7 Foods That Help Relieve the Symptoms of Gout

May 7th 2016

Diet is the most important factor in controlling gout symptoms and warding off attacks of gout. During a gout attack, you should also stay well-hydrated, ice down the joint that's in pain and take over-the-counter pain relief medication if necessary. Your doctor can prescribe drugs that help your body rid itself of uric acid.

Vegetables

If you're suffering from gout, eat at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day. Add veggies to stews and casseroles to make sure you get enough. However, avoid the few vegetables that are high in purine; these include cauliflower, peas, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms.

Fruits With Vitamin C

Fruits that are rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, may reduce uric acid levels and alleviate gout symptoms. Try drinking orange juice with meals to add a little extra vitamin C to your diet.

Cherries

Cherries are one of the few foods that are actually shown to reduce uric acid. As a result, they should be one of the first fruits on your shopping list.

Starchy Carbohydrates

Stock up on carbohydrates too, as they are low in purine. If you have gout, you need to eat bread, pasta, potatoes, rice or grains — such as quinoa or couscous — at every single meal.

Whole Grains

If you're concerned about eating refined flour, go for whole grain options. Every meal a gout patient eats should be based around starchy carbohydrates, fruits and veggies, with protein added in moderation.

Animal Protein

Since protein is necessary for health, a gout patient can eat lean animal proteins, such as white fish, lean red meat and poultry, but monitor the portion sizes. If you're eating red meat, make sure the meal also contains vitamin C, which helps metabolize the iron in the meat.

Low-Fat Dairy Products

Low-fat dairy products are also helpful for minimizing the level of uric acid in the bloodstream. Get some of your daily protein from low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, and drink skim milk as well.

Foods to Avoid

Animal proteins and alcohol are among the prime foods that trigger and exacerbate gout attacks. Avoid all alcohol during a gout attack, and only drink it in moderation at other times. It's especially important to avoid beer, since its yeast content adds extra purine to your diet.

You should also completely avoid eating organ meats, such as liver or kidneys. Rabbit, venison and other game meats are also on the "don't eat" list, as is fatty poultry, such as goose and duck. Certain types of seafood also exacerbate gout symptoms; this includes most shellfish, as well as oily fish such as anchovies, sardines and trout.

Conclusion

Gout is the body's reaction to an excess of uric acid, which is formed when a chemical called purine is broken down by the body. While the body produces some purine naturally, excess purine levels that tend to cause gout typically come from the foods you ingest. Making the right choices in your diet is crucial to control gout symptoms. Replacing purine-rich foods with sustenance low in purine can relieve these symptoms while lowering the frequency of gout attacks and slowing down the progression of joint damage associated with gout.

Sources

MayoClinic.org "Gout diet: What's allowed, what's not" http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gout-diet/art-20048524
EverydayHealth.com "10 steps to ease a gout attack" http://www.everydayhealth.com/gout/10-steps-to-ease-gout-attack.aspx
NHS.uk "Treating gout" http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Gout/Pages/Treatment.aspx
Patient.co.uk "Gout diet sheet" http://www.patient.co.uk/health/gout-diet-sheet

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