Gout is caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints which can cause serious pain and discomfort. Diet can play a huge part in relieving gout as many foods are broken down into uric acid. There are plenty of foods that can aggravate gout as well as plenty that can help to alleviate it. Below you will find seven of our favorite tips for foods to add, and foods to avoid, in order to use your diet to your advantage when it comes to dealing with gout.
#7 Hydrate With H2O
Drinking plenty of water will help your body flush out toxins and research has shown that drinking water can reduce the recurrence of gout attacks. It is recommended to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day, although this can vary from person to person so it’s best to check with a health professional. If you are not a big water drinker, try carrying a water bottle with you to help remind you of the need to take frequent sips and you will have no trouble increasing your intake.
Bottom line – Help rid your body of toxins and uric acid by drinking plenty of water each day.
#6 Reduce Alcohol Intake
Alcohol consumption, especially beer, has long been believed to have an impact on gout. Whilst the exact cause is still unclear, there are a few reasons that suggest the need to limit your alcohol intake. Firstly, alcohol is high in purines which could be an indirect cause of gout. Secondly, alcohol is linked to obesity, another contributing factor in gout flare-ups. However, there is no evidence to suggest that drinking wine in moderation has any negative impact. Despite this, it is advisable to monitor your daily alcohol intake and ensure that you have at least two alcohol-free days each week.
Bottom line – whilst there isn’t a huge amount of evidence to directly link alcohol with gout, it is strongly advised to closely monitor your intake in order to reduce that chance of a gout flare up.
#5 Load Up on Fruit and Veggies
Fruit and vegetables contain loads of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C. It has been suggested that Vitamin C can reduce the build up of uric acid, thereby reducing the chance of a gout attack. Try bulking out your meals with vegetables, especially dishes such as casseroles and stews, in order to increase you daily intake as well as lowering the amount of meat in your daily diet.
Bottom line – Eat a large variety of fruit and vegetables each day to get all the vitamins and minerals you need to minimize gout attacks.
#4 Cold Water Fish
A diet rich in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel can help reduce bouts of gout due to their high amount of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids can help alleviate inflammation, therefore helping to relieve pain caused by gout. Replacing the meat in your diet with these types of fish is a good way to ensure and increase your intake, as well as lowering meat which can have a harming effect on your gout.
Bottom line – Add essential fatty acids to your diet by eating a variety of cold water fish, or try adding nuts and seeds to your salads as well.
Lemons are full of both potassium and Vitamin C that not only help to relieve pain caused by gout, but also aid in the function of the kidneys. Potassium helps keep the blood and urine at a slightly alkaline level, therefore minimizing gout. You don’t have to suck on a sour lemon to reap the benefits, simply squeeze half a lemon into a large glass of water and drink up first thing in the morning. This will help with gout pain as well as having the added benefit of flushing out waste and toxins from your body.
Bottom line – That little squeeze of lemon, full of Vitamin C and potassium, will go a long way to relieving your pain caused by gout.
#2 Tart Cherry Juice
Cherry juice is high in anthocyanins that offer anti-inflammatory properties that can provide great relief from pain and swelling during a bout of gout. Simply mix tart cherry juice with an equal amount of water, or use a cherry concentrate instead, and gulp it down. As your gout eases, you can reduce the amount of tart cherry juice. Alternatively, eat fresh or canned cherries on their own to reap the same benefits.
Bottom line – The anthocyanins in cherries and cherry juice are incredibly useful in reducing the swelling and pain from a gout attack.
#1 Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar offers a huge amount of health benefits, including preventing the build up of uric acid in joints. It does this by providing a slightly alkaline environment in the body. It can easily be added to your diet by using it as a salad dressing or by mixing it into a drink. Add 2-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it down. For a winter variation, use hot water and add a dash of lemon and cinnamon to make a delicious, warming drink.
Bottom line – Add apple cider vinegar to your diet to prevent uric acid build up and the pain caused by gout will be relieved.
There are a wide variety of foods that help with gout, and there are some that you should minimize or avoid altogether. Hopefully, our list provides you with some foods that you can add to your diet to help you alleviate the pain caused by your gout or, better still, rid you of gout attacks for good!