Are You Eating Too Much Plant Poison?

In a world filled with toxic substances that have ruined the quality of air, water and food, the last thing someone wants to hear is that there may be "poison" lurking in what would ordinarily be clean, wholesome and nourishing food.

However, these poisons do exist in plant life and serve a definite purpose for the health of the plant. The problem occurs when the human physiology is compromised and does not have the ability to neutralize these poisons, which then causes all kinds of despair.

So what are these poisons, where do they lurk, who should avoid them, and what can be done to mitigate their effects?


Oxalates are a plant poison that is naturally found in the roots, leaves, and stems of some of the most nutritious vegetables. Oxalates are like tiny shards of glass with pointy edges that discourage insects from eating the plant. This is not normally harmful to humans as our intestinal microbiota consume them and they are then removed through our stools.

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Scanning electron micrograph of the surface of a kidney stone showing tetragonal crystals of weddellite (calcium oxalate dihydrate) emerging from the amorphous central part of the stone; the horizontal length of the picture represents 0.5 mm of the figured original. (image: Kempf EK/Wikimedia Commons)

However, due to antibiotic use, chronic stress, and diets high in sugar and fat, the delicate bacteria that is the primary consumer of oxalates is wiped out, thereby leaving the intestinal system incapable of handling them safely and effectively.

Foods High in Oxalates

Foods that are high in oxalates include:

  • Spinach
  • Chocolate
  • Unfermented soy foods
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Nuts and seeds (except flax seeds)
  • Beets
  • Olives
  • Rhubarb
  • Turnips
  • Yams
  • Potatoes
  • Black tea

On the contrary, foods low in oxalates include eggs, cheeses, yogurt, plain milk, buffalo, hamburger, turkey, wild game and fish (except tuna).

Who Should Avoid Oxalates?

Anyone who has a systemic Candida infection should consume a very low oxalate diet, and people with a leaky gut condition will need to avoid them entirely. People with kidney stones, fibromyalgia, COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, Hashimoto's disease, hypothyroidism, vulvodynia or genital pain should also be on a low-oxalate diet.

People with inflammatory conditions, autoimmune issues, and mineral deficiencies often find relief from limiting oxalates in their diet.

What Can Be Done to Overcome Oxalate Sensitivity?

First of all, one should avoid high oxalate foods until their Candida infection is under control, leaky gut has been healed, and a healthy inner ecosystem has been established. Certain bacteria like Bifidus lactis, Bifidus infantis, and Lactobacillus plantarum have the ability to consume oxalates, so including them in your diet is essential.

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A photomicrograph of a biopsy showing calcium oxalate crystals (arrow). Many metal ions form insoluble precipitates with oxalate, a prominent example being calcium oxalate, the primary constituent of the most common kind of kidney stones. (image: National Institutes of Health)

The primary eater of oxalates is Oxalobacter formigenes, which is easily destroyed by antibiotics and rarely recolonizes. This makes avoidance of hospital prescribed antibiotics even more important, unless absolutely necessary.

Avoiding oxalates in seeds like quinoa, millet, amaranth and buckwheat is relatively easy — simply soak them first, then boil them. Oxalates can also be lowered in spinach by boiling it as well.

Above all else, a sugar free, gluten free, and probiotic-rich diet is essential in order to create an internal environment that rids the body of Candida and leaky gut, which are the primary conditions that cause oxalate sensitivity.

To find out if you have Candida check out this simple at home test. To avoid hospital antibiotics (so as to not wipe out the best oxalate-consuming bacteria), make this homemade antibiotic tonic.


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