Dear Peaceful Dumpling,
My sweetheart has been suffering with gout in his big toe/foot. He has been trying to treat it through diet and supplements. However, when you read all the online information it gets very confusing about what you should and should not have in your diet. Could you please help sort out these conflicting diets and find out the best foods to incorporate into a plan to battle this very painful disease?
I am going to make a large resumption that the majority of us out here have experienced the overwhelming information from the internet. There is definitely an overflow of information; some wrong some right with a ton of opinions. There is no need to fret, I am here to help!
All the information provided below is based on scientific research and some anecdotal testimonies from clinical/personal nutrition interventions. The tips may show major improvement in symptoms while for some, not so much. Please take into account all the information provided and seek out further professional nutritional advice to provide optimal health care for you and your loved ones.
Our number one goal for clients struggling with Gout is to decrease uric acid concentration in the body! I am happy to say this can be done effectively with nutrition.
First, you are on the right track by reading into a vegan lifestyle. With Gout, a plant-based diet is the best starting point! Meat increases uric acid in the body. The reason being, meat has a high concentration of purines. When ingested, purines metabolize into uric acid which can cause crystal formation which leads to inflammation. The crystal then deposits in the joints (often in the big toe).
Step 1: Move to a plant-based diet.
Secondly, a low-purine diet is the next step to reduce uric acid concentration. If symptoms are severe after switching to a plant-based diet, try minimizing high-purine vegetables listed below:
Grains, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Lentils, Beans, Mushrooms, Navy beans, Oatmeal, Peas, Spinach, yeast, and Sweetbreads. Of course, these are dependent from person to person.
Most Importantly! If you remember one thing from this article please remember this: AVOID, AVOID, AVOID PROCESSED SUGAR and ALCOHOL! Processed sugar causes inflammation in the body and increases uric acid serum. An increased intake of sugar sweetened soft drinks was associated with an increased risk of gout.
Step 2: Avoid ALL processed sugar and alcohol consumption.
If you want to really reduce pain, take it a step further and minimize your fructose intake. Be mindful of your fruit intake and limit your overall consumption of sugar from your diet. Be sure to make the switch to a diet from refined carbohydrates (white rice) to complex carbohydrates (brown rice). Also, switching saturated fats (coconut oil) to poly and monounsaturated fats (olive oil) has shown to reduce uric acid concentration.
Additionally, increase the following foods which have shown to reduce uric acid concentrations in the body:
Mostly black, yellow and red sour cherries can be useful to reduce Gout symptoms. I would say an awesome unsweetened, organic, not from concentrate cherry juice would be your best purchase. The taste will be extra tart so adding it to a veggie smoothie once a day would be ideal and delicious.
An increase in Vitamin C may increase urinary excretion of uric acid. This dose amount varied from 500-3,000 mg/day. A study showed a decrease in uric acid levels with an increase of Vitamin C. Start out at the lowest dose (500 g/day) and increase over time. You can start off with 500 mg/day of Vitamin C from a supplement and also include Vitamin C rich-food sources o such as bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, kale, celery, etc. into your daily diet routine.
Quercetin has also shown to reduce uric acid in the body. Quercetin can be found in: onions, apples, black tea and kale. As the saying goes: An apple a day keeps the Dr. away!
I hope your loved one begins to feel better with these nutrition tips. Feel free to reach out to us at Thriveg for a personal nutritional counseling. Always here to help!
Katherine, MS in Nutrition
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