Exotic vegetables: caution sweet potatoes contain dangerous oxalic acid

Trendy vegetables with a lot of oxalic acid: boil sweet potatoes better before eating

The sweet potato is full of healthy ingredients and is therefore often praised as a real “power food”. However, depending on the variety, the trend vegetable contains a lot of oxalic acid, which can be dangerous for certain groups of people. However, the oxalic acid content can be significantly reduced if you boil the sweet potatoes.

Vegetables are full of healthy ingredients

Sweet potatoes, which are also known as batatas, can no longer be found only in the vegetable counters of organic food stores, but increasingly also in well-stocked supermarkets. The trend vegetable contains numerous healthy ingredients and is therefore often touted as a real “power food”. But: "Sweet potatoes contain a lot of oxalic acid depending on the variety," writes the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) on its website. Food with a high oxalic acid content should, however, only be consumed in moderation by certain groups of people. The experts explain what consumers can do.

Rich in vitamins and minerals

Like the conventional table potato, the batate contains important minerals such as potassium, zinc, calcium and many vitamins.

According to experts, the levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A are higher in sweet potatoes. Potatoes, on the other hand, provide more folic acid and phosphorus.

The batate also contains many healthy phytochemicals. The sweet potato owes its pink-red to yellow-orange or violet coloring to antioxidants such as carotenoids and anthocyanins, which also have anti-inflammatory effects.

Due to its high fiber content, the batate is also a good satiety. A substance contained in the sweet potato has a very special health-promoting effect: Caiapo.

This substance, which is mainly contained in the skin of the batate, is said to counter diseases such as anemia, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Only consume foods rich in oxalic acid in moderation

However, depending on the variety, sweet potatoes also contain a lot of oxalic acid. This worsens "the bioavailability of minerals such as calcium and magnesium," explains the BZfE. This means that such substances can no longer be absorbed by the body as well.

Foods rich in oxalic acid such as rhubarb, spinach and sweet potatoes should therefore only be eaten in moderation.

According to the experts, with regard to calcium, this applies particularly to vegans and people with lactose intolerance who do not consume milk and milk products.

Boil sweet potatoes and pour away the cooking water

The BZfE also explains what consumers can do: "However, the oxalic acid content can be significantly reduced if you boil the sweet potatoes and do not use the cooking water."

If you suffer from kidney disease or have problems with kidney stones, you should better avoid sweet potatoes and other foods rich in oxalic acid, as the acid can lead to stone formation in the kidneys. (ad)

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