Oxalates are a compound within plants, which are the plants natural defense mechanism and these help to protect plants from predators such as animals, insects, fungi. The challenge with these oxalates is that they bind to calcium in the blood and then they form these tiny, sharp oxalic acid crystals. These crystals can form within the kidneys and form kidney stones. Sometimes these crystals can move in the joint spaces and cause inflammation in the joints, called arthritis.
Foods that are high in oxalates are spinach, rhubarb, potatoes, beets, almonds, cashews.
If you are prone to kidney stones or arthritis, you may want to try to decrease or eliminate high-oxalate foods from the diet.