The chalky and gritty feeling on your teeth also known as ‘Spinach Teeth’ is a harmless side effect that many people experience after eating spinach.The calcium in your saliva combined with the oxalic acid in the spinach creates calcium oxalate crystals that don’t dissolve in water thus giving a chalky feel to your teeth and sticking to them.Actually, oxalic acid can actually help in reducing tooth sensitivity.Calcium oxalate stones can be formed as a result of consuming lots of foods with oxalic acids.Q: Can eating spinach damage my teeth?Q: Is eating spinach harmful to my body? .
The Weirdest Thing About Spinach: Why Your Mouth Feels Like That
Chemically speaking, this acid is able to tightly bond with the calcium in your saliva and when this happens, it forms crystals.I know the feeling and it’s definitely not something you want to deal with, so try to limit your consumption of foods with a high level of this acid.Though I’m stubborn and love healthy foods, so even though I have kidney stone issues, I refuse to cut back.This made me nervous for a while, until I read that you can increase your iron absorption with these foods simply by eating citrus at the same time.Okay though honestly, I don’t know many other people who eat crazy like this…so it’s probably not an issue for you really, but just beware in case you ever up the intake in the future. .
How to Cook Spinach So It Doesn't Leave a Weird Feeling on Your
Not only is spinach packed with nutrients like calcium and potassium, but it’s also been associated with impressive health benefits like lowering your blood pressure and being good for your skin.Plus, spinach can be used in endless ways, from smoothies to salads to a simple, delicious side dish.That problem (aka “spinach teeth”) is common for people who consume the leafy green.According to Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, “Oxalates are various salts of oxalic acid, a waste product of plant metabolism found in a number of foods ...The sodium and potassium salts are soluble, while the calcium salts are insoluble and form crystals that irritate the mouth and digestive system.”.In layman's terms, the undissolvable calcium salts get left behind in your mouth and leave a coating on your teeth.And while that’s good news, it can still be uncomfortable to eat cooked spinach knowing that your mouth will feel kind of funny.A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry conducted an experiment that tested the level of oxalates in vegetables after they were steamed, boiled or baked.I used 6 ounces of water to about three handfuls of spinach, and cooked it over medium heat with a lid on the pan to create some steam.But aside from my acidic blunder, I did find that the crystals on my teeth were allocated to just the backs, and the feeling was nowhere near as intense as usual.However, a study published in Food Chemistry conducted an experiment where calcium compounds were added to raw spinach and resulted in reduced oxalates, so I was curious to see if the same idea could be applied to cooked spinach and insoluble oxalates.The yogurt did nothing and the spinach made my whole mouth feel dry and covered in the crystals.While the crystals didn’t disappear completely, they covered a much smaller surface area in my mouth compared to the other results. .
Spinach Helps Your Saliva Flow!
If you don’t produce enough saliva naturally, there are a variety of ways you can increase your production.When your saliva flow production is increased, it helps naturally wash away loose particles or build up in your mouth.Spinach can help activate your saliva flow and wash away bacteria particles that have built up in your mouth.We can help you determine if you are producing enough saliva for good oral health or if dry mouth is a possible problem. .
An Easy Trick to Make Your Spinach Taste Less Chalky
You just made yourself an amazing looking bowl of baby spinach with goat cheese, cranberries and avocado.Some people find it so annoying, scientists are actually working to create a new breed of spinach with lower levels of oxalic acid. .
Why does eating spinach make my teeth feel weird?
In fact, calcium oxalate crystals are used in some dental treatments claiming to eliminate sensitivity by targeting dentine, which lies below the enamel.Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts. .