Things to know about a diet to control gout
Uric acid is what our body creates when it breaks down purines, a substance naturally produced by the body and also found in certain foods and drinks. Uric acid dissolves in the blood and reaches the kidneys, from where it passes out of the body whenever you urinate. It is really important for this to happen on a regular basis because uric acid remaining in your blood can cause hyperuricemia, which will eventually result in gout.
Now, what exactly is gout? To simplify the definition, gout is a form of arthritis that causes painful flare-ups in the joints, especially in the big toe. It also causes swelling and pain in the ankles, feet, wrists, and elbows.
How diet affects people with gout
Given that purine is a substance that is also found in certain foods, it is important to understand that foods that contain purine in large quantities can increase uric acid levels in your body. A high amount of purine is majorly found in red meats, seafood, certain vegetables like cauliflower, peas, beans, and mushrooms. Some common symptoms of gout include intense joint pain, lingering discomfort, inflammation and redness, and limited joints or body movements. To control these symptoms and the pain they might cause you, follow a diet that will help maintain normal levels of uric acid.
Foods that help control gout symptoms
Discussing different foods and diets with a doctor or a nutritionist can help you create a diet that will ease your symptoms. Your doctor will ask you to consume more gout-friendly foods.
Fruits: Vitamin C is often recommended by doctors and nutritionists as it helps lower uric acid. Eating fruits, especially vitamin C-rich fruits, can help you relieve gout pain.
Healthy fats: Foods that have healthy fats include avocados, cheese, dark chocolates, certain fish, chia seeds, olive oil, nuts, and more. These foods contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the body; they are also easy on the kidneys.
Green leafy vegetables: Following a diet rich in vegetables that don’t contain purine will not only give you relief from gout symptoms, but also promote good health. You can eat plenty of cabbage, red bell pepper, lentils, and legumes.
Cherries: Cherries are a great source of anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory. You should eat plenty of these to get relief from the pain.
Avoiding or limiting red meat: If you’re eating a lot of red meat, keep in mind that it will burden the kidneys and make them prone to damage and result in excess uric acid in the bloodstream. Eating animal organs can also cause a similar problem in the body.
Treating gout is essential as it can alter your quality of life and cause permanent damage to the joints and kidneys. While you undergo treatments for gout, you can start following a healthy diet that supports the treatment and provides relief from the pain gout causes.