Purines are naturally occurring compounds that are present in your cells and in a variety of foods, particularly organ meats. Upon metabolizing, purines break down into uric acid, which in excess can cause gout, kidney stones and kidney failure. Although spices are generally quite low in purines, you may want to avoid a select few that can irritate uric acid levels in the body. If you suffer from high uric acid levels, always consult your physician prior to changing your diet.
Poppy seeds contain the most purines in the spice family -- approximately 170 milligrams per 100 grams. These seeds are primarily used to add flavor or decoration to baked goods, such as breads, bagels, cake and muffins. Both the black and white varieties of poppy seeds should be avoided to limit your purine intake.
Pumpkin spice has a purine content of 44 milligrams per 100 grams and is relatively safe for occasional to moderate use, depending on your total purine intake of other foods. Unlike traditional pumpkin spice that contains a mix of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, dried pumpkin spice comes from drying out pumpkin seeds and grinding them into a fine gradient.
Dried sesame contains about 60 milligrams of purine per 100 grams and is not particularly dangerous for high uric acid level sufferers. This item has a longstanding traditional use in many Middle Eastern dishes and was a common condiment. Although sesame does have anti-inflammatory properties helpful in arthritis, gout is specifically triggered by the purine content. Eating sesame in moderation may not cause any aggravation.
- MedlinePlus: Gout
- “Beating Gout”; Victor Konshin; 2009
- “The Encyclopedia of Nutrition and Good Health”; Robert Ronzio; 2003
- “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods”; Michael Murray, et al.; 2005