Reducing Oxalates

    What Are Oxalates?

    Oxalates, or oxalic acid, is a compound created in our bodies and plants as a waste product of vitamin C metabolism. Harmful levels of oxalates can be ingested through common plant foods.

    Effects of Oxalate Overexposure

    Oxalates bind with minerals in the digestive tract and can accumulate as harmful crystals in the body. They are associated with a variety of diseases where they gather in the bone, myocardium, blood vessels, and skin. Oxalates can impair healing of injured tissues and joints.

    Avoiding Exposure

    While our bodies will naturally release oxalates, high levels can overwhelm our capacity to process them. We advise enjoying the following high oxalate foods in moderation:


    blackberry • blueberry • red currant • dewberry • fig • gooseberry • grape • kiwi • lemon peel • lime peel • orange peel • raspberry • starfruit • strawberry • tangerine • all juices made from these fruits

    Nuts, Roots, Seeds, Spices, and Tubers

    almond • bean • beets • brown rice • buckwheat • cashew • chia • chocolate • cornmeal • cumin • hazelnut • peanut • pecan • potato • sesame • sunflower • soy • turmeric • walnut • wheat

    Vegetables and Teas

    beets • black tea • celery • chives • collard • dandelion • eggplant • escarole • green pepper • kale (curly) • leeks • mustard green • okra • parsley • parsnip • purslane • rhubarb • rutabaga • sorrel • spinach • summer squash • sweet potatoes • Swiss chard • tomato sauce/soup • watercress • yam

    Food Combining to Reduce Oxalates

    Oxalates bind with calcium in the colon, neutralizing their impact on our health. Pair high oxalate foods with calcium-rich foods (i.e. bone broth, canned wild caught salmon and sardines, dairy, shellfish, and crickets). Stay hydrated before eating to dilute oxalates.

    Food Processing Techniques to Reduce Oxalates

    Because oxalates are water soluble, they can be reduced by blanching, boiling, or steaming with the liquid discarded. Fermentation reduces oxalates. Cooking in milk or macerating in whey can also mitigate oxalate exposure. Sprouting can help too.

    Rhubarb leafThe high levels of oxalates in rhubarb leaves make them useful as an organic pesticide in the garden. 

    * Medical Disclaimer *