Gout diet – shoulds and shouldn’ts!
What is gout and what causes it?
Gout is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis. Gout occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood form crystals in and around a joint. Our body produces uric acid when it breaks down a chemical named purine, which is found in certain foods. Our blood transports the uric acid to the kidney and it exits in urine. However, when our body has high levels of uric acid, it can cause gout, also called hyperuricemia.
While gout can cause pain, inflammation, swelling and redness in one or more joints, it commonly affects the toes. Gout is a disease that can happen in anyone’s body. It is often suggested to try natural ways to help ease gout rather than medicines.
About gout diet
A gout diet can help us manage and reduce gout symptoms. A good diet may help:
- Limit purines
- Control uric acid levels
- Achieve good eating habits
- Maintain a healthy weight
These are good goals to help us gain a healthier body and life.
What foods should we avoid if we have gout?
- Beer and grain liquors (like vodka and whiskey)
- Red, organ and glandular meats
- Seafood, especially shellfish like lobster, prawn and scallop
- Sugary beverages like juices and soda
- High-fructose food like cereal and ice cream
Although controlling the amount of purines intake can reduce gout, some of the herbs will also help to remove the excess uric acid from our body.
- Garlic: Garlic is remarkably helpful to remove excess uric acid from our body. (If you suffer from gout, trying garlic is a must because it goes to the root cause.)
Tip: Simply eat a few cloves of black garlic per day or add to your diet.
- Ginger: Ginger’s heat helps us sweat, which helps to remove uric acid. Ginger is also good for reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
Tip: Mix red ginger powder with honey to make a nice cup of tea.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is famous for its rich anti-inflammatory properties, which have the potential to help arthritis. Turmeric can reduce the activity of Xanthine oxidase which produces uric acid.
More home remedies that are good for gout include:
- Low-fat and fat-free dairy, like yogurt and skim milk
- Fresh fruits especially cherries
- Fresh vegetables
- Nuts and grains
- Potatoes, rice, and pasta
- Vitamin C supplement
Gout is a painful medical condition that may cause other serious conditions. Following a good healthy diet may lower the risk or help treat the disease. Before starting a new eating habit, a good reminder is always to eat moderate portions and be mindful of how our body is feeling.