It goes without saying that eating the right goods can make or break your health! It is necessary to include the right kinds of food in your diet to keep health problems at bay. This also stands true for gout! Eating certain foods can increase high uric acid and lead to problems.
For the uninitiated, uric acid is a waste product in your blood, which is produced when you eat foods rich in purines. Well, purines are chemical compounds made of carbon and nitrogen atoms, which are broken down in the body. Too much uric acid in your system can trigger a condition called hyperuricemia. It leads to the formation of crystals of uric acid, which settle in the joints and cause gout.
How to manage uric acid levels? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Symptoms of high uric acid
Some of the signs and symptoms that you should look out for include:
- Gout affects your joints. Some of the commonly affected joints include ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers.
- You may feel a lingering discomfort after the initial pain subsides. It can last for a few weeks or longer.
- You might find it difficult to move your joints.
- Swollen, tender, and red joints are some of the symptoms you may experience.
How to reduce uric acid?
“High uric acid level occurs when your kidneys don’t eliminate it efficiently. A protein-rich diet, increased sugar intake, and alcohol consumption may lead to the problem. It can cause painful inflammation in the body, which leads to gout or joint pains. Certain lifestyle changes and eliminating purine-rich food can help lower uric acid in the body,” explains Clinical Nutritionist Clara Browell. She also shared some ways to manage these levels.
1. Eat more vitamin C foods
A study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that people who consumed vitamin C has lower levels of uric acid as compared to those who consumed the least. Another study in the Archives of Internal medicine suggests that vitamin C can lower the risk of gout. Some of the best sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and potatoes.
2. Avoid foods rich in purines
Eating a diet high in purines can be beneficial for you. A diet low in purines, mostly includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Several foods are high in purines, including red meat, seafood, organ meat, beer and whiskey.
3. Cut back on alcohol intake
Alcohol, especially beer is associated with a higher risk of gout. Studies have found that people prone to gout attacks should avoid beer, especially during the attack. However, it is believed that moderate consumption of wine might not increase the risk as much. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to drink alcohol in moderation.
Say no to alcohol to avoid gout. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
4. Lower intake of artificial sweeteners
Foods high in artificial sweeteners tend to elevate uric acid levels and trigger gout. Limit or avoid the intake of sugar-sweetened foods to prevent the onset of gout. Soda, packaged juices, pastries, candies, canned soups and condiments like ketchup or mayonnaise are some of the common artificial sweeteners you should avoid.
5. Stay hydrated
Drink, drink, drink! The importance of drinking water cannot be overstated. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. Studies have found that it helps flush uric acid from your system.