Since the times of the ancient Greeks, people have known that lifestyle choices like diet can affect gout. While some foods can exacerbate gout and symptoms of gout, others can reduce symptoms. The following gout-healthy foods can reduce or control your gout symptoms.
Eat the Right Purines
Purines are found in nearly all foods and in all the cells of the body. When food is broken down, purines form uric acid. For many people, this uric acid is helpful for protecting blood vessels from damage. Unfortunately, for patients with gout, purines can contribute to gout and exacerbate the symptoms of the condition. Some foods contain more purines than others, and some types of purines behave differently than others. While it is nearly impossible to avoid purines, people with gout must avoid eating foods that are high in purines, and foods that contain specific types of purines. These tips will help you avoid purine-rich foods and foods that contain problematic purines, while still getting the levels of purines you need in order to be healthy.
- Avoid high-protein foods. Meat and fish purines can exacerbate gout. Avoid protein-rich meats, particularly meats like liver, anchovies and kidneys.
- Avoid yeast. Yeast is known to contain high levels of purines, which is why beer consumption has long been associated with gout flareups.
- Eat raw vegetables. While gout sufferers must avoid a large buildup of uric acid in the blood, some purines are necessary in order to remain healthy. Gout research indicates that purines that come from vegetables will not exacerbate gout symptoms in the same way as the purines that come from meat. Vegetables are therefore safe for gout sufferers and present a good way to get safe levels of purines.
Drink Enriched Skim Milk
It's known by many doctors and gout patients that the purines in dairy can actually reduce the effects of gout on the body. A 2012 gout study showed that enriched skim milk in particular had a positive effect on gout sufferers. Gout patients who drank enriched skim milk noticed the following improvements in their condition:
- Reduced pain
- Less uric acid in their urine
- Reduced gout flares
- Less tender joints
Eating the right foods can have a positive effect on your gout. For more information about how you can control the symptoms of gout by maintaining a healthy diet, speak with your physician. He or she will be able to make more food recommendations and will be able to recommend portion sizes that will allow you to get all the purines and protein that you need to control your condition and remain healthy.