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Arugula Oxalates Rocket, One of the Best Low Oxalate Greens


Arugula Oxalates Rocket Salad

Does Arugula Have Oxalates?


Yes, arugula has oxalates. But, it is a low oxalate green. It is one of the best low oxalate greens. 


Arugula and rocket are the same green. Here in Australia, we tend to say rocket, but use them interchangeably.


How Much Oxalate Does Arugula Have?


Is arugula high in oxalates? The OHF classifies arugula as a low oxalate food. Arugula raw per 100 grams has 7 mg of oxalate.


If you're watching your oxalate intake and want to eat greens arugula does not have high amounts per cup serving. Greens are great for you, but not all make the low oxalate list. Be sure to check the oxalate amount if you've been prescribed a kidney stone diet.


Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds in many plant-based foods, including leafy greens. Oxalates can form crystals in the body. In some individuals, consumption of oxalate-rich foods can cause kidney stones.


It should be noted that the risk of kidney stone formation is influenced by various factors. These factors include individual health conditions and diet. If you have concerns about oxalates, consult with a healthcare professional. For more information read Are Oxalate Foods Bad for You?


How Does Arugula Oxalate Content Compare to Other Leafy Greens?

Oxalate content may vary depending on growing conditions, plant variety, and preparation methods. The preparation method will change the oxalate content. Cooking, steaming, or boiling certain leafy greens can help reduce their oxalate levels. Raw greens have higher oxalate content.


Here are the OHF's thresholds when it comes to vegetables:


  • Very High Oxalate Foods: 300 mg or higher per serving

  • High Oxalate Foods: 100 – 299 mg per serving

  • Moderate Oxalate Foods: 25 – 99 mg per serving

  • Low Oxalate Foods: Less than 25 mg per serving


Below is a rough idea of the oxalate ranking of leafy greens. The list is ranked from most to least oxalate content from the sample list. There is variation in the sources, so please make sure to read multiple oxalate sources. The list is an approximate range of oxalate content in various leafy greens per 100 grams raw:


  • Arugula (Rocket lettuce): Approximately 7 mg


Green Quick Reference Table


Here is a table with the sources of the information listed. Sources vary greatly but I have found the Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation to be informative. Other sources are Clinical Nutrition Research and The Kidney Dietitian.


I am not a medical practitioner, just someone trying to raise awareness. Please do your research and speak to a healthcare professional before making dietary changes. I have listed these resources in the Library section of the website. The different sources have different domain authority (something else to consider).

 

Leafy Green

Oxalate Content (mg per 100 grams)

Source

Arugula (Rocket)

7

OHF

Beet greens

610

CNR

Collard, raw, chopped

17

OHF

Collards, chopped, boiled or steamed

22

OHF

Dandelion greens, red rib, raw or boiled

22

OHF

Iceberg lettuce

0 (1 cup)

TKD

Kale, Variety, Raw

10

OHF

Kale, Variety, boiled, simmered or steamed

5

OHF

Lettuce, variety, shredded or chopped, raw

5

OHF

Mustard Greens, boiled or steamed

7

OHF

Parsley, raw

1,700

CNR

Purslane

621

OHF

Romaine lettuce

0 (1 cup)

TKD

Spinach, fresh or frozen, boiled or steamed

567

OHF

Swiss Chard, Green, raw

657

OHF

Swiss Chard, Green, raw       

657

OHF

Swiss Chard, Red or green, boiled and steamed

679

OHF

Turnip Greens, steamed         

8

OHF

Watercress, raw

8

OHF

 Oxalates and Kidney Stones Should We Be Concerned?


For more information on oxalate, watch this video by Nutritionfacts.org 

Does Arugula Cause Kidney Stones?


It could be because it contains oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stone formation in some people. However, it is low in oxalate. If you are prone to kidney stones or have a history of them, it's advisable to moderate your consumption of high-oxalate foods like arugula and consult with a healthcare professional or dietitian for personalised guidance.



How Much Oxalate Does Spinach Have?


spinach oxalate

To give us some perspective on the issue let's look at number two on the list, spinach. Raw spinach has approximately 600-700 milligrams (mg) of oxalates per 100 grams.

When you look at this data side-by-side, it brings home the difference in oxalate content. So, in fact, arugula could be a substitute for spinach.

How to Reduce Oxalate Content


Oxalate content can be reduced through cooking methods such as boiling or steaming. The exact reduction amount may vary depending on the cooking time and method. Cooking can reduce oxalates in vegetables. The amount depends on the specific food item and cooking process.


Other tips to reduce the absorption of oxalates:


  1. Eat calcium-rich foods with meals to help bind oxalates and prevent their absorption.

  2. Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out oxalates.

  3. Limit high in oxalate foods in your daily diet, like spinach and nuts.

  4. Cook-oxalate foods to reduce their oxalate content. Remember to rise or drain.

  5. Consider taking probiotics that may help break down oxalates in the gut.

Can You Cook Arugula?

Yes, you can cook arugula. Here is how to cook arugula:


cooking arugula can reduce oxalate
  • Sautéing: Cook arugula in a pan with oil or butter until wilted.

  • Stir-frying: Quickly cook arugula in a hot pan or wok with oil and seasonings.

  • Blanching: Briefly boil arugula, then cool it in an ice bath.

  • Steaming: Place arugula in a steamer basket over boiling water until wilted.

  • Grilling: Grill arugula lightly until it wilts and develops grill marks.


Will Cooking Reduce Oxalates in Arugula?


Cooking methods such as blanching, steaming, and boiling reduce oxalate levels in arugula. When arugula is cooked in water, some oxalates leach into the cooking liquid. Make sure you discard the cooking liquid afterwards to reduce the oxalate. Cooking in these ways will not remove all oxalates. Some oxalates will remain, although in reduced amounts.


Potential Health Benefits of Arugula


Infographic on health benefits of arugula

While you may be worried about oxalate in arugula, eating it has many positive health benefits.


Low in Calories: Arugula is low in calorie density. It is an excellent choice for those looking to manage their weight while still enjoying nutrient-rich food.


Rich in Nutrients: Arugula is a good source of

several essential nutrients. It is a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Arugula is even a source of calcium. These nutrients are essential for bone health, immune function, and well-being.


Antioxidant Properties: Arugula contains various antioxidants. These antioxidants include vitamin C, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support healthy aging.


High in Fibre: Arugula is a source of dietary fibre, which can aid in digestion, promote feelings of fullness, and help regulate blood sugar levels.


Heart Health: Arugula's fibre, antioxidants, and potassium can contribute to heart health. It helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease).


Eye Health: Arugula is rich in vitamin A and lutein. Both are beneficial for maintaining healthy vision. They may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.


Anti-Inflammatory: The compounds in arugula may have anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the risk of chronic inflammatory conditions.


Bone Health: Arugula is a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. Vitamin K helps in calcium absorption and mineralization.


Weight Management: Arugula's low-calorie and high-fibre content can help manage weight. It does this by promoting satiety and reducing calorie intake.



What are the Lowest Oxalate Leafy Green Vegetables?


If you want even lower oxalate options of leafy vegetables, choose lettuce, such as iceberg and romaine.

left to right kale oxalate, romaine cos oxalate

  • Iceberg Lettuce

  • Romaine (cos) lettuce


For dark leafy greens, consider the following:



swiss chard oxalate silver beat

Summary


While oxalate in foods is nothing new. Oxalate in foods cannot be avoided but, there are strategies to reduce the amounts of oxalate in your diet. Arugula contains oxalates. Its oxalate content is moderate compared to other leafy greens.


Consumption of oxalate-rich foods can cause of kidney stones in some individuals. If you have concerns you should investigate with your health specialist. They know your individual factors, such as health conditions and diet.


Arugula can be a suitable substitute for high-oxalate leafy greens like spinach. But, there are better substitution options that are much lower in oxalate content. Cooking methods like boiling or steaming can help reduce the oxalate content in arugula, as it does with other vegetables.


If you are stumped for recipes use my affiliate link to browse cookbooks on Amazon.



For more on arugula/rocket and a simple recipe read my post Arugula in Australia Rocketing

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