Gout is caused by a high level of uric acid in the blood. When uric acid levels in the blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in the joints.
It can cause an attack of stiffness, sudden burning pain and swelling in a joint, usually the big toe. These attacks can repeatedly happen unless gout is treated. In time, they may cause harm to your tendons, joints and other tissues.
A persons’ chances of getting gout are higher if they drink too much alcohol, are overweight, eat too much fish and meat, that are high in chemicals called purines. Also some medicines, such as water pills, or diuretics, can also caused gout.
What to Eat?
For people who are suffering from gout, what they eat is important in managing their uric acid levels and in reducing the risk of developing gout or suffering from painful gout attacks.
Following a well-balanced diet to maintain and promote a healthy weight is equally important.
Below are foods to focus on whether you are trying to prevent or control gout:
Studies have shown that low-fat dairy products, may help in the improvement of the removal of uric acid in the urine. Those who consumed more yogurt or low-fat milk per day have less uric acid in their blood, compared to those who don’t. This maybe because of the low purine and high protein content of milk.
Vegetables and fruits
Vegetables high in fiber such as broccoli and spinach are recommended as they help in eliminating uric acid from the blood. Doctors once advised against consuming vegetables that contain purines such as asparagus, mushrooms and peas, but a published research showed no relationship between consuming these vegetables and the risk for gout. Also adding fruits into your daily diet, will help gout patients to feel much better.
People suffering from gout must be aware of their protein consumption, most especially protein from animals. Pork and beef must be taken in moderation or reduced, as these promote the production of uric acid. Eating eggs are recommended, at least four eggs a week. Chickpeas and tofu are a great way to get protein without elevating uric acid levels.
Some tudies have suggested that cherries may be helpful against gout. A 2010 study revealed that patients who took a tablespoon of cherry juice concentrate, at least twice a day, for at least 4 months, experienced a greater than 50% reduction in gout attacks. Cherries may help gout attack by decreasing uric acid levels or working on inflammation.
Studies have shown that drinking more water results to fewer gout episodes. A study had revealed that drinking a glass of water each, in 24 hours before an attack, reduces the risk for recurrent gout attacks. Drinking 5-8 eight glasses of water, may result to a 40% reduced risk of a gout attack, compared with drinking only 1 glass of water or less in the previous 24 hours. Specific recommendations about the amount of water to drink cannot be determine, because it depends on a persons’ underlying medical conditions and also their physical activity levels. Consulting a doctor about water consumption is recommended.