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All About Oxalate in Asparagus


fresh asparagus on cutting board

Asparagus is known for its unique taste and health benefits. It is packed with vitamins and minerals like A, C, E, K, B6, fibre, folate, and iron. This vegetable can improve any diet.


People with health issues like kidney stones need to watch their oxalate intake. It's important to know how much oxalate is in asparagus. This post looks at the oxalate levels in asparagus and how they affect a healthy diet.


Oxalate Content in Asparagus


Asparagus has a low amount of oxalates. It can be part of a healthy diet low-oxalate diet. However, people sensitive to oxalates or at risk of kidney stones should eat them in moderation. Sensitive people should watch how much oxalates they have each day.


Understanding Oxalate Absorption


Oxalate absorption is how your body takes in oxalates from the food you eat. Conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease, can cause your body to absorb more oxalates. This leads to higher oxalate levels. It's useful to keep track of your oxalate intake. Using a reliable oxalate food list can guide you on which foods are high or low in oxalates.


Oxalate in Asparagus and Similar Vegetables Comparison Table


Please do your research and speak to a medical professional before making dietary changes. I have listed the sources I use in the Resource Library. I am not a medical practitioner, just someone trying to raise awareness.


Oxalate in asparagus with other common vegetables:

Type of Vegetable

Oxalate Content (mg per 100g)

Source

Asparagus, boiled or steamed

Low 6 mg

OHF

Broccoli, boiled or steamed

Low 7 mg

OHF

Spinach, fresh or frozen, boiled or steamed

Very High 567 mg

OHF

Carrots, boiled, steamed or canned

Low 12 mg

OHF

Health Benefits of Asparagus


The benefits of asparagus extend well beyond its oxalate content:


  • Asparagus is low in calories but high in essential vitamins and minerals. It is nutrient-dense.

  • It has antioxidants like glutathione that fight free radicals.

  • Asparagus is high in fibre. This helps support digestive health and keeps you regular.

  • The vegetable is good for your heart because it has a lot of folate.


Incorporating Asparagus into Your Diet


Asparagus contains a low amount of oxalates. But oxalate stack and it can be easy to go over your limit if you don't track. Oxalate can contribute to kidney stones if consumed in excess. Kidney stones are painful lumps that can form in the kidneys. The most common type is calcium oxalate stones. Eating foods high in oxalates can lead to these stones when they mix with calcium in your urine.


For those managing oxalate intake:


  • Asparagus is fine to eat due to its low oxalate content. Pair asparagus with low to moderate oxalate foods for a balanced diet.

  • Pair asparagus with plant-based calcium-rich foods.

  • Cooking asparagus can lower its oxalate content. Boiling can remove oxalates, reducing the amount consumed.


Is Canned Asparagus Lower in Oxalate?


Chef holding fresh asparagus

Canned asparagus might have fewer oxalates than fresh asparagus. The amount depends on how it's canned. When asparagus is canned, it's usually boiled or blanched and packed in water or brine.


This can make oxalates come out of the asparagus and into the liquid around it. This is like how boiling fresh asparagus lowers oxalates. So, the asparagus itself may have fewer oxalates.


The amount of oxalates in canned asparagus can change. It depends on how long and how hot it's canned. It also depends on how the asparagus is prepared before canning. Even though oxalates might decrease, some nutrients could be lost during canning.


If you watch how much oxalate you eat, canned asparagus might be better than raw or undercooked kinds. Before eating canned asparagus, drain and rinse it. This removes extra sodium or oxalates from the can's liquid.


Balanced Diet and Health Issues


Maintaining a balanced diet is important for everyone. But it is especially important if you have health issues like kidney stones. A balanced diet means eating a mix of foods with different oxalate levels.


Pairing low-oxalate foods, such as asparagus, with moderate oxalate foods, helps keep your diet varied. Plant-based calcium sources like fortified almond milk or tofu can help reduce the risk of stone formation by binding to oxalates in your body.


Managing Dietary Oxalate


To manage your dietary oxalate intake, it's important to know which foods are high in oxalates and which are not. Vegetables like Swiss chard are high in oxalates, while asparagus has a low amount.


Cooking methods, such as boiling, can lower the oxalate content in foods, making them safer to eat. Consulting with a doctor or dietitian about your oxalate intake can help you maintain good kidney health.


Excretion and Human Health


Your body removes oxalates through urine. Too much oxalate can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate stones. Keeping your body healthy involves balancing your oxalate intake and staying well-hydrated.


Proper kidney function is vital for managing oxalate levels. As you get older or if you have a history of kidney stones, your body might not handle oxalates as efficiently. Monitoring your oxalate intake can help reduce health risks and prevent kidney stones.


Conclusion


Asparagus is rich in nutrients. It can be included in a diet for people worried about oxalate intake. Just eat it in moderation and be mindful. Everyone has different dietary needs. It's best to talk to a dietitian or healthcare provider to adjust your diet to your health needs.


Looking for a cookbook? Buy on Amazon.


For more on oxalate in greens, read Arugula Oxalates Rocket. Thank you for reading.


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