The Best Foods for Gout Relief

More and more people with gout are looking for natural ways, not only to relieve their symptoms, but also to prevent recurring gout attacks. This can be achieved through diet. In this short article, you’ll find lists of the best foods for gout relief and gout prevention…

High uric acid levels in the blood leads to the formation of urate crystals in joints and surrounding tissue. It’s formed as a byproduct of the breakdown of ‘purines’ as part of the body’s normal metabolizing process. Purines are important chemical compounds found in our bodies and our food.

Uric acid itself is a powerful antioxidant and your kidneys’ job is to process the uric acid being produced, excrete excess out of the body via urine, and leave healthy amounts circulating in the bloodstream.

The problem occurs when there is either too much acid being produced or when the kidneys aren’t working to their full potential. Under either of these scenarios insufficient is being excreted, leading to high blood uric acid, crystal formation, and thus gout.

Best Foods for Gout Relief

Gout is probably the most painful form of arthritis and is often referred to as ‘gouty arthritis.’ Gout can be excruciating and highly debilitating so the first task, at the onset of a gout attack, is to relieve the pain and inflammation and reduce swelling.

This can be achieved by eating lots of certain types of foods that have known natural anti-inflammatory powers. Some of the best foods for gout relief are:

  • cherries
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • grapes
  • celery

Cherries and celery are particularly effective for relieving gout symptoms.

Best Foods to Prevent Gout

As we consume and digest food throughout the day the purines in the food are continually being broken down and producing uric acid. In order to help prevent gout we need to keep our uric acid at healthy levels. This is generally agreed to be below 6 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).

One important way that we can do this is through a diet that is relatively low in purines — more purines = more uric acid — which we can do by avoiding those foods that are relatively high in purines. These are foods such as:

  • red meat
  • offal (liver, heart, etc.)
  • game
  • poultry
  • fish (especially anchovies, sardines, herring, and mackerel)
  • shellfish (especially mussels, scallops, shrimp, and prawns)
  • yeast / yeast extract

We can then consume more low-purine foods like:

  • complex carbohydrates (pasta, rice, cereals, etc.)
  • essential fatty acids (nuts, seeds, flaxseed, small portions of tuna and other oily fish, etc.)
  • foods high in vitamin C (tangerines, red bell peppers, potatoes, red cabbage, etc.)
  • low-fat dairy
  • fresh vegetables (especially dark green leafy vegetables)
  • fresh fruit

Not only will eating low-purine foods lead to lower uric acid production, some foods, such as those high in vitamin C, have been found to actively reduce uric acid levels.

Some vegetables are moderately high in purines and should also be avoided or at the very least cut back on:

  • asparagus
  • cauliflower
  • legumes
  • mushrooms
  • dried peas
  • spinach

So there you have it, the best foods for gout relief and gout prevention.