Before we get into the gout friendly foods, let’s take a look at what gout is and what causes it. Gout is manifested by inflammation and sharp joint pain because of crystallized deposits of uric acid. The joint most affected tend to be the metatarsal-phalangeal (the base of the big toe). Men and postmenopausal women tend to suffer the most from this condition, because of a hormonal effect.
Uric acid forms in the body through two mechanisms:
- From foods, as a waste product of the metabolism of certain proteins called nucleo-proteins. This special protein contains DNA and RNA, the nucleic acids that contain the genetic code. Purine is part of these nucleic acids. When the body decomposes the nucleo-proteins in foods, various substances are released, among them, purine. These must be eliminated. To do so the body transforms it into uric acid, which is excreted through the urine. Uric acid, therefore, is formed in the body not from regular proteins, but from purine, which accompanies a particular type of food protein called nucleo-proteins.
- From the body’s cells: Even though one does not eat nucleo-proteins, the body itself generates a certain amount of uric acid as its dead cells decompose. When uric acid is produced faster than the kidneys can eliminate, its level in the blood increases and it is deposited in various tissues, such as those surrounding the joints. This is known as gout.
Gout Friendly Foods Recommended for Those Suffering Must Meet Two Conditions:
- They must contain little purine that results in uric acid
- They must aid in the elimination of uric acid. Alkalizing foods increase the elimination of uric acid in the urine while acidifying foods have the opposite effect. This is because uric acid is more easily dissolved and eliminated when the blood and urine are alkaline rather than acid.
Fruits and most vegetables meet these two conditions. Grains meet the first condition, but not the second. Because of this, more than moderate amounts of grain products ate not recommended for patients with gout. Grains contain little purine, but they are acidifying, and their liberal use makes the elimination of uric acid from other foods mote difficult. This effect is of little importance for normal individuals. Only gout sufferers should avoid eating too many grains.
Gout Friendly Foods you Should Consume
LEMONS: Lemons are powerful in uric acid neutralizers. They promote the dissolution of urate crystals that deposit in the tissues, and their elimination through the urine. Other citrus fruits such as oranges or grapefruit are also effective, but as much as lemons.
FRUITS: All fruit contains virtually no purine, which generates uric acid. They are also generally alkalizing and diuretic, which promotes the elimination of uric acid from other sources. Winter cherries, together with lemons, cherries, strawberries, and grapes are beneficial in cases of gout.
NUTS: Nuts contain little uric-acid-generating purine and are very suitable food for people with gout.
VEGETABLES: Most vegetables contain little purine. They help eliminate the uric acid produced by other foods. In addition, to celery and tomatoes, cauliflower, green beans, turnips, and leeks are also good for people with gout.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: Milk proteins do not produce uric acid, in contrast to meat or legumes. Milk and dairy products aid the elimination of this acid.
CHERRIES: Cherries are an excellent diuretic and blood depurant (purifier), which aid the elimination of uric acid and other waste products. Cherries also contain small amounts of salicylic acid (natural precursor of aspirin), which is anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic. It helps relieve arthritis (inflammation of the joints) produced by gout.
STRAWBERRY: Strawberries are diuretic (increase urine volume) and promote the elimination of uric acid from the blood.
GRAPE: Grapes are alkalizing and diuretic and good eliminators of uric acid. A grape treatment is recommended for cases of gouty arthritis.
APPLE: An apple treatment helps alkalize the blood and urine, which aids the elimination of uric acid.
CELERY: Celery is a diuretic that neutralizes excess blood acid and facilitates the elimination of metabolic waste, such as uric acid, through the urine. The broth from boiling celery and onion, which is alkalizing, provides better results.
TOMATO: Although tomatoes contain acids, they’re amongst the best gout friendly foods because their effect on the body is alkalizing. This aids the elimination of gout-causing uric acid.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia Of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia Of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 292. [Gout friendly foods]