Is Spirulina High In Oxalates?

  Reviewed
 by Dr. Steve Hruby
Reviewed by Dr. Steve Hruby

I am a chiropractor, father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Feeling good about yourself is a choice: My mission is to transform lives through optimized health and overall well-being.

  Fact Checked
 by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT
Reviewed by Rhealyn Tropia, RMT

I’ve been called a Data Ninja, The Fact Checker, and a Human Search Engine. I’m an indie content curator who does research daily, and quizzes myself on the important issues of the day.

From the appendix to the kidney, nothing that causes stones comes with admirable consequences. That’s why it’s essential to know whether the foods you eat are high in oxalates.

Spirulina boasts of covetable protein, vitamin, and mineral reserves. It is also a source of phycocyanin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

But is spirulina high in oxalates?

While spirulina is generally safe, some assume it is high in oxalates, like many green superfoods. However, spirulina has no oxalates.

So, if you’re looking for nutritious foods with minimal kidney-stone risk, spirulina is a good option.

What Is Oxalate?

Oxalates are naturally-occurring compounds found in many foods. The body can also produce them. Oxalates bind to minerals in the body, like calcium and iron, forming insoluble compounds. These then get excreted in the urine.

The body needs a small amount of oxalate to function correctly, but too much can be harmful. 

Why Are Oxalates Bad for You

High levels of oxalates in the urine can lead to kidney stones. The most common type of kidney stone comes from calcium oxalate.

Kidney stones are a buildup of minerals and salts inside the kidney. In severe cases, these stones can lead to kidney damage. People with kidney stones or other health conditions may need to limit their intake of oxalate-rich foods. 

Additionally, oxalates can contribute to certain cancers, like breast cancer.

Foods High in Oxalate – What To Avoid

Did you know we ate over 30 million tonnes of spinach in 2020? While rich in many beneficial elements, spinach is one of the most oxalate-rich vegetables. Half a cup of prepared spinach gives 755mg of oxalates.

Spinach in a bowl

Here’s a list of some of the top foods with high oxalate levels.

  • Beets: 152 mg per cup
  • Spinach: 1510 mg per cup
  • Swiss Chard: 1000-1800 mg per cup
  • Rhubarb: 570–1,900 mg per 100 grams
  • Dates: 24 mg per date
  • Soy Products: 336 mg per milk/yogurt serving, 78 mg per tofu ounce
  • Chocolate and cocoa products: 155-485 mg per 100 g
  • Potatoes: 97 mg per serving
  • Navy beans: 152 mg per cup
  • Almonds: 430 mg per 100g
  • Raspberries: 48 mg per cup

Green Vegetables With Low Oxalate

Typically, green leafy vegetables are high in oxalates. However, some options are lower in oxalate content, including

  • Boc Choy: 1.0 mg per cup
  • Kale: 2.0 mg per cup
  • Collard Greens: 10 mg per cup
  • Broccoli: 2.0 mg per cup
  • Mustard greens: 4.0 mg per cup
  • Watercress: 2.5 mg per 100g
  • Romaine lettuce: 21 mg per 100g
  • Brussels sprouts: 17 mg per cup

Who Needs Greens Low In Oxalate?

Greens low in oxalates are essential for people who need to limit their intake of oxalates. Oxalates are found in many foods, with some of the highest concentrations in spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard.

Low-oxalate diets are necessary for those predisposed to kidney stones. Those who sweat excessively or live in warm, dry environments are examples.

For people who need to limit their oxalate intake, choose greens that are low in oxalate. Some good options include lettuce, cabbage, and kale.

Greens Supplements: Do They Contain Low Oxalate Greens?

Most greens supplements do not contain low oxalate greens. However, there are a few greens supplements that do have low-oxalate greens. One example is spirulina. Spirulina is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals without oxalates. 

green powder

If you are looking for a greens supplement containing low oxalate greens, check the label to ensure it does.

Is Seaweed High in Oxalates?

Seaweed is low in oxalates. It is one of the best sources of iodine, an essential mineral for thyroid health. The biogenesis of thyroid hormones requires the trace mineral iodine. Thyroid hormones play a pivotal role in metabolism, development, and growth.

Is Spirulina Safe for People With Kidney Disease?

Calcium is one of the minerals with a lower absorbability in oxalate presence. So, does spirulina have calcium? Spirulina offer rich calcium supplies of 120mg per 100g

Thanks to its oxalate-free composition, spirulina is an excellent superfood for most people. It also lacks the fiber that may form oxalates in the lower gut, especially in the colon. Spirulina heavy metal detox also helps lower toxins to improve kidney operations. 

Whereas regular users can take 200-300mg daily, those with kidney issues need under 100mg. These levels align with those in Spirulina, making it a superb way to tap nutrients. However, this supplement may not be the best option for those with hyperoxaluria

With hyperoxaluria coming up, you may wonder: Does spirulina have vitamin D? Yes, and while this mineral may increase hyperoxaluria likelihood, it promotes iron and calcium absorption.

Now, is spirulina high in iron? Besides oxalate absence, spirulina trie to maintain proper iron levels by direct addition. With up to 28.5 mg per 100g, iron is one of spirulina’s most abundant minerals. 

According to some research, spirulina may raise the levels of uric acid. The alga contains nucleic acid, which, when taken in large amounts, 50g+ daily, may escalate uric acid levels. This acid may then cause kidney stones.

Many users only take 1-3g, with those on a high dose going for 10g. Since you need to take over 50g of spirulina daily, there is a low likelihood of kidney stones.

Can Spirulina Cause Kidney Stones?

Spirulina can cause kidney stones when taken at 50g daily or more. The alga contains nucleic acid that converts to uric acid capable of kidney-stone induction at high levels. 

woman in back pain

What Greens are High in Oxalates?

Leafy greens are high in oxalates. For instance, ½ a cup (64g) of spinach contains 755 milligrams of oxalates. Legumes, beets, almonds, soy products, and raspberries also contain high levels.

How Do You Flush Oxalates Out of Your Body?

You flush oxalates out of your body by drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding high-oxalate foods. Drinking plenty of fluids keeps urine diluted. Hence, it allows easier flushing out of oxalates. Avoiding high-oxalate foods helps prevent oxalates from building up in the first place.

Which Greens Have the Least Oxalates?

Boy Choy and kale greens have the least oxalates. Other great low-oxalate greens include:

  • Collard greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Watercress
  • Brussels sprouts

Conclusion

Spirulina is generally safe for most people. However, it is not suitable for everyone, and there are some potential side effects.

Spirulina may cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you experience any symptoms after taking spirulina, like a rash, itching, or swelling, stop and seek medical advice.

Spirulina may also interact with certain medications, like blood thinners and immunosuppressants. If you are taking any medication, speak to your doctor before taking spirulina.

We hope you now know the best foods and supplements that won’t stuff you with oxalates. Get quality superfoods from our store and start detoxifying with chlorella and spirulina for boosted health.

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