Gout and Bananas

Bananas for a gout diet

A banana a day keeps the gout away!

Bananas originated in Southeast Asia particularly in Malaysia around 4000 years ago then spreading to the Philippines and India. Today the Americas are the largest producers of bananas being brought over here by Portuguese explorers mainly grown in Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico. Bananas are a unique type of fruit that has a creamy flesh which is firm yet sweet and can be harvested year-round.

One banana has about 105 calories and is low on sugar but very high in vitamins B6, vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, folic acid and potassium; which is very beneficial to the gout sufferer and should be part of your daily diet. I personally eat one banana a day without fail. Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium containing over 400 mg of potassium and just 1 mg of sodium. They help you maintain normal blood pressure, heart function and lower uric acid levels.

Bananas assist in converting uric acid into liquid form which can then be filtered by the kidneys and excreted through your urine avoiding the crystallization in your joints causing gout symptoms. In addition, one banana contains about 24 mcg of folate or folic acid which also helps lower uric acid levels as well as repair broken tissue in the joints. Furthermore, they contain about 10.3 mg of vitamin C which also has shown to decrease uric acid levels and also alleviate symptoms of gout.

A gout diet plan is key

However, bananas cannot beat gout alone, a gout diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low protein/purines and low fat is key! I know some gout sufferers who’ve eaten about 8 bananas a day during a gout attack for 3-4 days in order to alleviate the gout symptoms and have confirmed that it does work fast. Regardless, make sure to eat at least one banana a day to keep uric acid levels low and avoid those painful gout attacks. On a side-note bananas are also alkaline in nature.

To best consume bananas, make sure for it to be fully ripened to benefit from the most antioxidants. Research conducted from the University of Innsbruck in Austria that fruit that is fully ripened, almost to the point of spoilage has the highest concentration of antioxidants and levels actually increase as it ripens. One of my favorite ways to eat a banana is with peanut butter and 2 slices of whole wheat bread as a peanut butter and banana sandwich. This was Elvis’ favorite food and is widely considered a comfort food for kids and adults, some even add honey into the sandwich to sweeten it up! I also add banana in my oatmeal sometimes for breakfast or just eat it one plainly. In some countries more notably in the Carribean islands, bananas used for cooking may be called plantains and it is delicious when baked in the oven. Whichever way you like to eat it, make sure it’s on your grocery list every week.

Posted by Spiro Koulouris

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