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 is very effective in repairing cell damage caused by gout. All berries are high in flavonoids which 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 repairs damaged tissue in the body after a gout attack. Studies have also shown it being effective in reducing uric acid in the body in order to prevent urate crystals.
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 neutralizes uric acid. Blackberries though outrank cherries in the antioxidant department and remember that antioxidants are important because they neutralize the free radicals that damage your tissues usually in the big toe. Finally, the 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 alkalize the body, not as strongly as citrus fruits of course, but still considered a 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 can 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 can 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 can 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 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 can 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 regulate your uric acid levels in your body to 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. That’s it folks!
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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