Guide to Low Oxalate Greens

by Heidi on June 7, 2012

low oxalate greens - cabbage

Low Oxalate Cabbage

One of the most common reactions I hear from folks who are new to the low oxalate diet is “What do you mean I can’t eat spinach?  But spinach is sooo good for you!  How can this low oxalate diet be healthy?”  Well, I have some good news and some bad news.  First, spinach is not good for YOU (although it might be okay for some other people with rock solid digestive tracts and little endogenous oxalate production).  I know it can be hard at first, but just let spinach go if you haven’t already.  Spinach is not your friend, and you don’t need it to be healthy. Second, you can eat lots of fabulous, nutritious greens on the low oxalate diet, including dino kale, mustard greens, water cress and turnip greens.  In fact, many of these greens have a much better nutritional profile than spinach, plus the calcium and other minerals in low oxalate greens are more bio-available than those in high oxalate greens because there isn’t a lot of oxalate binding the minerals up in your gut.  Yay!  This low oxalate diet is sounding better all the time, isn’t it?

Since so many people grow up eating only three leafy greens (lettuce, spinach and cabbage) and aren’t familiar with the huge array of fabulous and nutritious greens available on the low oxalate diet,  I put together the guide below to help you use medium and low oxalate greens more confidently. Are you ready to experiment?

low oxalate greens - collards

Collard Greens

Making a soup?  Try adding a handful of mustard greens, pea greens or American cress (see Chicken Sausage Soup with Mustard Greens and Mushrooms for one of my favorite soup recipes).  Craving a salad?  Try adding some arugala,  kohlrabi or water cress for a peppery bite.  Want to try your hand at fermenting?  Use a tough green like mustard greens, cabbage or broccoli rabe.  Just want some comfort food?  Make a pot of southern-style low oxalate greens with turnip greens or collard greens.  Have fun trying something new!

How to Read the Tables:  Very low oxalate greens have less than 1 mg. oxalate per half cup and are marked in the low oxalate list with an asterik. Low oxalate greens have 1- 5 mg. oxalate per half cup.  Medium oxalate greens have 5 -15 mg. oxalate per half cup.  All oxalate values are for one half cup raw greens unless otherwise stated.  Oxalate values for cooked greens are measured after cooking.  For example, if the oxalate value is for boiled greens, this means that the greens were boiled for at least 6 minutes and the cooking water has been thrown out or used to water the house plants.  Please note in the cooking section I have included all common or tasty cooking methods for each green, although we don’t have oxalate values for all cooking methods.  Use the raw value and measure before cooking if I haven’t listed a value for the cooked green.

Sources: All oxalate values in these tables come from the Autism Oxalate Project or the VP Foundation’s oxalate testing programs and were either tested in Dr. Michael Liebman’s laboratory (University of Wyoming) or reviewed by Dr. Michael Liebman for the Low Oxalate Cookbook 2.

Low Oxalate Greens:                                                           Medium Oxalate Greens:
Mustard Greens (boiled)                                                           Collard Greens (boiled or steamed)
Cabbage (nappa, purple, green, savoy)                               Belgian Endive or Chicory
Bok Choy                                                                                          Grape Leaves
Turnip Greens (boiled)                                                               Broccoli Rabe/Rapini(steamed)
Dino/Lacinato/Tuscan Kale (boiled)                                   Dandelion Greens (raw or boiled)
Lettuce (Cornsalad, Iceberg, Bibb)                                       Mustard Greens (steamed)
Lettuce (Romaine, Butter, Boston)*                                     Turnip Greens (steamed)
Broccoli Rabe/Rapini                                                                 Curly Kale
Collard Greens                                                                               Green onions (green part)
Creasy/American Cress (boiled)                                            Shallots
Pea Greens                                                                                       Broccoli (steamed)
Arugula*                                                                                           Fennel (raw or boiled)
Alfalfa Sprouts                                                                                Brussel Sprouts (steamed or boiled)
Water Cress (raw or boiled)
Kohlrabi*
Broccoli (raw or boiled)

Mild-Tasting Greens:                                                             Zesty or Spicy Greens:
Turnip Greens (when cooked)                                                   Turnip Greens (spicy/bitter when raw)
Collard Greens                                                                                  Mustard Greens* (bitter when raw)
Dino Kale                                                                                             Dandelion Greens
Curly Kale                                                                                           Arugula
Pea Greens                                                                                          Broccoli Rabe/Rapini (bitter when raw)
All LO Lettuces                                                                                 Green Onions
Alfalfa Sprouts                                                                                  Shallots (raw)
Fennel (mild but flavorful)                                                          Water Cress
Shallots (sauteed)                                                                            Kohlrabi
Broccoli                                                                                               American Cress
Brussel Sprouts

Greens to Eat Braised or Steamed:                              Greens to Eat Boiled:
Mustard Greens                                                                                 Turnip Greens
Turnip Greens                                                                                    Collard Greens
Collard Greens                                                                                   Curly Kale
Dino Kale                                                                                              Dino Kale
Curly Kale                                                                                            Mustard Greens
Bok Choy                                                                                              Broccoli Rabe
Belgian Endive (light heat only)                                                 Collard Greens
Broccoli Rabe                                                                                     Water Cress (in soups)
All Cabbages                                                                                        Dandelion Greens
Broccoli                                                                                                 Broccoli
Water Cress (light heat only)                                                        Fennel
Fennel                                                                                                    Pea Greens
Pea Greens                                                                                           All Cabbages
Brussel Sprouts                                                                                  Brussel Sprouts

Greens to Eat Raw:                                                                    Greens to Ferment:
All LO Lettuces                                                                                 All Cabbages
Bok Choy                                                                                              Bok Choy
All Cabbages                                                                                       Grape Leaves
Arugala                                                                                                 Mustard Greens
Dandelion Greens                                                                             Kohlrabi
American Cress                                                                                 Turnip Greens
Belgian Endive                                                                                    Broccoli Rabe/Rapini
Broccoli                                                                                                 Collard Greens
Alfalfa Sprouts                                                                                    Dino Kale
Water Cress                                                                                          Broccoli
Fennel (leaves especially)                                                             Fennel (bulb)
Curly Kale

Best Spinach Substitutes in Recipes:

Braised Low Oxalate Greens

Braised Turnip Greens and Kohlrabi with Green Onions, Yellow Onions and Bacon

Dino Kale (cooked)
Turnip Greens (cooked)
Romaine Lettuce (raw)

Washing Low Oxalate Greens:  The easiest way to wash greens is to fill a sink or large mixing bowl with water and submerge the greens, gently swishing them around.  If sediment falls out, pour out the water and wash one more time.  Salad dressings won’t stick to wet greens, so let them dry before eating in salads (you can spread them out on cloth or paper towels to dry faster or pat them lightly with a dish towel).

Preparing Low Oxalate Greens: If the stems are small and bend easily you don’t have to remove them.  If you are using tougher greens with big stems, however, remove the stem and the rib (mustard greens, turnip greens and collard greens usually have to be de-ribbed).  Tear or cut the greens into bite-sized pieces.

Braising Low Oxalate Greens:  Most greens benefit from low to medium heat vs. high heat and light braising versus long cooking.  Try using grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil or bacon fat for your braising fat (2-4 tablespoons for a big skillet of greens).  Toss the greens around in the skillet for a few minutes until they are done (taste as you go –braised greens are done when you think they taste done!). If your are using tougher, “big-leaved” greens, you may need to put the lid on for a minute or two and let them steam.  Add a little salt, garlic or vinegar for seasoning at the end and enjoy. Yum!

Boiling Low Oxalate Greens:  Make sure the greens are submerged and boil for 6 – 10 minutes depending on the green (it might take a few minutes for the greens to “boil down” enough to all fit in your pot and be submerged).  You want it to boil long enough to cook the green and leach out as much soluble oxalate as possible, but not so long that you are left with a limp, mushy pile.  Boiled greens are delicious seasoned with salt, garlic salt, white pepper, butter, vinegar or olive oil.

Fermenting Low Oxalate Greens:  This is a post all of it’s own!  I’ll be experimenting this summer and reporting my results in follow-up posts, so please check back.

Photo credits go to karendalziel for Braised Greens, to Steven Jackson for Collards and to Christian Guthier for Cabbage.

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Syd Norris June 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

VERY helpful. Thank you!!

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Val June 8, 2012 at 7:45 am

Thank you! Just what I needed. Thanks for you time!
Val

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Ruth Ann June 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Thanks! This is very helpful.

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James July 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Very helpful resource! Thanks.

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Esante August 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

This is an awesome post – just what I needed! Thank you

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Jes February 3, 2013 at 5:16 am

I happen to think collards and mustard greens taste better than spinach, anyway. Collards are great cooked, but they take time. I had some raw collards shredded and dressed with a light vinegar-based dressing, labeled “collard slaw”..it was awesome! I think they’re a great spinach alternative, especially raw.

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Heidi February 9, 2013 at 2:31 am

Hi, Jes. Collard Slaw does sound good! I’m going to have to see if I can find a recipe for that.

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Mike February 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Why does that table confuse me? It makes no sense. Many items are both low and medium. I’m not sure which category those below fall in. Why couldn’t this just be clear. I’m so desperate. I’m tired of feeling stupid.

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Heidi February 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Mike,
Oxalate tables and food lists are confusing. The oxalate content of greens (and all foods) depends on many things including the variety of the green, the serving size and how the green was cooked. Most oxalate tables/lists give both the serving size and the cooking method (or raw). The same food can be labeled low, medium or high oxalate depending on serving size. It also may be labeled both low and medium oxalate depending on cooking method. If you look up in my “How to Read the Tables Section,” you’ll notice that my values are all for one half cup greens. My values are also for raw greens unless I give a cooking method. So, you’ll see that half a cup of boiled turnip greens are low oxalate, but a half cup of steamed turnip greens are medium oxalate. A half cup raw or boiled broccoli is low and a half cup steamed broccoli is medium. Some greens are only listed with a cooking method because we don’t know the oxalate content of the raw vegetable. Alternately, some are only listed raw because we don’t have a cooked value. If we did you’d probably see that many more greens would be in both the low and medium oxalate categories.
Hope this helps.
Hope this helps some.

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AB March 2, 2013 at 12:52 am

Is everything listed after the “low” and “medium” lists okay to eat? Which ones are low and which are medium? Thank you for this compilation. I’ve just found out I’m prone to kidney stones and am trying to adjust my veggie intake.

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Heidi March 23, 2013 at 3:36 am

Sorry for the late reply, AB. Yes, you can eat anything in these lists. They are based on a serving size of one half cup raw unless a cooking method is stated. Look under the low and medium oxalate lists for oxalate content (as opposed to the ones about how to cook them etc.). Most of the exact values are protected under copyright and can’t be made into a table here, but the ones in the low oxalate list are either very low oxalate (marked with an asterik and contain less than 1mg. oxalate per serving) or low oxalate (between 1 mg. and 5 mg. per serving). The ones in the medium oxalate list are between 5 mg. and 15 mg. oxalate per serving.

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JG April 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Heidi,

Thank you for this brilliant list here. This is more helpful than you know. Heidi what would you recommend as the most nutritious raw greens to use in a Salad. Im just talking Raw for a salad (no cooking). Looking for a replacement largely for Spinach. I know that lettuces are the obvious substitution but provide little in the way of nutrition. I am guessing from the list above, probably kale, arugula, and cabbage perhaps? Just wanted to hear your thoughts.

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Heidi April 9, 2013 at 6:37 am

Thanks, JG.
Romaine lettuce is the most nutritious of the lettuces, so I usually use that as my base. Arugula, cabbage, and maybe a little fresh herbs like basil or cilantro would be flavorful and low oxalate. Chopped broccoli, kohlrabi or broccoli rabe would also add some good nutrition while staying low oxalate. You could also add a little kale, which is very nutritious, and mustard greens or turnip greens. These greens may be a little strong for a salad if the leaves are large, but if you grow them yourself or can get them at a farmers’ market, you can pick them quite small (like “baby” lettuces) and they are very tender and more mild. I really like baby turnip greens! Be sure to add some chopped red pepper and a few slices of low oxalate variety tomatoes (like big beef, pink girl and early girl). Sounds pretty yummy and nutritious to me!

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JG April 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

Thanks Heidi. Great suggestions. I have never tried turnip greens, nor watercress. I am going to use this as a chance to give them a shot and do some experimenting. Thanks for your feedback and the great info on your site. Was really shocked to learn about Spinach being so high in Oxalates.

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Katlin June 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Hi, I wanted to know are mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens and the variations of kale greens listed above are only low in oxalate if boiled/steamed?

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Heidi June 12, 2013 at 12:00 am

Hi, Katlin.
Not necessarily. We don’t know how much oxalate some of the greens have raw. We also don’t have every cooking method for each green. For example, we know that if you boil mustard greens and throw out the cooking water, then measure out a half cup of greens, that half cup serving is low oxalate. We also know that if you steamed the greens then measure out a half cup, that half cup is medium oxalate. We don’t know what they are raw, although I would guess low and wouldn’t hesitate to eat a small amount of baby mustard greens raw. We also don’t know what turnip greens are raw, but again, it’s likely they are low. We do know that one half cup of chopped raw collard greens are low oxalate. See my post about kale for more info on what we know and don’t know about the various varieties of kale.

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glace June 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Where does chard fit in? It’s my favorite green.

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Heidi June 29, 2013 at 3:35 am

Hi, Glace. I’m sorry to inform you but Swiss Chard is extremely high oxalate at 293 mg. oxalate per half cup chopped. For those of us following a low oxalate diet, that’s a five day allowance of oxalate all in one serving!

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Julie July 4, 2013 at 11:35 am

Thank you for this site! I was depressed to get the list of foods with oxalates from my
doctor but your info gives me hope. My issue is that I am told that my thyroid problem
means I have to cook any cruciferous veggies. I prefer steaming and don’t want to boil
anything. This seems to mean I will be eating mostly medium level oxalate greens, which
makes eating more difficult. Any suggestions?

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Heidi July 5, 2013 at 12:26 am

Hi, Julie. Thanks for stopping by. What reason did your doctor give for boiling instead of steaming cruciferous veggies? Is it only because of the oxalate content or is there some other reason? If it’s only because of oxalate content, then your doctor might not understand that boiling only makes a difference with veggies that have a lot of soluble oxalate. For others, it’s unnecessary because they are so low oxalate anyway or because most of their oxalate is insoluble and no amount of boiling is going to get rid of it. For example, some of the cruciferous veggies are so low oxalate that it doesn’t matter how you cook them or if you eat them raw, they are going to still be low oxalate (such as cabbage, kohlrabi and cauliflower.) For others, how you cook them makes a big difference, such as brussel sprouts and kale. I personally only boil some greens like turnip greens and mustard greens. The rest I steam, roast or stir-fry. But my only issue is oxalate content and I can still manage my oxalate content this way.

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Mihnea July 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I believe Julie’s doctor was concerned with the goitrogens in the cruciferous veggies, and less with their oxalate content. As far as I read the goitrogens are minimized when you either steam or boil the veggies, so you could go for steaming if this is the only issue of concern to you.

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Heidi July 21, 2013 at 8:54 am

Thanks, Mihnea! That makes sense to me now.

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Julie July 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

Thank you, Heidi,
My doctor said to cook cruciferous veggies so the goitrogenic issue is eliminated. I prefer to steam foods for higher nutrition, but the chart says boiling sometimes reduces oxalates. My husband and I both had stones this July due to starting a high veggie diet 18 months ago. The diet was for Joe because he had silent strokes. I am now his caretaker. Counting oxaltes by measuring food is not what I want to add to my stressed out life right now so I am looking for a steam-it-and-forget-it plan. We eat twice a day since he’s not working but he’s 6’4″ and needs enough calories. We eat no grains (except for chocolate chip cookies for Joe) on Dr. Wahl’s diet for the brain. If we stick to sauteed onions, steamed kale, collard greens, broccoli, or cabbage, raw carrots, blueberries and apples, and a few sunflower seeds, and one daily brazil nut for selenium do you think we will be ok without measuring? I am adding lemon because the urologist said it fights stones. We upped water.We stopped spinach, swiss chard, and turmeric. Julie

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Jen August 3, 2013 at 12:23 am

HI Heidi,
I am surprised to see collards and dandelion greens as listed as medium as I had read that they are high in oxalate content. Good to know that they can be eaten!

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sueathome September 16, 2013 at 8:36 am

I am so glad to finally figure this out. I was a kale, spinach, and greens nut. Several rounds of stones and I am adjusting my diet. Thanks for the info. Why is there no share on fb button here?

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Beth September 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm

This is an excellent compilation of information. Might I suggest adding it to the list on your Low Oxalate Info page (http://lowoxalateinfo.com/the-low-oxalate-diet/)?

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Heidi September 28, 2013 at 12:37 am

Thanks, Beth. And good idea. . . Done!

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John November 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Hi Heidi, any comments on fresh nettles? They are one of the best replacements for (cooked) spinach and from what I have heard are not deemed as high oxalate. Also I am puzzled how dandelion greens contain even medium oxalate levels and at the same time (just like nettles) are considered preventatives against the formation of kidney stones.

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Heidi November 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Hi, John.
We don’t have an oxalate value for nettle greens, but stinging nettle herbal tea is very low oxalate at less than 1 mg. oxalate per cup (dandelion root and dandelion tea are also low oxalate). I know some people in our Trying Low Oxalates Facebook group drink these two teas as part of their health regime, but I’m not sure why they are specifically considered good for the prevention of kidney stones. Both are diuretics and can replace minerals like potassium that are lost in urine formation, so they are considered good for the support of healthy kidney function and may benefit kidney stone formers in this capacity. Past that, I don’t know.
Hope this helps!

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jasmine December 6, 2013 at 4:14 am

This makes no sense to me. So broccoli is low Raw/Boiled , but is medium oxalate Steamed>? <— This makes no sense. I will continue to steam them.

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Heidi December 7, 2013 at 4:26 am

Hi, Jasmine.
I admit I eat most of my broccoli steamed also because I don’t like the taste of boiled broccoli, but boiling does reduce the oxalate a lot. When considering the different oxalate values for raw versus cooked vegetables, keep two things in mind: 1.) vegetables can only loose oxalate while cooking, not gain it and 2.) cooking reduces the volume of vegetables, sometimes by a lot. Also remember that the oxalate values for cooked vegetables are given for a half cup of the cooked vegetable, not a half cup of raw vegetable that has been cooked down to a smaller volume.

So raw broccoli has about 4.1 mg. oxalate per half cup. When you boil the broccoli it looses a lot of oxalate and it cooks down a lot. So it actually takes about 3/4 cup raw broccoli (about 6.5 mg. oxalate) boiled down make a half cup of boiled broccoli with the cooking water discarded (1.1 mg. oxalate). Steaming broccoli does not reduce the oxalate but does reduce volume. It takes about 3/4 cup raw broccoli (6.5 mg. oxalate) to make 1/2 cup steamed broccoli (about 6.5 mg. oxalate.) So steamed broccoli is considered medium oxalate per half cup serving, while raw and steamed broccoli are low oxalate.

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Bee December 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Are oxalate lower in baby greens, like baby spinach and baby kale?

Where does romaine, parsley, and chard fall?

Also, how does juicing greens affect oxalate level?

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Heidi December 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hi, Bee.
Thanks for your questions.
We know that the time of harvest makes a difference in some vegetables and fruits. For example, red bell peppers have less oxalate than green bell peppers and very ripe bananas have less oxalate than green ones. But we can’t extrapolate this to mean that all immature veggies are fruits have more oxalate and as far as I know, no baby or immature greens have been tested. Romaine is very low oxalate. Parsley is low for a small serving — a couple tablespoons chopped — and Swiss Chard is very high oxalate. As far as I know, juicing doesn’t affect the amount of oxalate if you also eat the pulp. If you throw out the pulp, then it will be lower but we don’t have actual numbers for this.

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brian pease December 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

as someonewho is avoiding oxalates for kidney stone reasons, and trying to maintain a plant-based diet, this is one of the most useful lists i’ve found. thank you!

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Heidi December 21, 2013 at 9:43 am

Thanks, Brian!

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Jeanne December 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Just found your website as I am trying to re-balance my life after having a first kidney stone in 2012 and now more CaOx crystals show up. Do you have any experience with oxalobacter formigenes? Apparently it is a pro-biotic that may protect against future kidney stones.

Jeanne

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Heidi December 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

Hi, Jeanne.
Yes, oxalobacter formigenes is one of the good bacteria that is usually present in healthy human intestines and eats lots of extra oxalate in the gut. Unfortunately, it is very sensitive to antibiotics and is often wiped out completely in adults with a history of antibiotic use. It is also extremely hard to recolonize the bacteria as an adult. Plus, oxalobacter formigenes is not currently available as a probiotic strain. The only way to get it is through fecal transplants. We’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about the possibility of a reliable probiotic strain becoming commercially available in the next few years, but I’m not sure how reliable that intel is. The good news is probiotic VSL #3 has been scientifically proven to reduce oxalates, so many people with oxalate toxicity take this probiotic. It’s expensive but very effective.
Hope this helps.

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Kathleen December 31, 2013 at 9:05 am

I see you have collard greens (raw) on the low list. Everyone else says they are high. Which is true?

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Heidi January 1, 2014 at 6:01 am

Hi, Kathleen.
Collard greens were retested with the newer, more accurate testing methods in 2012, so very few doctor’s lists or internet lists have updated yet. Raw collard greens are low at about 2.65 mg. oxalate per half cup chopped, so go ahead and eat them raw if you enjoy them that way. Most greens do leach out a lot of oxalate when boiled, however, so if you are going for volume and trying to include a lot of greens in your diet you might consider boiling. It takes about 2 cups of raw chopped collard greens (10.8 mg. oxalate) to boil down to 1/2 cup boiled collard greens (about 6.5 mg. oxalate).

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Kathleen December 31, 2013 at 10:29 am

I eat a HUGE salad loaded with raw dino kale and raw collard greens, cabbage, steamed brussel sprouts.

Would you recommend that I boil the dino kale, collard greens, and brussel sprouts in the 6-10 minute plan you talk about here, then put those in my salad along with broccoli rabe, romaine lettuce, and cabbage? I am going for high fiber and calcium here, but do not want oxalates.

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Heidi January 1, 2014 at 6:07 am

Hi, Kathleen. If you are going for sheer volume of greens and want to minimize oxalate, then yes, I would boil collard greens, dino kale and brussel sprouts. Of course, collard greens are low enough raw (see below comment) that you can eat them raw if you like them better in your salad that way. Also, Arugula is another green to consider eating in large quantities raw. Raw arugula has only 0.7 mg. oxalate per half cup chopped. I like making big salads out of romaine, arugula and chopped collard greens. I add turnip greens and dino kale raw if it comes from my garden and I can pick it small (baby greens) when it’s milder and not as tough. I also eat a lot of boiled greens with oil and vinegar with my hot meals – the traditional southern blend of turnip greens, collard greens and mustard greens being my favorite low oxalate blend. I will also add dino kale occasionally.

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Kathleen January 1, 2014 at 5:53 am

Or should I leave the collard greens raw for lower oxalate content? Everywhere else I see collard greens on the extremely high oxalate list. And broccoli is confusing. Some say high, some low. Raw or boiled? Or steamed?

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Kathleen January 1, 2014 at 7:08 am

Thank you, Heidi! I appreciate your response. All good to know.

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Kathleen January 1, 2014 at 7:40 am

I will be anxious to see your post on fermented greens, as I enjoy a sauerkraut line of products that have ingredients such as beets, leeks, carrots, etc. I am wondering, if it is a vegetable mix that is fermented, would that remove the oxalates? I have written to the company, Farmhouse Culture, to find out. They are in Santa Cruz, CA. if you are curious to investigate. They make wonderful vegetable blends of organic sauerkraut. Probiotic.
Keep me posted !!

Thank you again.

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Heidi January 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm

A few fermented products have been tested and as far as we can tell, fermenting does not remove oxalate. The typical bacterial/yeast cultures that we encourage to ferment food must not be the oxalate munching kind or maybe they have so much other good food to eat, they don’t want the oxalate. Even most of our gut bacteria only eats oxalate as a secondary food when the preferred foods are available (which is too bad for us). What is good about fermenting is that eating fermented foods help restore a healthy balance of gut microbes, which improves gut function and helps us keep the oxalate in the gut and not leaking into our blood streams.

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Kathleen January 3, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Aha…so the sauerkraut mixes of beets and leeks would not be good, in terms of oxalate quantity. But kimchee, whose only vegetable ingredient is napa cabbage, would be a good source of fermented food to eat?

Why do I read that fermenting removes oxalates? I guess that is incorrect information. Good to know, since I’ve been eating 4 tablespoons a day of mixes with beets, leeks, etc.

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Heidi January 5, 2014 at 7:23 am

Yeah, I’d stop the beets for sure. But go ahead and eat kimchee and saurkraut.

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Kathleen January 1, 2014 at 8:58 am

Hi again, Heidi.

One more question. Should I steam broccoli rabe or eat it raw? Would the same amount raw as it takes to steam it and bring it down to a half cup be then medium instead of low oxalate? Is it only listed raw as “low” because that is based on 1/2 cup?

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Heidi January 3, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Either way should be okay–whatever you like best! One half cup of raw broccoli rabe is only about 2.7 mg. oxalate per half cup. I’m not sure how much raw broccoli rabe it takes to steam down to 1/2 cup steamed broccoli rabe, but a half cup steamed is just barely considered medium oxalate at 5.3 mg. per half cup.

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Lionel January 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

I would appreciate knowing in what group escarole lettuce falls into! I have heard and read various answers. Thanks

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Heidi January 12, 2014 at 5:28 am

Hi, Lionel. The only mention I’ve found for Escarole is from the Low Oxalate Cookbook 2, which lists it as high. It has not been retested in the last fifteen years like many other whole foods.

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Trish January 17, 2014 at 4:53 am

Wow this is soo helpful Heidi! And thank you for the very plain-spoken words on Spinach. I’ve tried to tell folks but.. Will send them this link next time. You say it so well.

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Heidi January 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

Thanks, Trish. Glad you found it helpful.

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esteri February 25, 2014 at 1:22 am

Hopefully I am not asking something that has already been covered but quickly skimming through I don’t see this:
I have been drying my kale at 170 in the oven for a few hours…would this still be anti thyroid?
ALso do you have be careful with children re prep. of veggies with oxalates or can you relax with them .

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Heidi February 26, 2014 at 8:36 am

Hi, Esteri.
Sorry, but I’m not sure what you mean by anti-thyroid. As far as kids and oxalate go, kids aren’t any different than adults. Some have severe oxalate toxicity issues, some mild, and many no issues at all. I personally don’t feed my boys any of the very high oxalate greens (spinach and swiss chard), although so far neither has shown signs of oxalate toxicity. I personally like to error on the side of caution, plus there are plenty of healthy low and medium oxalate greens to choose from so I don’t feel like they are missing out on anything.
Heidi

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John February 25, 2014 at 2:20 am

Hi I just found your site and this info is terrific, thanks! Regarding broccoli, is it that the newest info says its low oxalate and any site saying its high are incorrect? I have found quite a few, including this one below, stating that broccoli and cauliflower are high…

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/expert-advice/diet-detective/bad-for-you-foods/?page=2

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Heidi February 26, 2014 at 8:47 am

Hi, John.
Thanks.
Both broccoli and cauliflower are low oxalate and can be eaten on the low oxalate diet. In fact, cauliflower is very low oxalate (less than 1 mg. for half a cup raw, latest testing in 2012). Broccoli was also most recently tested again in 2012. Any web site that says they are high oxalate or lead to hyperoxaluria, such as the fitness magazine one you linked to, are just perpetuating old, bad information (Although, they are right that 2 cups of brussel sprouts could cause some people issues; 2 cups of cabbage or cauliflower definitely will not).

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Bill March 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Thanks! What do the asterisks mean? (e.g., after arugula?)

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Heidi March 20, 2014 at 12:23 am

Hi, Bill.
The asterisk means the green is very low oxalate (less than 1 mg. per half cup serving.)

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Jen April 11, 2014 at 9:39 pm

This is super helpful. I’ve been browsing your site for the past few days and am finally making sense of some of this stuff! Thank you.

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Maggey June 4, 2014 at 5:42 am

Thank you so much. So simple to understand and put into use…

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Heidi June 8, 2014 at 7:53 am

You’re welcome, Maggey.

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