Gout, formerly known as the disease of kings, has become a common illness among many people. Gout is the accumulation of uric acid that crystallizes in joints, particularly the foot, and can be very painful. Along with the pain is redness, warmth, swelling, and stiffness. The buildup of uric acid crystals can be due to a diet rich in foods with purine, like seafood and organ meats. It could also be due to the kidneys not being able to properly filter out the uric acid.
Below is a short list of foods that can help manage gout:
1. Low-purine foods
Just as there are foods that can encourage gout, there are also foods to eat that can lessen it. One way to ease gouty arthritis is to eat low-purine foods, which includes fruits and vegetables. One fruit that is helpful would be tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice contains anti-inflammatory agents called anthocyanins, which can aid in reducing the triggers that cause gouty arthritis and abate uric acid in the body. Other foods that are low in purine include bread, legumes, pasta, plant based oils, real sugar in moderation, peanuts, and dairy. These foods can also curtail the accumulation of purines in the blood and help to lower the inflammation from gout.
2. Hydration is key
Another way to cut back on inflammation is by drinking water. Consuming water can help dilute uric acid in the blood and help the kidneys to flush it out. If a person with gout begins to have a flare up it would do them well to increase their water intake to help flush out the acid and diminish the length of time of the gouty attack. Dehydration can add to purines in the blood as well, so drinking water is necessary for hydration and the reduction of inflammation.
3. Moderate alcohol consumption
A third recommendation for gout diet is the reduction of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages can have a high amount of purine, with beer being the highest. Alcohol can increase uric acid in the blood when the compounds of the alcohol is broken down by the body. This in turn increases the amount of purine in the blood, which further breaks down to uric acid. Alcohol can also decrease the rate at which uric acid is excreted from the body. Drinking in moderation is advised for a person with gout and for those who could potentially be at risk for gout. It can also aid in reducing future flare ups.
4. Drink coffee
Our final tip for a gout diet is to drink coffee. Coffee has been linked to the reduction of uric acid in the blood. Scientific research has shown that coffee has the ability to compete with the enzymes that break down purines in the body, thereby lowering the amount of it in the blood. Coffee is also a diuretic, so it will increase uric acid excretion and reduce purines in the body.