How much spinach juice is tooo much?
October 24, 2011 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Lately I have been juicing. My favorite thing to juice is spinach but recently I have been gathering that too much spinach is not a good thing. Something about goitrogens and oxalic acids. I would like to know how much is too much. Hive?
posted by citybuddha to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How much juiced spinach are we talking about here? Like, a glass a day? I'm not a doctor and have no medical training, but a glass a day is totally reasonable.

If you're more on a scale of multiple glasses a day, three or more, I think you may have a problem. And not a problem with your goitrogens or acids, but some sort of other problem (anemia? I don't know) that would cause you to crave (or even find palatable) more than a glass of spinach juice. I like spinach, I like vegetables, I like juice, and I like juices made from vegetables, but honestly it's making my stomach turn thinking about drinking any more than a glass of that stuff a day. It's just...too much green.

Do you have health insurance? I think you should go to the doctor and get a blood panel run. It's good practice anyway, just to keep an eye on things. You'll be able to figure out how your thyroid's doing, be able to figure out if you have any other issues going on, and you'll be able to ask a real doctor with real medical training about the side-effects of your spinach juice habit.
posted by phunniemee at 9:15 AM on October 24, 2011

Foods with oxalic acids should not be eaten (or drunk) in excess. IANAD, but I did suffer through an agonizing kidney stone. Most kidney stones are calcium oxalate crystals. They form for a variety of reasons, one of them being having more oxalate in your system than you can process or flush out. Kidney stones seriously suck. If it were me, I would not tempt fate by guzzling loads of spinach juice.
posted by bluejayway at 9:21 AM on October 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

And not a problem with your goitrogens or acids, but some sort of other problem (anemia? I don't know) that would cause you to crave (or even find palatable) more than a glass of spinach juice.

Most published studies do not show a link between food cravings and nutrient deficiencies.
posted by OmieWise at 10:11 AM on October 24, 2011

I was always proud of my level of greens consumption (turnip, collard, mustard, spinach) until my cardiologist warned me off about the level of naturally occuring sodium, so watch that too.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:12 AM on October 24, 2011

On this site there is a short list of foods high in certain nutrients and a couple of paragraphs on what excesses of these nutrients can do. It looks like too much spinach could potentially cause some problems, as it is high in vitamin A, vitamin E, and zinc.
posted by bolognius maximus at 10:46 AM on October 24, 2011

The nutrients in the spinach may interfere with absorption of other nutrients and minerals. I can't for the life of me remember what the term for this is, but basically the chemicals in the spinach combine with things you actually want to absorb, like calcium, and the new molecule just passes out of the body.
posted by sarae at 1:35 PM on October 24, 2011

According to Whole Foods, anyway, there isn't a specific threshold. According to them, health conditions that require strict control of oxalate intake are quite rare, and kidney stones may be more caused by protein, calcium and water intake than mere oxalate intake anyhow.

There's a great bibliography in that article. Why don't you look at the data for yourself and decide based on that what you're comfortable with, knowing about your own family history re: kidney stones and so on? is a wonderful thing.
posted by Andrhia at 3:23 PM on October 24, 2011

> remember what the term for this is

It's called chelation, and oxalic acid is a chelator. For calcium, among other metals.

posted by Quietgal at 7:02 PM on October 24, 2011

Take this with as many grains of salt as you deem necessary, especially since I can't even point to where I read it, much less any scientific support for what it says. Plus, where I read it was one of the numerous raw food/green smoothie/juicing blogs, and although I avoid the ones that get wacky and woo-woo about "raising your vibrational frequency", even the more rational ones aren't generally linking to PubMed as support for what they say, so who knows where they got what they say. Suitably disclaimed? Okay.

The difference between greens and fruit, according to whoever-it-was, is that although it's to a plant's benefit (in general) to have its fruit eaten by animals which will tend to spread its seeds, it's not to the plant's benefit to have its greenery eaten. Because of this, most greens have various chemical substances (alkaloids and what have you) that are not beneficial if consumed in too-large quantities. Eating too much of one green, or eating it too regularly, means getting too much in the way of these chemicals, and so it's recommended to eat a variety of greens and change them up regularly (googling "rotate greens" will come up with a number of blog posts about this).
posted by Lexica at 8:10 PM on October 24, 2011

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