Gout is a painful, inflammatory condition affecting the joints. At its initial flare-up, this ailment is most likely to present in the big toe, but it can also affect other small bones in the feet, the thumb, ankles, wrists, or other areas. Affected joints can feel hot, tender to the touch, and even hyper-sensitive. Characterized by sudden discomfort and swelling, gout can seem as though it’s appeared from nowhere.
In reality, however, there are normally a number of nutritional habits that have led to this problem. This is because the onset of gout is the result of hyperuricemia or excess uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid develops as the result of the body breaking down purines or chemical compounds that are found in seafood, meat, poultry, and other high protein foods.
By understanding the foods that cause gout, and the best foods for mitigating the symptoms of this ailment, it may be possible to limit these painful flare-ups or even avoid them entirely.
Several Foods To Avoid When You’ve Got Gout
If you’ve got gout or if you know that you’re genetically predisposed to developing it, certain foods can place you at a higher risk of experiencing flare-ups. You’ll want to limit these trigger foods in your diet so that your uric acid levels never rise too high, and your joint health remains unchanged. High-purine and moderately high-purine foods are at the very top of the list. These include:
- All organ meats
- Fatty fish such as herring, tuna, sardines, and haddock among others
- Game meats like venison, veal, and pheasant
- Non-fish seafood such as crab, shrimp, roe, and scallops
Surprisingly, studies have shown that high-sugar foods can also affect a person with gout, even though these foods are not high in purine. As such, high-fructose beverages, syrups, and highly refined or processed foods should be limited or avoided entirely. People who are prone to gout should additionally limit their intake of:
- Agave nectar
- Natural maple syrup
Although these sweeteners are generally considered to be healthier alternatives to white sugar or corn syrup, their impact on the body is similar when dealing with gout. Another important thing to bear in mind is that refined white carbohydrates quickly convert into simple sugars following consumption. Due to this fact, it is additionally important to limit store-bought bread, pastries, cookies, and cakes. Many of these things can be doubly problematic when eaten given that gout can be triggered by over-consumption of yeast-raised foods as well.
The Best Foods To Eat When Dealing With A Gout Flare-Up
With such an extensive list of foods that cannot be eaten, it may seem like gout sufferers have to spend their lives in a perpetual state of fasting. Surprisingly, however, there are a number of foods that neither trigger nor exacerbate this condition. Moreover, many of these selections actually promote better balance throughout the bloodstream and the entire body by optimizing organ functioning, improving circulation, and providing other nutritional and functional benefits.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent addition to the diet for preventing arthritis of any kind. Many fruits and vegetables are loaded with powerful antioxidants and other phytonutrients that naturally and quickly lower inflammation. Eggs, nuts, seeds, and true nut butter are excellent alternative sources of protein for supplementing moderate servings of purine-containing meats and seafood. Moreover, while dairy is not believed to be a trigger for gout, it is generally best to opt for low-fat options rather than full-fat cheeses, milk, or yogurt.
Eat These Things To Keep Gout Flare-Ups At Bay
Eating right to avoid gout is an excellent way to stave off searing, sleep-stealing pain, joint stiffness, and more. There are also a number of foods to keep on hand that can both shorten the duration of a flare-up and prevent flare-ups altogether. One of the best of these is tart cherries or tart cherry juice. Cherries help fight inflammation even as they efficiently eliminate uric acid from the bloodstream.
These same benefits can be gained from cranberries and pure, unsweetened cranberry juice. For people with severe or recurring gout, potassium citrate powder can be used to supplement natural foods, promote improved kidney and urinary health, and keep uric acid moderated. The high levels of citric acid in potassium citrate powder help alkalize the urinary tract for less acid all-around. Turmeric and ginger are two excellent, inflammation-fighting spices that can be added to promote comfort and ensure lasting good health.
Gout doesn’t have to be a lifelong problem. With the right nutritional strategies, these painful flare-ups can be minimized or avoided indefinitely. Best of all, if problems ever do arise, you’ll know which foods to load up on in order to alkalize your body, reduce your uric acid levels, and naturally ward off any existing pain and inflammation.