Should Berries Be Included In A Gout Diet?
Berries are naturally low in purines and in this post we will examine its’ health benefits for a good overall gout diet. Berries are usually juicy, bright coloured fruit, some are sweet and some are sour; and do not have a stone or pit in them, although seeds may be present just like in a strawberry. The ascorbic acid in berries may be very effective in repairing cell damage caused by gout. All berries are high in flavonoids which may possess strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The vitamin C in berries is good for gout sufferers which is required by the body to produce collagen, an essential component of connective tissue that may help repair damaged tissue in the body after a gout attack. Studies have also shown that it may be effective in controlling uric acid in the body in order to help prevent urate crystals formation.
Blueberries like all berries are high in antioxidants which fights inflammation in the body and fiber. One cup of blueberries has 80 calories and no fat providing you with a quarter of the daily vitamin C requirement.
Blackberries were used by the ancients Greeks as a natural remedy for gout and was known as “gout berry” many generations ago in American folk medicine. Cherries were eventually discovered to obviously be more effective since cherries contain an enzyme that may help neutralize uric acid.
Blackberries though outrank cherries in the antioxidant department and remember that antioxidants are important because they neutralize the free radicals that may damage your tissues usually in the big toe. Finally, they contain less sugar than many other fruits making them better for your blood sugar levels, avoiding a large release of insulin in the body. Like all berries, blackberries may alkalize the body, not as strongly as citrus fruits of course, but still considered an alkaline promoting food.
Strawberries and gout
Strawberries are also high in antioxidants and vitamin C (90 mg for one cup) but also contain high levels of magnesium which is a mineral that may help reduce the symptoms of gout, including the pain and swellness. One cup of strawberries provides you with 20 mg of magnesium which is 5% of the daily recommended daily intake.
Furthermore, they also contain oxalate which may worsen gout in certain gout patients. This is derived from the chemical compound oxalic acid and according to ColumbiaUniversity researchers a certain link exists between oxalate, uric acid and kidney stones. So those with a history of kidney stones should seek medical advice before consuming strawberries in your diet since oxalate may aggravate the symptoms of gout but more importantly may increase the risk of certain gout patients developing kidney stones.
In addition, a 2003 Taiwanese study found that foods that are high in folate like strawberries may have a preventive effect against gout and one cup has 37 mcg of vitamin B folate. They are also high in potassium, amino acids, folic acid and fiber. Also note that more than 90 percent of strawberries are water since gout sufferers need plenty of water in their diet to get rid of urate crystals in the body. Americans eat an average of three-and-a-half pounds of fresh strawberries each per year. Every state in the US and province in Canada grows strawberries in the summertime so try and eat them locally if you can, organic of course.
Raspberries may fight inflammation in gout the same way that aspirin or ibuprofen do by shutting off signals sent by COX-1s and COX-2s enzymes which are responsible for the body’s inflammatory response. Raspberries also contain antioxidant carotenoids, ellagic acid and quercetin. There is only 64 calories in a cup, is cholesterol-free and contains 186 mg of potassium which is very important for gout sufferers. Drinking a tea made from red raspberries or its’ leaves is also very effective in treating gout pain according to several gout sufferers.
The acai berry which grows on palm trees in South America, is a purple berry and this berry only has a life expectancy of 24 hours after picking, so it should be frozen or dried immediately to prolong its life. That’s why most products sold in the marketplace for acai berry are in juice form only and rarely fresh.
Finally, Goji berries native to China are very rich in vitamin A but it is still unclear how this berry stacks up against other berries and don’t believe the marketing of some companies that it can cure cancer, it is pure BS but they are filled with powerful antioxidants and other compounds. Make sure you include any berry in your diet to help control your uric acid levels in your body and keep gout attacks from occurring. If you choose juice or canned or frozen blueberries, strawberries and so on, make sure to go for products that are low in calories and sugar.
Nutrients that Help Lower Uric Acid
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has the highest antioxidant effects in the body when compared to all other vitamins and nutrients. By preventing or repairing cell damage, it helps to keep your skin, bones, connective tissue, and organs healthy.
Vitamin C is also essential for a healthy immune system and blood iron absorption. Vitamin C helps the kidneys cleanse waste materials (such as uric acid), boost the production of red blood cells, and reduce the risk of kidney stones because of its antioxidant characteristics.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for cellular growth and development, as well as bone development, immune system function, reproduction, and cell function. It also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs operate properly.
A long-term Vitamin A deficiency can increase the risk of infections, weariness, infertility, dry skin and/or hair, and night blindness.
Vitamin A’s antioxidant properties are required for cellular growth, which improves the kidneys’ ability to remove excess fats, salts, sugars, and uric acid from the blood. Fruits high in vitamin A, like vitamin C, can help relieve gout symptoms and improve kidney function.
Vitamin B6 aids in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It aids the immune system, the heart, the brain, and the kidneys. This vitamin also enhances the antioxidant activities of vitamins A and C by assisting in the production of more antibodies.
A sufficient supply of vitamin B6 aids the body in the elimination of harmful toxins, the formation of red blood cells, the control of glucose levels, and the transport of oxygen to the kidneys.
Skin disorders, kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, and a kind of anemia can all result from a lack of Vitamin B6.
Potassium is a mineral that also serves as an electrolyte. Muscle contraction, neuronal function, and fluid balance are all improved by their active qualities. As a result, potassium aids in the transport of nutrients into cells, which is necessary for energy production.
Excess sodium or salt in the body causes muscle cramps, water retention, high blood pressure, and kidney stones.
In gout, an excess of salt in the system is connected to the production of uric acid. Salt also makes it more difficult for the kidneys to eliminate other waste products such as uric acid.
Potassium is often underestimated when it comes to maintaining good kidney functions, yet it plays a critical role in eliminating excess salt from the body. The majority of gout sufferers try to keep their salt intake to a minimum.
Eating the correct foods that help flush away uric acid, on the other hand, may be just as beneficial, if not more so.
Magnesium is a mineral that is required for a variety of bodily processes. This mineral supports healthy muscle/nervous function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and bone formation.
Studies reveal that those who consume more magnesium in their diet have a lower risk of hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, though further research is needed.
Magnesium deficiency, on the other hand, can cause exhaustion, muscle cramps, migraine headaches, irregular heart rhythm, and chronic renal disease.
Magnesium is an important component for gout patients who want to reduce their uric acid production. Second, it makes toxins more soluble, making it easier for them to filter out of the kidneys and into the bladder.
Magnesium-rich fruits can help the kidneys and relieve gout symptoms.
Fruit for thought
Almost all fruits are alkaline-forming, even if they are acidic when they are raw. This means that alkaline byproducts form after fruits are ingested and metabolized.
Urine becomes less acidic as a result. The kidneys may transfer more uric acid to the bladder and urine because uric acid is more soluble in alkaline solutions.
It’s just as important to get rid of uric acid as it is to cut down on purine intake. When your kidneys aren’t working properly, your uric acid levels will stay elevated for prolonged periods of time.
As a result, your gout tipping point will have less wiggle room. The correct fruits in your diet can help your kidneys function properly and flush out more uric acid, which is an important element of keeping your gout symptoms in check.
The importance of eating organically grown berries
Berries are notorious for being able to absorb high amounts of herbicides and pesticides. That’s why people who suffer from gout should try to eat organically-grown berries.
To ensure that the fruit you’re eating is at its peak of freshness, look for locally grown organic berries or an organic pick-your-own berry farm near you. Ripe fruit is also high in polyphenols and other beneficial compounds that aid in the treatment of gout.
That being said, going on a berry-picking trip usually results with collecting an excessive amount of berries. Freezing ripe berries is a simple approach to ensure that you have these “magic bullets” on hand when you need them.
Here’s are some practical tips to ensure you freeze your berries the right way:
- Remove stems, unripened berries, and any damaged berries from the berries.
- Using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, carefully dry the berries after rinsing them in cool water. Strawberries freeze best when the green tops are removed, so take a few minutes to do so.
- On a rimmed baking tray, arrange the berries in a single layer.
- Place the tray in the freezer for at least seven hours or overnight to ensure the berries are completely frozen.
- Fill resealable plastic storage bags halfway with berries and squeeze out as much air as possible before closing.
- Keep the frozen berries in the freezer for up to 6 months until you’re ready to utilize them (or a year if you have a stand-alone deep freezer).
Adding additional berries to your diet is always a good idea. Keep pushing and attempting more natural gout treatments if you want long-term, permanent relief from the agony of gout.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris