Superfoods: antioxidant mania
In order to combat the free radicals (cell damaging substances), antioxidants are thought to neutralize the situation thus protecting your cells from harm. These are your lycopene, carotenoids, minerals (zinc, magnesium), vitamins (C, E), and quercetin, to name a few.
These are found in various forms, but the most commonly pushed are your green leafy vegetables and fruits. Are these truly superhero status foods that must be consumed?
Truth is, most of the antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are not absorbed and instead blocked. Many plants contain antinutrients such as tannins, saponins, phytates, and oxalates. These prevent minerals and more from being absorbed. For example an oyster will provide you with a lot of zinc. Consume some black beans or corn tortillas with that oyster and you just decreased your zinc absorption to 25%.
Oxalates: a bio-accumulative poison
Oxalates are one of the anti-nutrients that is rampant and can cause poisoning as it is toxic to the body and bio-accumulates (meaning it builds up over time). 80% of kidney stones are made of oxalic acid, however the body will store them wherever necessary- connective tissue, eyes (cataracts), skin (rashes), and more.
What oxalates do is attach themselves to calcium. From there they will float about until settling in whatever area the body decides best at the time (depends on vulnerabilities and other damage present). First they will go to the liver, eventually the kidneys but as mentioned above they bio-accumulate so once there is an over abundance in the kidneys the body will find other places to stash away this toxic compound.
If there is not enough calcium in the diet, the oxalates will strip calcium from the bone eventually leading to osteoporosis.
Signs & Symptoms of Oxalate Poisoning
The top foods that are high in oxalate are: spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, peanuts, almonds (including flour), dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, carrots.
If you are loading up on the spinach each day, cut back. Have some kale instead, or cabbage.
Eat foods from your local farmer that are grown organically, without pesticides, GMOs/bioengineered, or antiobiotics. Knowing where your food came from, how it was grown will do wonders for increasing your health. You also can eat more meats, especially red meat that is pasture raised, grass fed, and grass finished. Meat actually contains most, if not all, of the nutrients you need in a bio-available form (aka your body will easily absorb and utilize it, no worries of nutrients getting blocked).
Kerry M. Davis LMT, CIMT, SFG