one so that we can all make educated, well-rounded decisions on what foods we personally should and should not eat.
    That all being said, I would suggest trying ANY new food or supplement slowly and learn to pay attention to how your body reacts to them. Maybe you’re in a place where green smoothies or juices would be helpful for a time, or maybe they would be detrimental to your health. Or try the “cook, drain, add lots of butter” approach and see what that does. At the very least, don’t attack someone because they made a generalized statement about health that you took personally.

    Reply
  316. sorry but tis is one seriously misinformed and opinionated article. Please do your research about the green smoothies, and why the greens actually are being blended “into a drink”, consult the thousands of people whom it has benefited to become healthier, and stop telling people that “veggies traditionally cooked in butter” are actually good for you.

    Reply
  317. Wow.
    Who knew “green smoothies” we’re in the same controversial category as Obama and Jesus?!
    Brings out the “beast” in some people.
    Read the post. Do your own research. Decide if green smoothies will or will not be a part of your life. Then worship green smoothies or do not. Simple.

    Reply
  318. Green smoothies are how SOME people identify themselves. For some its like a holier then thou complex. “I drink green smoothies everyday!” “My toddler drinks green smoothies!” “I spent 500 dollars on a blender that can blend a cell phone and avocado seeds!” So I can see why some people are SO offended, this offends them to the core of who they have identified themselves as. “With out green smoothies, who am I, who will I empress?” I don’t think this hits a nerve because of the science behind it, but rather, you are calling out someones identity.

    Reply
  319. If you are going to start bashing nutrient powerhouses, you best be careful what you start replacing them with. Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Reply
  320. Pingback: Attacking the Green Smoothie | The Healthy Advocate

  321. Of course someone with a PHD has to come out and say something negative like this about Green Smoothies. LOL.

    Since myself and everyone I have known have been doing these smoothies for just over 2 years, I have had the most significant boost in health in all areas of my life. I used to have all the symptoms of someone who was suffering from oxalic problems from other types of foods I was eating NOT GREENS. From drinking green shakes everyday I have upgraded my health in every possible way you can imagine. I cannot name one area it has not been extremely positive for me besides the fact you make a gross one here and there.

    For the love of god do not stop your green smoothie routine because of this article, it is singlehandedly the smartest thing you can do for your health, a salad here and there just does not cut it in our day and age i’m sorry. This is the future.

    Here are a few articles to clear up your misconceptions about this topic.

    http://www.rawfamily.com/news/2009/10_09_03.html

    http://www.terawarner.com/blog/2009/03/oxalic-acid-a-problem-in-greens-or-a-nutritional-bonus/

    Have A Great Day!

    Reply
  322. Thanks for the info on the green smoothies. Do you think people with gut imbalance or candida should avoid oxalates in general? I am considering the GAPS diet and the book does not really touch on this issue.The suggested smoothie ingredients do include these but are not based on these. Also, when there is no gut imbalance what is the safe amount of these greens to consume in smoothies on a weekly basis?

    Reply
  323. Thanks writing this article. A low/moderate oxalate diet has improved my overall health and my children’s health tremendously. My mom has chronic kidney problems and even had a kidney removed about 30 years ago. It was full of oxalate stones. If only she had know about oxalates. It’s not just green vegetables, though, it’s also coffee, chocolate, wheat, legumes. For more information, check out this incredibly well researched web site:

    http://www.lowoxalate.info/

    And if you’re curious about whether or not you have an oxalate problem, consider these signs:

    -was your mother given lots of antibiotics as a child/young adult?
    -do you have mysterious bruises on your shins?
    -do you deal with yeast overgrowth?
    -do you have joint pain or headaches in your eyes?

    Reply
  324. I don’t think green drinks are fadish at all. In our fast paced lives, it has just become a convenient way to consume nutrients. If anyone is concerned about oxalates, you DO NOT have to stop drinking your tasty green drink! Just use Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Barley Grass, or Chlorella. Super nutritious and especially in powder form, very concentrated nutrients there. That is what we put in our green drinks b/c it packs a more nutritional punch than leafy greens even! We also like to add Beet Root Powder, Bee Pollen, Maca Root Powder, Bilberry Fruit Powder, etc. Very yummy and better than a multivitamin any day!

    Nickole
    Nickole@savvyteasandherbs.com\’s last post: Headache Healer Herbal Blend

    Reply
  325. Daryl L. Rogers via Facebook May 24, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I am behind Sarah on the reasoning to not include oxalate heavy greens, but I feel like the other greens options (romaine, spring mix, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, etc) were ignored. I think more people would have listened to the message of the article if an alternative had been given, because let’s face it, the majority of us still need to eat more veggies and smoothies can be an easy way to do that.

    Reply
  326. A bit of disagreement can be productive :) I agree that green smoothies are not a traditional food and they could be detrimental for some people. And perhaps the consumption of this drink in the form you describe is sometimes a reactionary practice rooted in fear and misconceptions….However….I am not a fan of blanket statements….Some people obviously benefit from these drinks…We can emulate traditional cultures and that is wonderful…but we are dealing with major amounts of toxicity, both physically, spiritually, and emotionally in our modern society…Our modern-day needs and practices can not possibly begin to come close to what traditional people were dealing with so I think discounting a practice because it is not a “traditional practice” is not always appropriate….I personally benefit greatly from juicing fresh organic veggies and organ meats once or twice per week. Were there any traditional cultures that did this? I’m not sure..but I know it works for me. Each person is unique and should observe their own body and not follow dogma….

    Reply
  327. @Jill I respectfully disagree. Based on the reading I’ve done on oxalates and the fact that nearly everyone has some sort of fungal issues from gut imbalance (fungus produces oxalates which the body has to deal with), I feel that the majority of people who are addicted to green smoothies and consume them frequently will eventually suffer chronic health challenges from this habit. For some, it will happen in a few months, others a few years. Others, perhaps 10 years. No traditional culture EVER consumed their greens this way and those who are consuming these huge amounts on a frequent basis are unwittingly engaged in yet another modern day health experiment.

    Reply
    • You cite one article, Sarah, written by a doctor who has done independent research and has developed conclusions based on that research.
      http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/the-role-of-oxalates-in-autism-and-chronic-disorders
      The article, whilst entertaining, doesn’t really read like a research paper: for one thing, there is no list of sources (research studies) to substantiate his conclusions.

      The research done by research teams around the world appears to be barking up a completely different tree with regard to the causative factor in calcium oxalate formation:
      http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/4/886.full
      http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/15/12/3225.full
      In this list of studies, I see none that implicate green-leafy sources of oxalate as a causative mechanism in calcium oxalate formation in susceptible individuals:
      http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/66/1/140.short

      I find it interesting that in this day where the Standard American Diet – which has been inculpated as the primary cause of western civilization’s deplorable health status – an article such as this (with only the above article as supporting evidence) should stand as credible proof that eating raw leafy green vegetables is definitely bad for you.

      Reply
    • And overall:
      Recent studies of vegetarian diets and their effects on morbidity and mortality are reviewed. Vegetarian diets are heterogeneous as are their effects on nutritional status, health, and longevity. Mortality rates are similar or lower for vegetarians than for nonvegetarians. Risks of dietary deficiency disease are increased on vegan but not on all vegetarian diets. Evidence for decreased risks for certain chronic degenerative diseases varies. Both vegetarian dietary and lifestyle practices are involved. Data are strong that vegetarians are at lesser risk for obesity, atonic constipation, lung cancer, and alcoholism. Evidence is good that risks for hypertension, coronary artery disease, type II diabetes, and gallstones are lower. Data are only fair to poor that risks of breast cancer, diverticular disease of the colon, colonic cancer, calcium kidney stones, osteoporosis, dental erosion, and dental caries are lower among vegetarians. Reduced risks for chronic degenerative diseases can also be achieved by manipulations of omnivorous diets and lifestyles.

      Reply
  328. My mantra is that we are all different…..some are going to feel great on green smoothies and others won’t….there is only controversy when one believes that what is right for them is right for everyone else….now that is silly!

    Reply
  329. Holy cow! Where were you two years ago when I had rash covering my hands and arms? :) Thank you for this post! I am extremely sensitive to high oxalate foods and it was very difficult to figure out on my own. Some of the only good info I found was through Great Plains. I eat WAP with low oxalate, low sugar juicing and I am still having issues. I do the GAPS diet but I get migraines and fatigued. I had a fecal test done and it found no candida so I dropped that idea until recently reading Gut and Psychology Syndrome and it said they are not accurate enough. Do you know what test I should get? What would you do if you suspected candida and had terrible symptoms everytime you tried to do GAPS diet? Sorry to bug you with questions but you are one of the first people I’ve found that knows about this. I have to educate every doctor I go to and they look at me crazy. No I am not expecting doctors to help me. I am only using them for testing to figure out whats wrong but your post confirmed my feelings about candida over again. My doctor suggested nystatin too. Any experience with that? I was thinking maybe in conjunction with GAPS it might help me get ahead. I really appreciate your post. It seems some are not willing to accept this idea. Already getting backlash on it on my Facebook page.
    April\’s last post: Celebrating Summer Solstice: The First Day Of Summer

    Reply
    • April – I can’t address your candida questions, but I can say that if you are following a truly low oxalate diet (GAPS or no), it is possible that you are “dumping.” That is, experiencing the effects of oxalate detoxing. Because oxalates so readily bind minerals, they can cause a whole host of symptoms – fatigue and headaches among them. I have had both when oxalates are tying up all of my minerals, and I combat it with supplements, since I don’t tolerate dairy well. However if you’re not a fan of supplements, GAPS-legal dairy might be helpful to you, as might raising your oxalate intake just a bit – enough to signal the body that it’s time to stop dumping oxalates into the bloodstream. As with everything, this is individual, but it’s recommended that you have at least 40-60mg of oxalates per day in your diet to prevent constant dumping.

      I hope this helps!
      -Michelle

      Reply
  330. I make green smoothies 2-3 times a week for my family, using locally in-season greens, fresh fruit and balanced with added fats such as coconut oil and raw egg yolk.

    I’m a WAPF chapter leader, and we also make smoothies with raw milk, homemade kefir, and coconut water bases.

    The controversy over oxalates aside, as with most foods, if we eat them as part of a balanced diet, especially following seasonality and sourcing them locally, health is supported, not risked.
    Maria @ Egg Laying Chickens\’s last post: The Chicken Handbook: Book Review

    Reply
  331. Michelle Mc via Facebook May 24, 2012 at 3:56 am

    I wonder if some people have only read the headline and not the full article? Weird responses (plus how many people dont know this is a weston price blog!!! Raw butter is good people!!). Anyway great article, never liked green smoothies or juicing so right down my alley! We do use kale in season (my friend grows it organically through autumn/winter) & we use it in soups!

    Reply
  332. Michelle Mc via Facebook May 24, 2012 at 3:56 am

    I wonder if some people have only read the headline and not the full article? Weird responses (plus how many people dont know this is a weston price blog!!! Raw butter is good people!!). Anyway great article, never liked green smoothies or juicing so right down my alley! We do use kale in season (my friend grows it organically through autumn/winter) & we use it in soups!

    Reply
  333. Pingback: Dang. There Go the Kale Smoothies. « A Naptime Novelist

  334. This blog confuses me. As a natural health care practitioner, I have studied nutrition and have been annoyed by passing fads that prove to be more harmful than helpful. However, EVERY study that deals with nutrition, especially in the US, is that we do not consume enough raw organic produce. More fruits and vegetables will improve anyone’s health in this nutritionally depleted country. So for me to be made aware of this article by patients that are trying to improve their health by beefing up on more produce who are now scared to eat green leafies and other health promoting foods makes me a little upset. Let’s keep a good perspective. Yes, there are fad diets out there, but keep eating the produce because, as a good friend of mine told me, we need to eat more foods made FROM plants and less food made IN plants.

    Reply
  335. This is a very misleading article. Seems like a hit piece to a health habit more and more people are turning to, including myself. The Boutenko Family and others have eaten greens in smoothies for about 20 years i would say and they are healthy. Rotate your greens to avoid too much of one variety of greens and add other ingredients to make em taste good. i’m going to make myself another green smoothie. It’s good to be green.

    Reply
    • I agree with you, but I am not sure I would use Victoria as a role model. I think she has had one too many smoothies! It is not the greens in smoothie that are the issue, it is all the filler crap people put in. Beisdes the fact that blending at high speed breaks down plant cell walls similar (but not as badly) to cooking.

      A small amount of fruit is ok,, but all the processed powders, high sugar fruit , etc is doing no good at all. I used to do this and learned the hard way. For the last year and a half I have just stuck to green juice with some carrot or beet juice to flavour it. I do like the quality wheatgrass or alfalfa powders to add as well.

      Reply
  336. Thanks for ruining my evening.lol. it seems raw kale, broccoli, and collards are intuitively not something to eat. I felt better hearing that the Chinese dont eat raw veggies. I did make an effort to go raw and my insides didn’t like it and neither did I.. I like my veggies cooked , except I do make a parsley or cilantro pineapple drink, with a LOT of parsley or cilantro. I do drink a lot of lemon peel lemonade which I think is high oxtalate. It seems counter-intuitive that all of these wonderful cancer and disease fighting vegetables, which have been eaten for centuries, can be bad. That said, our bodies have never endured the food and toxins that we can not get away from. It seems this article seems sensatnal, but good to store away in the memory, inches I get pains or kidney stones.

    Reply
  337. This IS very confusing even for someone who is a huge fan of WAPF and GAPS, but thanks for posting it. I am healing myself while traveling the world ( no easy task doing this in Asia where much less is available…even in Europe MUCH less is available compared to California). You can’t just send for things either as they get stuck in customs, so one must make do with what is available.

    Luckily, I can get more organic food here than in Europe, but no one ever lists info about Asian greens that I have found yet. Sigh. Dr. Fuhrman says Kale is the most nutrient dense food, so you are saying this is bad for all? Mute point for me though as there is none here and it is also hard to find in Europe. I did eat some in California recently as I love it cooked and topped with raw organic butter.

    There seems to be much on WAPF that is contradictory, so that adds confusion.

    Even the GAPS diet is big on some juicing so that adds to the confusion. ( read this last night from an MD into GAPS/).

    “Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends beginning with carrot juice as a base, and then adding fruit, as well as therapeutic ingredients, such as various greens; swiss chard, kale, lettuces, spinach, beet and radish tops, bok choy and cabbage, etc.”

    I don’t do well mixing fruits and veggies though, so modify things that work best for me. Beets and cabbage seem to really help my upper stomach pain ( I have a mysterious digestive illness that started 2 years ago when I took antibiotics in Spain via my Danish dentist and have been to MD and alternative docs on 3 continents, endless tests etc and nothing has cured the pain/debilitation yet). I’ve gone on and off various juices and protocals trying to fix it, but lately have added these to my mostly organic bone broth/ goat yogurt/ homemade goatmilk kefir and quark/pastured raw eggs/coconut oil, wild chicken, wild salmon diet.

    I’ve been helped a lot by Dr. Brasco and Rubin’s “Guts to Glory” program ( they are very inline with WAPF as is GAPS) but he uses parsley in some of his recipes ( like for bone broth etc) and HIGHLY recommends vegetable juices as “essential for healing food”. They say:

    “Vegetable juices, especially green juices are potent sources of enzymes, vitamins, and trace minerals. Vegetable juices are easy to assimilate. They supply many of the nutrients that are needed to rebuild health. ”

    I’ve actually have felt some INSTANT relief of pain after taking juice lately and it seems to be helping…but it does have organic parsley in it and an organic green used for juicing here in Asia ( supposedly similar to celery which is not available here)…I usually do those with org carrots, beets ( not the tops), plus a bit of quark and flaxseed oil for blood sugar …and have just added cabbage ( and often add a bit of tumeric and ginger).

    I would LOVE to know exactly what is and is not healthy as far as juicing. I know people who swear by juicing but this is fairly new to me ( last 6 months).
    Jeanne @soultravelers3\’s last post: Living in Asia

    Reply
      • Sarah,

        I would love to read a post or see a video on juicing. Maybe a great follow up to this post. Thanks!

        Reply
      • I’m surprised to hear that you juice. I’m mean, that’s not a very traditional practice. My great grandmother never juiced. What is the difference between throwing vegetables in a juicer and throwing them in a blender? Aren’t both modern-day inventions? One could say juicing is even a fad. Certainly wheat grass juices shots are considered to be. Wouldn’t it have been better for you to say what you just said in your article? That green smoothies are okay as long as you don’t overdo it and you don’t have a gut imbalance?

        I would have been fine if you would have talked about green smoothies in your article the same way you do in your comments. That they are “fine in moderation” and they are okay if “not had every day” and “not in large quantities.” Instead you chose to tell people to skip them entirely. I’m not sure if you mean to, but the way you wrote the article makes it seem like you wouldn’t touch a green smoothie with a ten-foot pole–like they are bad for you even.

        Have you ever had a green smoothie?

        Reply
  338. How kind of you to completely disgregard and minimize my testimony. How compassionate of you to determine for me, that there is no one else like me.
    I am not a ‘follower’. i happened on the article in a routine search.

    Reply
  339. wow, year three of green smoothies and green juices…we grow our greens fresh and rotate greens regularly. thinking you are really making a global statement that seems loaded with opinion….oxalates are in them…but rotation keeps balance as it does with all foods…we eat our greens cooked too,….keeping the liquid and honestly…our health is explosively awesome….no pain…and had pain before…no sickness and had it tons before….just awesome health engery !! year 9 of juicing greens…drink green smoothies more than juice. I juice and freeze to have handy when I know I am needing a booste. anyway.just my 2 cents. I love your info, but I think you are wrong on this one. btw, I am hypothyroid…have been for 30 years….my dosages are lower now than before i made my diet change 9 years ago…rotation of greens is the key.green smoothies heal.

    Reply
    • Holly, with all due respect, there is no one ‘diet’ for everyone. That’s great if the green smoothies have helped you. You must have good oxalate degrading bacteria in your gut, if not, then it’s highly likely you would have a problem.

      Aside from the oxalate issue, many people cannot digest raw veggies or fruits as well as other body types. Cooking helps them digest these foods, and contrary to the common belief, many foods vitamin content actually increases and/or becomes more bioavailable if it’s cooked. You are benefiting from raw, oxalate heavy foods, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone.

      Reply
  340. It seems clear to me that this discussion has gone like many a religious debate. Someone makes an outrageous claim with no support, then someone else calls them on it. Then that someone or their sheep followers claims that the caller was “offended” for noticing the issues with their arguement. Hello, these people are simply asking for evidence! ‘Ure kidney stones are painful people, but even if they are made of the stuff, it proves nothing. There is cholesterol found it blocked up places too, but we now know that the cholesterol is the body’s solution to the problem, not the problem it’ self! Just like a fever is the body’s fix and not the problem too. Anyhow, we only can see part of the picture now, and yet we know that the “harmful stuff” in all these fruits and veggies are harmless in a healthy gut with good flora and no leaks. We also know that people get more alkaline, feel better and lose weight when they eat them, so are more likely to be healthy and unaffected by the bad, if they eat more of it! Anyhow, I’ve noticed a lot of very knowledgable and qualified people nicely but very strongly disagreeing with Sarah, and all she does as usual is scoff and laugh. That is very prideful and whether I agreed or disagreed with her, I am yet again disgusted with her unteachable attitude! She has nowhere near the training or resources of Dr Mercola and yet people are going away from his well documented and sound traditional advice, to follow this sensationalism! That just shows me the idol worship going on with her followers. She needs to start a cult, as the followers are already here who are willing to go against all reason and common sense to follow her.

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      This is not an outrageous claim with no support. Please see the scientific source at the end of the article which is the basis for this article.

      The outrageous claims are by green smoothie afficionados that these health damaging drinks are healthy. NO traditional culture EVER consumed their greens this way and people who drink these oxalate laced cocktails frequently are unwittingly subjects to a modern day experiment with many people already finding their health damaged perhaps permanently by ingesting such large doses of oxalates for extended periods of time.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health

      Reply
  341. I am a green smoothie convert about a year and a half ago. they really helped me… REALLY HELPED ME. UNTIL the kidney stones showed up.
    I have had a calcium oxalate problem since 1988 when a broken foot didn’t heal properly. 2 years later, 34 calcium oxalate crystals were surgically pulled from my ankle. Since then, calcium cysts have sprung up all over my body, in every joint (esp hands and feet and yup, SPINE.
    i was doing the smoothies, thought I was on to something when I started doing them less and less often.
    As a child, i hated greens, as an adult, i wasn’t so good about greens and salads either. When i discovered green smoothies I thought I had found the answer, and I did, but for only a while until my body recovered enough to compain – hence, kidney stones – in addition to all the other stones, is not fun.
    Now, does anyone know how to get rid of them once they are everywhere (and ohhh sooo painful)

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Very very difficult. Please consult a holistic practicioner. This is why these folks who are addicted to green smoothies and think they are just fine are so foolish .. they will just keep on going down this path to chronic health problems and won’t stop until major issues appear.

      Thank you for sharing your struggle. Hopefully it will stop at least one person from the green smoothie madness.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health

      Reply
    • Hi Sue,

      Look up the vitamin k protocol, generally used for autism. From what I’ve read, vitamin K2 can possibly detox oxalates, although I believe this is controversial. I have read anecdotal evidence from mothers of autistic kids that this protocol has helped. In autism, oxalates are often a problem. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Thx Sarah and Kari.
        To all the haters out there, lemme just say a few things about people and their health issues. you know what? No one knows everything and especially those of you with alphabet letters behind your names, who have been ‘taught’ by those that wish to deceive and profit from the suffering of others. Every one is different and without going into a full medical history, no one knows for sure what anyone else can handle.
        i am grateful for this column because it opened my eyes to the possibility of a condition I was previously unaware of until recently when i added green smoothies to my diet almost daily.

        I agree with Victoria Boutenko who told us to rotate greens in our smoothies. I did that, too, but here I am, miserable and in serious pain from oxalate crystals everywhere in my body. i have had a total of three surgeries to have them removed from my feet and they won’t do it again.
        I am sure most of you do not have my history nor suffer from what i do, yet to blatantly hate on Sarah for providing information that to me, was helpful in putting together some pieces is just… hateful.

        You arrogant a*ses could just stay away, but instead massage your egos by being disrespectful and hateful towards someone who has done nothing wrong. Your egos and self-images are boosted by this type of behavior? maybe you need some good butter or ice cream – or a cookie and a nap! GFY

        Reply
  342. Here: if you all want REAL SCIENCE, Robb Wolf and Loren Cordain both have PhDs in biochemistry, have done ACTUAL lab research and have the REAL solutions. It’s called the Paleo Diet (there are vegetarian versions too)
    http://robbwolf.com/

    He site’s REAL research articles and has his OWN books. Over and out.

    Reply
  343. Hi Sarah,
    Someone mentioned a blog you wrote about whey protein powder and neuropathy (sp?) I couldn’t find it in the archives; can you please post a link for it?

    Thanks,
    Joyce

    Reply
  344. I’m sorry but is this an April fools joke? You have to be kidding me. How many ounzes of smoothie are you talking about being dangerous?

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  345. I appreciate the concern shared in this post, but feel it’s a bit dramatic. I do agree that the green smoothie craze has been blown way out of proportion in it being the best for bodily detoxification and nutrition. Unfortunately our more = better mentality continues to get the best of us.

    Oxalates are all around us, and in many different vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. It’s also produced naturally by the body… so should we eliminate it altogether? I don’t think so.

    In regards to the article, there actually is no proof that oxalates actually form kidney stones.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17538185

    There was no correlation found in this study…

    Beyond that everyone absorbs oxalates at different rates which is extremely variable from person to person and can be influenced by everything from gut microflora to inflammation. Being that most guts are likely inflamed (and possibly leaky) there could be a valid point made for reducing oxalates, but again it’s highly individual.

    I do agree with moderation of all things, and if you’re making green smoothies with large handfuls of spinach daily the potential is there to have an issue.

    I also think drinking a green smoothie from time to time (using greens like kale, chard, collards) can be a good addition to the diet.
    Brian\’s last post: Recipes Skills: Sides Galore

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    • And how much butter was consumed before dairy farming? It would be a safe guess to say that green leaves were eaten well before man ever came up with the unnatural atrocity of butter :)

      Reply
  346. The leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water. Drink More Water!!! WATER, WATER, WATER. Your not sick your just thirsty.

    In personal observation the many people who I have come across that have stones are not “smoothie” people if you know what I mean. That must have some weight to it, right. I did not link to any study, but neither did the author.

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  347. Also, could you please give us a recipe for the perfect nourishing smoothie that the whole family could have?

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  348. What about if you put some lettuce in a smoothie, would that be ok as its low oxylate? Would it be beneficial?

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  349. Jesus Christ aka "Holy Kale" May 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Ladies, ladies, calm down. You are all just a little bored and have too much time on your hands. Go outside and enjoy this wonderful sunset I just made for you, and please for the love of God give someone a hug before you all die from my poisonous veggies. Muhahahahaha!

    Satan

    Reply
  350. The leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water. Drink More Water!!! WATER, WATER, WATER. Your not sick your just thirsty.

    In personal observation the many people who I have come across that have stones are not “smoothie” people if you know what I mean. That must have some weight to it, right. I did not link to any study, but neither did the author.

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      The article is sourced at the bottom of the post. This info is not something I just dreamed up. This is documented info that folks who love green smoothies need to be warned about.

      A friend just emailed me about the practices of traditional Southern black cuisine – guess what? They always served their collards in very small portions unlike the rest of the meal which was overflowing with large portions.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health

      Reply
      • -Because your friend serving small amounts of collards is scientific research. Awesome. WOW. HARVARD WATCH OUT!!!
        Please get an education. I’m thinking you have a good heart Sarah, but you have seriously misinformed people here and that’s irresponsible. Even your FANS are calling you on this. There is integrity and honor in admitting a mistake. I am disappointed because I was referred to your site and my friend spoke highly of you. This was on my FB feed and I about flipped my lid with how inaccurate all of this is. People in this country are DYING, sick and over-medicated because there is SO MUCH CRAP out there like this that’s just not accurate. Again, I have a biochemistry degree and KNOW this info is incorrect, I don’t care what article you sourced it from. Not all articles are to be trusted. I could write an article saying grape juice is good for the engine of my car if I wanted. We were once told by scientists that the world was flat… seriously you should have titled this differently and given more accurate advice. I’m all about natural remedies and cures and going back to our ancestry for diet, but come on… this is so flawed. I’m with you in that ppl probably shouldn’t drink 40 of these a day… but never??? Just… be careful with people’s health is all. You scared my friends for NO GOOD reason and that’s not okay with me. People actually read your articles as if you ARE a nutritionist, ok? I know you don’t claim to be, but the people who aren’t interested in science, don’t want to do their own research look to bloggers like you for the TRUTH. And I saw your disclaimer that this isn’t a sub. for REAL medical advice, so perhaps you should start EVERY blog with that sentence so people can me reminded that you’re not a scientist or have any certifications qualifying you to give nutritional advice (which is illegal in this country). You can get away with this b/c it’s an ‘opinion’ site and you don’t charge money. -But let’s participate in reality, people MAY see you as a ‘free’ nutritionist. Take care.

        Reply
        • Thank you Prime. I agree with everything you wrote. Now I wonder if Sarah will be big enough to admit that she went about this panic-inducing post all wrong. I have to admit, that 24 hours after reading this, I am starting to wonder what other information she is wrong about. Her credibility has gone down in my eyes and I will now be turning to other people first for nutrition advice. Disapointing but bettet to know this now then later I guess.

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  351. expectamiracle May 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    This is a controversial subject that has been raging for as long as I can remember. Let me tell you right off that it is not nearly the problem you may have been led to believe. Oxalic acid is a chemical compound found in bleaches, anti-rust products and metal cleaners. However, it is also a naturally occurring component of many plants. Regarding Oxalic acid in your food, you must understand that there is a world of difference between Oxalic acid that is in its pure, organic, uncooked form, and Oxalic acid that has been cooked. So, with fruits and vegetables containing Oxalic acid that are eaten uncooked you will be glad to learn that the Oxalic acid has a very beneficial effect. It is instrumental in contributing to the peristaltic action of your intestines–that is the wave-like contractions that move foodstuffs through your entire digestive tract.

    It is when Oxalic acid is consumed in foods that are cooked that there is the potential for problems, but even then the risk is extremely small. Actual poisoning or damage from ingested Oxalic acid from food is incredibly unlikely. It is generally accepted that the human body can readily dispose of Oxalic acid–secrete it–with no problem even in significant amounts. Rhubarb leaves contain a particularly high amount of Oxalic acid and one would have to eat over ten pounds in one sitting for there to be danger. The only people who would be at risk are those who have some type of genetic condition that impairs their body’s ability to process Oxalic acid. Such people are remarkably rare.

    So don’t worry–you can of course eat as much fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables with Oxalic acid as you like and it will be of benefit. As far as those vegetables customarily eaten cooked that contain Oxalic acid, having them on occasion is not going to be a problem. I’ve been involved in the study of diet for over 40 years and I have yet to come into contact with a single person to be poisoned or damaged by Oxalic acid in their food. I hope this allays your concerns.

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  352. This is ridiculous. “oxalates stones” are made from oxalac acid and calcium. From this person’s point of view maybe we should just stop eating calcium too? If people feel good from eating green smoothies because prior to eating them they were on a diet that left them malnourished, maybe fighting malnourishment is more important than possible, maybe, avoiding greens? After all, malnourishment does lead to death, maybe we should work on that one first. Which is worse? Kidney stones or death? It’s a stumper, I know.

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  353. I wish you gave us references on how much oxalate we consume with the specific green leafs and whether that amount is dangerous for the human’s health in the long term. Healthy human body definitely has mechanisms to resist, neutralize and normalize oxalate level via excretion. We have bigger problem with the US food supply: We are on the “dye diet” which is too many and too much chemicals. Children and even babies are exposed… Look at Pedialyte: This is what really hurts… But ignorant moms keep buying the chemically polluted liquid “recommended by the periatric association”…. You will find more at the DyeDiet. But I like your website!

    Reply
    • This site is a wealth of information. Here is what it has to say about spinach serving suggestions:

      “Foods belonging to the chenopod family–including beets, chard, spinach and quinoa–continue to show an increasing number of health benefits not readily available from other food families. The red and yellow betalain pigments found in this food family, their unique epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids, and the special connection between their overall phytonutrients and our nervous system health (including our specialized nervous system organs like the eye) point to the chenopod family of foods as unique in their health value. While we have yet to see large-scale human studies that point to a recommended minimum intake level for foods from this botanical family, we have seen data on chenopod phytonutrients, and based on this data, we recommend that you include foods from the chenopod family in your diet 1-2 times per week. In the case of a leafy food like spinach, we recommend a serving size of at least 1/2 cup, and even more beneficial, at least one full cup. ”

      http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43

      Reply
  354. I adore your blog, but as a student of naturopathy I do disagree with this blanket statement… I posted more details on this blog-post as to why green smoothies (although certainly not for everyone) can sometimes have great therapeutic efficacy. Keep up the good work! x

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  355. Hi Sarah, I’m a second year Naturopathy and Nutrition student in Australia and I really enjoy your blog… I too include plenty of healthy, saturated fats, raw dairy, and unprocessed food in my diet and love all that you are doing to promote this :)

    On this issue though, I have to say I disagree… Almost all foods contain some substance that if consumed in excess can cause problems. Even my beloved red meat contains arachidonic acid which, while essential for good health, in excess can cause hypertension and chronic, systemic inflammation. We would never say to avoid red meat entirely though for this reason, probably just not to eat it in large quantities every single day and to also ensure we get a variety of other animal products in the diet also.

    Green smoothies have tremendous therapeutic value, but they are not for everyone. They can be really effective at cleansing the liver, and also feed beneficial flora in the bowel and provide the blood with iron (granted this is the non-heme iron found in plant foods, but in a healthy gut can still be utilised to some extent). For anyone with liver issues or even endocrine issues caused by the liver not effectively metabolising excess oestrogen, for instance, they can really benefit from consuming a daily green smoothie for a therapeutic period of time. There are so many other phytochemicals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater that is the oxalates…

    I would stress again though that they are not for everybody – some people’s guts are in no shape for raw greens in that quantity, and I believe these should be used as a therapeutic tool for specific ailments and not a blanket “these are great for everybody!” approach that many healthfood stores take. They are gorgeously effective though when the body is calling for them.

    Again, great blog. I just wanted to offer a naturopathic/medicinal perspective of where these foods can be beneficial :)

    x
    Eliza\’s last post: Mediterranean fried sardines with olives and coriander

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  356. I feel this article is probably one of the most misleading articles I have ever read! I have been drinking raw green smoothies for 28 years. I have over come kidney failure when a partial nephrectomy was order for me through Beth Israel Hospital over 15 years ago which I firmly rejected! What most people don’t realize is when there is any type of chronic or acute disease juicing and drinking green smoothies is not enough to over come illness. Even a healthy person will experience a detox reaction! It is crucial to cleans the colon by means of colonics! I know, I did it! I eat raw green soups and drink green smoothies and green juices every single day! I also add carrot juice to my green juices as I was taught to do so because carrot juice added to green juices actually acts as a buffer as greens are extremely potent and will cause a detox reaction which mimics disease! Before you speak of oxalates, please do your homework!
    People, I am here to tell you “drink your green smoothies” by the way, I am the founder of an alternative health care center which is medically staffed! We have the most amazing stories and testimonies! All our patients are drinking green juices! Hail to the green!

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  357. Wow. Interesting stuff. Is juicing greens okay? I feel great and am so regular with celery, carrots, cucumbers, spinach juiced each morning. My skin is amazing.

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  358. I started reading this blog because I’m sick, broke, and need info. This post doesn’t give it, though the discussion has been enlightening. Except for all the time wasting comments about the commenters.

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  359. I am one of those very sensitive to oxalates. I couldn’t understand why I felt worse than ever as I tried to maintain weight loss, eating all the “right” things. Unfortunately they weren’t right for me. I was pain

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  360. Hi – obviously by the name of my blog, I’m probably not going to completely agree with your article. I do agree, however, that some leafy greens are higher than others in oxalates, and my opinion is that if you have a history of kidney stones you may want to not consume those as much. But i think for the average, healthy indiv., this is just a fear-inducing tactic and a way to cause controversy. I did a juice fast for about 30 days in February, and have been drinking green smoothies close to once a day since then…usually using 1/2-1 C of frozen spinach of collard greens and haven’t had any bad symptoms, and in fact feel better. I do suffer from seborrheic dermatitis, so according to you, I should not be experiencing any health benefit AT ALL from drinking green smoothies… We’re all entitled to our own opinions, I just think generalizing and saying we should ditch the leafy greens, or if we *have* to eat them, drown them in butter… *sigh* I don’t care if it’s “a fad” or not, I think they are extremely healthy. Also, you don’t mention ways to help — such as adding some fresh lemon to you smoothies/juices, eating low-oxalate foods such as mushrooms, cabbage, berries,.. to offset some of the higher oxalate foods, and making sure to drink plenty of water.

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  361. Sarah,
    I admire your bravery in posting this. I only read some of the comments and I was already exhausted. Thank you for putting forth real science that is steeped in traditions and not the fads that come and go!

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  362. Wow! this is the most response I’ve seen. had to fast forward through a lot of it. My husband and I drank green drinks for many years. When you posted awhile back about the oxalates I started cooking beets once a week to store in the fridge for a new version of drink 2 or 3 times a week. lately it’s been raw milk kefir, beet, celery, and blueberry and or banana with a little raw butter and we take our cod liver oil at the same time
    . not sure about the celery. we only eat spinach & kale cooked now and mostly just from our garden. Does this sound beneficial or would you eliminate the celery?

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  363. Interesting discussion… And I got some great links to blogs new to me. She got a zillion hits to show potential advertisers for next to no effort. As for the damage this sensational garbage post will do for readers who don’t have time to read the comments… We’re just encouraging more like it, I’m afraid.

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  364. Boy! Do people love their smoothies! I like to chew most of my foods! It satisfies because it is the designed way of nourishment. I personally don’t think it’s too healthy to consume too much through liquids. It’ never fills me up! Just my 2 cents worth. It would probably be more healthier to only consume “water”as our liquids…then again I love kombucha. LOL what A nerve this has touched! We are living in the “smoothie age”‘!

    Reply