If you’re like me then you grew up thinking that spinach had the power to give you huge muscles, incredible strength, and always save the girl.
Many times I saw Popeye go from taking a beating to handing one out, all because he was able to get his precious spinach. It would be nice if this generation’s cartoons painted green vegetables in such a positive light. However I recently participated in a webinar with Dr. William Shaw, who presented the possibility of green vegetables, consumed in smoothies, causing kidney stones. These cleansing green drinks and smoothies have become wildly popular in the last few years, but his research raised the question, should you stop drinking green smoothies? Well in my opinion, no, with the reason being, the health benefits of green smoothies. They are also a delicious way to get more greens into your diet. However I would recommend that you be cautious about how many green smoothies you consume or how many greens you add to your smoothie, especially if the green is primarily coming from, Popeye’s favorite, spinach. If you are a person with a history of kidney stones, have a medical issue that causes calcium imbalance, or you don’t drink enough water, then I would use extreme caution in consuming green smoothies. There are conflicting research findings and opinions as to whether or not green smoothies can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. The majority of kidney stones are formed by the combination of calcium and oxalates in the body. It is believed by many that the oxalates found in green food can bind with the calcium in the body to aid in forming the stones. Spinach is one of the green foods that is highest in oxalates, so if your primary source of greens is spinach, then it is believed you are at a higher risk for kidney stones. I love spinach and would never recommend you not eat it; however, as is the key with most things in life, balance is of the utmost importance regarding your health. According to the research that I have read, it’s recommended that you consume no more than a 1/4 cup of RAW spinach in a green smoothie. For a complete list of foods that are high in oxalates follow this link, and if you would like to read Dr. Shaw’s post on this issue for a more detailed explanation follow this link.
For those of you that have never experienced a kidney stone or known someone who has, it is worth it to take the necessary steps to make sure that something like this……never has to pass through your urinary tract. I’ve been blessed to have never experienced the pain firsthand but have seen many patients suffer through them, and several women have told me it was more painful than childbirth.
Dr. Shaw and I both recommend that, if you are prone to kidney stones or are consuming green smoothies daily, you should begin supplementing with Magnesium Citrate and also consuming adequate amounts of water every day. By adequate, I mean drinking at least half of your body weight, in ounces, per day. For example, I weigh 170 pounds so I drink at least 85 oz or four 20 oz bottles of water a day. Water is obviously essential to your health but especially if you are drinking green smoothies. For any further questions on the matter feel free to contact me by commenting below, filling out the contact form on CarsonNatural.com, or clicking the microphone to leave a voice message.