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Oxalic Acid in Juicing: Benefits and Side Effects

Updated on July 20, 2014
Image from ABC News
Image from ABC News

Juicing has become a popular trend among those who want to go natural and eat healthy. It is true that juicing provides added benefits. And when paired with an active lifestyle, the diet practice can provide maximum results in terms of weight loss, too.

Fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring sugars and acids. Among them is oxalic acid. In plant bodies, oxalic acid has been studied to prolong the ripening of fruits, as well as enhance the size of fruits and increase their antioxidant content. This is only one of the many applications of oxalic acid in the agriculture industry.

What are the sources of oxalic acid? It can be found in nuts like almonds and cashews, fruits like raspberries and gooseberries, and leafy greens like chard and spinach. Oxalic acid helps the body's cells maintain a healthy ionic balance. Research has also found that oxalic acid prevents fungal infections.

Studies have shown that excessive consumption of oxalic acid can compromise the body's ability to absorb and use nutrients. For instance, oxalic acid in the bloodstream can combine with minerals like calcium and magnesium, thus forming an oxalate salt. As a result, the available Ca or Mg in the bloodstream is not absorbed by cells. In addition to that, if there is too much formed oxalate salts, they accumulate and become kidney stones.

However, consumption of oxalic acid is unavoidable, as it is commonly found in most fruits and vegetables in various amounts. For those who love juicing, it will always be a component in their diet. The key here is to eat in moderation, and always pair a healthy diet with exercise.

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