Are Your Leafy Greens Safe?

Are Your Leafy Greens Safe? Steam your greens to prevent kidney stones.

Vegetables are pretty amazing. We can all agree on that.

Leafy green vegetables help you lose weight, increase energy levels, and fuel your body. They’re also an excellent way to lower your risk for cancer.1

But beneath the leaves, they’re hiding something you probably didn’t know. It’s a natural chemical defense mechanism that prevents them from being eaten by insects, animals…and people.2

Of course, we still recommend you eat leafy greens every day.

So what’s the catch?

You have to know how to prepare them to avoid ingesting too much of this potentially harmful compound.

This sneaky chemical can lead to health problems down the road including calcium deficiencies, kidney stones, and gout…

Oxalic acid binds to calcium in the gut. It robs you of the calcium that you eat. When you eat a leafy green vegetable that is high in calcium and high in oxalic acid, the oxalic acid steals the calcium for itself by binding to it.

Oxalic acid also forms crystals over time that may cause muscle pain. Even worse… If oxalic acid binds with calcium in the kidneys, it can form kidney stones.

But again, you still need to eat your veggies. And thankfully there are a couple of options so you can keep them as part of your regular diet…

Gently steaming vegetables high in oxalic acid can significantly reduce the oxalic acid content.3

Some vegetables to do this with are spinach, parsley, Swiss chard, collard greens, and kale.

Lightly steaming some vegetables even increases the amount of nutrients you absorb from them. (But don’t overcook them! According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cooking vegetables destroys an important cancer killing compound.)4

Supplementing with calcium and magnesium is also a good idea if your diet is high in leafy greens. The oxalic acid will bind to the supplements in the gut instead of the kidneys. This will aid in the proper digestion of oxalic acid and reduce your risk of kidney stones.

Bottom line: You can still get all of the benefits of eating your greens—just be sure to gently steam and drain them first. Steamed vegetables with some grass-fed butter is delicious and creamy. And the healthy fat in the grass-fed butter aids with nutrient absorption, too.

Or you can always supplement with calcium/magnesium.

So don’t skip your veggies. Just be sure you eat them the right way.

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Health Topic: Diet and Nutrition | Health Warning


  1. Manny Suarez says:

    Great article about how to eat your vegetables.Is it the same to sautee the kale and spinach.? That’s what I do.I would like to get a reply on this.Keep up this great job.! Thanks.

    • Dreasan says:

      I used to follow a vegetarian diet back in the ’70s. Almost every fruit and vegetable I eat was clean, washed thoroughly, and peeled so that I wouldn’t ingest the waxy coating on some fruits and vegetables.
      Spinach and kale would be eaten raw in a salad and I mean A SALAD!!
      I practically live on salads and I didn’t care too much for collards, turnips and mustard greens, they are good to eat when garlic, onions, especially white and red onions, mushrooms, and a touch of parsley. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce with a salmon you’ve have a delicious meal.

  2. Manny Suarez says:

    I just sautee some kale,onions and mushrooms in a little virgin organic coconut oil..then add 5 egg whites and one whole omega-egg and at the end I do add the spinach..Any thoughts.? Thanks.

    • Dreasan says:

      I would rather have the egg whites on the side as a omelet with toasted whole wheat or pumpernickel breads and bit of honey with goat’s milk. I use only extra virgin oil for sauteing.

  3. Roger says:

    In addition, just be sure to buy 100% Certified Organic as most all store-bought greens are loaded with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that cannot be washed off. Either that or buy locally from “trusted” farms and/or grow your own!

  4. Barbara says:

    I also would like to know if a light sauté is okay as well. I sauté all my veggies in Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.

  5. Dreasan says:

    I take Vitamins A,C, and E help with the toxicity of most foods.

  6. Alan Brezin says:

    Doesn’t light steaming as suggested in the article destroy the beneficial enzymes in the greens and other live food? Doesn’t such cooking go against the natural way of eating, our evolutionary compatible way of eating, by which our ancient Pleistocene Eastern African Savanna ancestors, today’s San Bushman, and presumably us, were made so healthy?

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