Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? ~Freddie Mercury

So there you are, minding your business, finally getting into a good long-term habit of eating healthy. You've managed to make kale palatable, have learned to appreciate the versatility and flavor of sweet potatoes, and can reliably turn to almonds as a snack in-between meals. You don't feel like you're suffering because of your healthy lifestyle...

...until you find yourself suffering because of your healthy lifestyle. You're fatigued and achy; and in this post-COVID world, that starts sounding alarms. You take a test...and it comes back negative. A couple days later - when the fatigue and achiness still hasn't subsided - you take another COVID test...and it still comes back negative. Negative test results aren't a bad thing, but now you know that you don't know what's causing your body's distress.

Blame it all on my roots... Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash)
Blame it all on my roots... (Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash)
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What the aych-ee-double-hockey-sticks happened?!

Turns out, the healthy food could likely be the cause (Choad's articles are NOT a substitute for a medical professional's opinion, despite this being The Internet. Consult your doctor if you're experiencing these symptoms).

According to a study published in For Women First, there's a thing called, "Oxalates", that are naturally-occurring anions found in some foods.

Nerd-talk aside, Oxalates can cause kidney stones and gout. Hooray!

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Where are Oxalates found?

Spinach, rhubarb, star fruit, black pepper (NOT THE BLACK PEPPER!!!), chocolate, nuts, berries, beans...to name a few.

How are they hurting me?

When oxalates build up, they can harm cell membranes and block the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Oxalates = Jerkfaces.

What's my risk?

Again: consult a licensed physician, but unless you eat copious amounts of oxalate-rich foods, you're not likely to experience much more than discomfort.

How do I avoid Oxalate Overload?

Drink enough water, and make sure your diet has enough calcium. Oxalates bind to calcium, making them easier to flush out by way of Number 2 (pooping), which is far less painful than flushing them out by way of Number 1 (helloooo, kidney stones).

Photo by Nik on Unsplash
Ope. (Photo by Nik on Unsplash)
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