Does Spinach Cause Kidney Stones

Spinach and Kidney Stones

Spinach cause Kidney stones in some persons .Read here why Spinach cause stones in kidney & which type of kidney stones are formed .

Spinach is an edible leaf that is loaded with vitamins and minerals.  It is dense in nutrients and its benefits are many.  This leafy vegetable is also rich in folate, proteins, dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.  It is an ideal ingredient for weight watchers and can be incorporated into their daily diet.  Spinach is also well supplied with flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants, encouraging the body to flush out harmful toxins.  It has some natural anti-inflammatory properties that assist in alleviating inflammatory disease conditions within the body.  Since iron content is more in spinach compared to other vegetables, it is highly recommended that women in their reproductive years and growing children get their daily dose of iron from this leafy vegetable.

How Spinach Cause Kidney Stones

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However, like any other fruit or vegetable, there are some risks associated with consuming spinach in large quantities. Oxalates are naturally present in spinach and its regular consumption can increase urinary oxalate levels drastically.  While most people do not have any problems from urine oxalate levels, those who are prone to producing oxalate based kidney stones should stay away from oxalate rich foods, and spinach is one of them.  Generally, oxalate rich foods have more nutritional values comparatively and can cause no harm to one’s health under normal conditions.  Choosing to blanch or cook them for a longer time does not seem to have an effect on the oxalate content, so if you think overcooking them will reduce the oxalate content thereby reducing the amount of oxalate consumed, then you are wrong.

Calcium oxalate kidney stone are the most common formed kidney stones and a number of factors including the regular diet one follows can influence its formation.  Normally, oxalates get attached to calcium during the digestion process and are excreted in stools.  When oxalates do not find enough calcium to bind themselves to, they are collected by the kidneys and passed into the urine.  Now, in a situation where calcium is not readily absorbed by the body, calcium levels in urine also tend to rise.  And, when the individual fail to maintain regular intake of required amounts of fluids, the urine produced will be highly concentrated and acidic in nature.  Thus, when the urine has more contents of calcium and urinary oxalates and is acidic, calcium and oxalate combine together to form crystals that further grow into solid kidney stones.

Interestingly, when a person consumes a calcium rich diet, it does not seem to encourage calcium oxalate stone formation.  This is because, as stated earlier, calcium binds with oxalates in the gastrointestinal tract while digestion occurs and is expelled out of the body via stools.  Hence, the more calcium the person consumes, less urinary oxalates are produced.  So to decrease urinary oxalate levels, it is recommended that the person take in more of calcium rich foods.

Voiding kidney stones is an agonizing experience.  No person who has been unfortunate enough to pass a kidney stone would want to go through the painful experience a second time.  So the best step to be taken would be to prevent any further kidney stone formation and this could be achieved by avoiding foods that are high in stone forming substances, and to take in plenty of fluids to keep the urine diluted enough to discourage stone development.

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