Right now, gout affects 4% of the total U.S population. And it is still rising, owing to the growing numbers of obesity and high blood pressure around the country. So, why is it happening? It all comes down to uric acid.
Food is broken down into several compounds in your system. The good stuff like protein and vitamins are pulled out of your food and the leftover is treated as waste. When you eat certain foods that contain purine, the leftover waste from these broken down food is known as uric acid. This is typically expelled out of your system, thanks to the digestive system. But sometimes, you could have a buildup of uric acid, which isn’t getting flushed out. This is medically known as hyperuricemia.
Why Should Uric Acid Be Under Control
If you have above-normal levels of uric acid, you are prone to
- Kidney stones: Large masses that form a stone-like compound in your kidneys. These can cause a lot of pain in your abdomen and back.
- Gout: This is an arthritis form of a condition. In this, crystals are released from uric acid and accumulate in your joints, causing swelling and a lot of pain.
It can also mean you have,
- Bone marrow disorder
Foods That Can Raise Uric Acid
There are several causes behind high amounts of uric acid. It could be genetics, a result of radiation/chemotherapy, psoriasis, or another underlying medical condition. But experts reveal around 10-15% of high uric acid levels are caused by your diet.1 These are foods that contain high levels of purine.
- Drinking a lot of alcohol
- Dried beans
- Red meat
- Game meat
Foods That Keep Uric Acid In Check
1. Alfalfa Sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts are packed with kidney-friendly compounds. They are full of vitamins and minerals that boost the health of your kidney, bladder, and prostate. They also have anti-arthritic properties, which, in turn, can help to prevent gout.2
How To: Top your salads with alfalfa sprouts, add them into sandwiches or simply over your meals.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural cleanser and detoxifier that can help remove wastes like uric acid from the body. It contains malic acid that helps break down and eliminate uric acid. Apple cider vinegar also provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
How To: Mix ACV into your salads or drink 2-3 tablespoons of it with water.
3. Burdock Root
Burdock root helps in flushing out toxins from the blood. This herb stimulates urine excretions and reduces the inflammatory processes in the body.3
How To: There are different forms of burdock root available. It could be capsules, tincture, or a fluid extract. You would need to check with your herbalist to find the exact amount that would work for you.
4. Devil’s Claw
Devil’s Claw is a natural remedy used for treating a number of common arthritis symptoms, including gout. It contains substances which have the ability to reduce the uric acid levels in the blood. Some people take the herb to reduce the pain from osteoarthritis.4
How To: You would need to check with your herbalist for the right dosage.
5. Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon is loaded with vitamin C, which has connective tissue strengthening properties. This helps in minimizing the joint damage caused by the sharp uric acid crystals. Also, the citric acid found in lemons has the ability to dissolve uric acid crystals which leads to reduced serum uric acid levels.5
How To: Add the juice of 1-2 lemons in water and drink it first thing in the morning. Or add lemon slices in warm water.
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats that remain stable when heated. It is high in vitamin E and antioxidants. Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory benefits.6
How To: Cook your foods with olive oil and add extra virgin olive oil to your salads.
7. Sour Black Cherries
Black cherries and cherry juice are powerful natural remedies which are used in the treatment of gout and kidney stones. They reduce the uric acid levels in the serum and dissolve the crystals in the joints and kidney stones. In fact, one study reveals cherry intake over a 2-day period had a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake at all.7
How To: Try to eat 8-10 cherries a day or drink cherry juice.
It’s important to get into a healthy weight range to maintain normal levels of uric acid. Be physically active and eat clean. Avoid foods that are rich in purine and stay away from fried food. When trying natural remedies to treat high levels of uric acid, always check with your doctor before including any of them in your lifestyle.
|↑1||What Causes High Uric Acid Level? BJC Health|
|↑2||Using Alfalfa for Gout Relief and Prevention. Gout Diet.|
|↑3||Maghsoumi‐Norouzabad, Leila, Beitollah Alipoor, Reza Abed, Bina Eftekhar Sadat, Mehran Mesgari‐Abbasi, and Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi. “Effects of Arctium lappa L.(Burdock) root tea on inflammatory status and oxidative stress in patients with knee osteoarthritis.” International journal of rheumatic diseases 19, no. 3 (2016): 255-261.|
|↑4||Devil’s Claw. Medline Plus|
|↑5||Biernatkaluza, E. K., and N. Schlesinger. “SAT0318 Lemon Juice Reduces Serum Uric Acid Level Via Alkalization of Urine in Gouty and Hyperuremic Patients-A Pilot Study.” Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 74 (2015): 774.|
|↑6||Beauchamp, Gary K., Russell SJ Keast, Diane Morel, Jianming Lin, Jana Pika, Qiang Han, Chi-Ho Lee, Amos B. Smith, and Paul AS Breslin. “Phytochemistry: ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil.” Nature 437, no. 7055 (2005): 45.|
|↑7||Zhang, Yuqing, Tuhina Neogi, Clara Chen, Christine Chaisson, David J. Hunter, and Hyon K. Choi. “Cherry consumption and decreased risk of recurrent gout attacks.” Arthritis & Rheumatism 64, no. 12 (2012): 4004-4011.|