Best oxalate lowering cooking methods

Elephant, festival ,Jaipur, Royal Rajasthan, India, Asia

It hasn’t been too long since my initial oxalate post but my oh my word, low oxalate has rocked my world.

Basketball stomach is now a thing of the past, as is razor blade in urethra fun time and, most importantly, cry in pain sexy time. You may want to look into oxalates if you have one of these conditions: Autism, asthma, cystic fibrosis, kidney stones and vulvodynia (to name just a few) or if you’re suffering from urinary tract problems, pain during intercourse, migraines and dizziness [1].

To be honest though, I’m not fanatical about being low oxalate. I’ve found that rotating my foods and how I prepare them means that I don’t need to get obsessive about it. I think that in my case the problem was that I was juicing most of my high oxalate foods (kale, chard, fennel). Having now had time to do some more research I’ve come across a number of studies by Indian researchers that offer some insight into how best to prepare higher oxalate foods.

I’ve been hoping to interview Susan Owens on the subject – it was through her that I first became aware of cooking as a method of lowering oxalates.

How  to have your kale and eat it too…

Here are my top tips for lowering oxalic acid (and for all you paleo’s out there – phytic acid) in foods, according to the studies I found. These have all worked for me…I’m now able to enjoy more of the high nutrient medium/high oxalate foods I just had to find a way to keep in my diet!

Jet de vapeur

#1 oxalic and phytic acid lowering cooking method for greens

Blanch baby blanch!

Blanching for 10 minutes at 95Cs/200F lowered oxalic acid by 40-115% across various green vegetables [2]. That pushes many veggies back into the low oxalate/safe zone!

Pressure cooking for 15 minutes was a close second.

#1 oxalic and phytic acid lowering cooking method for pulses

This study showed an average 25% drop in oxalic and phytic acid in pulses that were soaked overnight and sprouted for 48 hours before being boiled [3]. I had a lovely idea of making my own chickpea flour from soaked and sprouted pulses, but sadly it seems that drying the pulses again raises oxalic acid content once more [4] – so watch out!

Here’s a list of low/medium oxalate and low histamine foods that I compiled using various lists on the internet. It’s the list I’m working from, please do not take it as gospel, it’s just there because I was so overwhelmed at first and I thought others might appreciate a little inspiration to get started. Please see Susan Owens’ site for a full list of low oxalate foods.

PLEASE NOTE: various low oxalate sites warn that you shouldn’t jump into an extremely low oxalate diet as it can kick the body into a sudden detox, causing it to suddenly dump its oxalate stores which can cause an intensification of symptoms.  

LOW HISTAMINE & LOW TO MEDIUM OXALATE FOODS

FRUITS

Very low – low oxalate foods CRANBERRY (low histamine on some lists) CHERRY (low histamine on some lists) APPLE FUJI APPLE GALA APPLE GOLDEN APPLE BRAMLEYS APPLE GRANNY SMITH APPLE RED BLUEBERRIES CRANBERRIES DRIED DATES MEDJOOL LEMON MANGO CASABA HONEYDEW WATERMELON PASSION FRUIT PEACH PEAR BARTLETT    Medium oxalate foods APPLE BRAEBURN APPLE MACINTOSH BANANA DRIED CHERRIES BLACKCURRANTS DATES MEDJOOL LIME CANTALOUPE  

VEGETABLES

V. low – low oxalate foods CORN BOK CHOY BROCCOLI RAW AND BOILED CABBAGE GREEN RAW NAPA CABBAGE CABBAGE PURPLE CARROTS BOILED CAULIFLOWER BOILED/STEAMED/RAW CUCUMBERS GARLIC TURNIP GREENS ARUGULA RAAB BROCCOLI KALE  (not curly!) KHOLRABI KOHLRABI LEAVES MOST LETTUCE IS VERY LOW MUSHROOMS (I still eat some) ONION, WHITE ONION, YELLOW RED PEPPER RADISH, DAIKON RADISH, RED RADISH, WHITE RUTABAGA SEAWEED, HIJIKI SEAWEED, KOMBU SEAWEED, NORI SEAWEED, WAKAME SHALLOTS SPROUTS, ALFALFA SQUASH, ACORN SQUASH, BUTTERNUT SQUASH, KABOCHA SQUASH, SPAGHETTI SQUASH, YELLOW SQUASH, ZUCCHINI TURNIP WATERCRESS   Medium oxalate foods ARTICHOKE ASPARAGUS GREEN BEANS BRUSSEL SPROUTS BROCCOLI STEAMED CARROTS RAW CELERY ENDIVE FENNEL GRAPE LEAVES RAAB BROCCOLI STEAMES COLLARED BOILED LEEKS RAW JICAMA RED ONION PARSNIPS BELL PEPPER, YELLOW BELL PEPPER, GREEN SEAWEED, DULSE  

HERBS/SPICES/CONDIMENTS

Low oxalate foods BASIL CIDER VINEGAR (the lowest histamine of all the vinegars) CHILI CHIVES CORIANDER CRESS GINGER LEMON BALM MUSTARD WHITE PEPPER GROUND PEPPERMINT ROSEMARY SAVORY CAYENNE PEPPERS HABANERO PEPPERS   Medium oxalate foods DILL PARSLEY BLACK PEPPER GROUND TAHINI DRY ROASTED  

LEGMES/NUTS/SEEDS

Low oxalate foods CANNED CHICKPEAS (but dry/boiled are medium!) LIMA MUNG RED LENTILS BOILED BROWN LENTILS GREEN PEAS SPLIT GREEN PEAS SPLIT YELLOW PEAS SUNFLOWER BUTTER (small amount)   Medium oxalate foods CHICKPEAS BOILED PISTACHIOS ALFALFA SEEDS BROC SEEDS MUNG BEAN   MEAT/POULTRY/FISH Low oxalate foods ANCHOVIES (fresh) FLOUNDER HADDOCK PLAICE SALMON FRESH TUNA BEEF LAMB LIVER EGGS  

OTHER

Low oxalate foods WHITE CHOCOLATE (I can eat homemade raw white chocolate – you might not be able to)  

GRAINS/FLOURS

Low/Medium oxalate foods WHITE RICE WILD RICE CORN COCONUT FLOUR BLACK EYED PEA FLOUR FLAX SEED FLOUR CELLOPHANE NOODLES BROWN RICE PASTA COOKED WHITE RICE THAI JASMIN RICE Soaking rice and grains for 12 hours lowers oxalates.   Medium oxalate foods CHICKPEA FLOUR BROWN RICE FLOUR SORGHUM MILLET ROLLED OATS COOKED RICE NOODLES BROWN RICE JASMIN RICE UNCLE BENS WHITE RICE WILD RICE  

FATS/OILS

Low oxalate foods CANOLA COCONUT OLIVE SESAME SEED  

SWEETENERS

V.low/low oxalate foods AGAVE RAW COCONUT NECTAR

—————-REFERENCES———–

[1] http://lowoxalate.info/research.html

[2, 3, 4, ] http://www.ajofai.info/Abstract/Effect%20of%20cooking%20and%20processing%20methods%20on%20oxalate%20content%20of%20green%20leafy%20vegetables%20and%20pulses.pdf

Also http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12102364