Best Fruits For Your Gout Diet
Fruits play an important role in a healthy gout diet. They possess powerful vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals which may help fight symptoms and conditions related to gout. However, not all fruits were made equal. Some are good at preventing symptoms while others can actually trigger it.
As you transition into a lifestyle of managing your gout, it’s essential that you know how to choose the best fruits that work best with your condition. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at fruits, how they help with gout, and the best and worst fruits for gout.
Fiber in Fruits
Fruits are best known for their fiber content. Having trouble in the toilet? Just eat a piece of fruit and that should help keep things moving down there. Fiber is not only good for your stool but it’s also low in calories and helps you feel full longer. This helps you maintain a healthy weight and prevents binge eating which can lead to diabetes and obesity, which are risk factors to gout.
The right type of fiber can even slow sugar absorption allowing you to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. So, the next time you feel hungry or are craving for something sweet, just grab a piece of fruit. They’re delicious and very satiating!
Just remember that you can’t increase your fiber intake rapidly. If you’re used to having a low-fiber diet, you should gradually do it as a significant increase in a short amount of time can lead to gas, bloating, and cramping. Also make sure that you are drinking enough water with your fruits to help the body absorb fiber better.
Phytonutrients in Fruit
Aside from fiber, fruits are also rich in phytonutrients. Consuming these compounds on a regular basis have been associated with lower risk for developing chronic disease and cancers. Certain fruits such as blueberries and blackberries have thousands of different phytonutrients which fight various threats in your body, some of which you might not even be aware of!
Let’s be thankful that fruits are not only delicious, but also a powerful ally in fighting common diseases that plague humans today. Now that you know the main benefit of fruit, it’s time to look into the kinds of best fruits that help with gout.
Cherries are the best fruit to eat for gout. It may help reduce uric acid and limit inflammation thanks to its high vitamin C content and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They’re best consumed in their natural form. But you can also get the canned cherries, dried cherries, and cherry juices. However, be vigilant and always look at the label making sure they aren’t laced with sugars.
You can also take cherries in pill form as a dietary supplement. It’s simply a powerful fruit that aids those with problems in their joints and belongs in a gout diet.
Great news! You can include all kinds of berries in your diet whether it’s strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, acai berries, or goji berries. They’re low purines and each type of berry possesses a unique taste –some are sweet while some are sour. Like cherries, berries are high in vitamin C and possess flavonoids which fight inflammation in the body. You can eat berries by themselves or add them to salads, smoothies, smoothie bowls, juices, syrups, and more. If you want to get more specific, these are the berries that are best for in your gout diet:
Blueberries: Blueberries are considered a superfood for good reason. They’re packed with nutrients making them a perfect addition to a healthy balanced diet. They are very high in antioxidants which help fight inflammation in the body.
Strawberries: Strawberries have antioxidants and vitamin C in them, but they are also high in magnesium which may help reduce pain and swelling caused by a gout flare. It also has high water content that may help to dissolve uric acid in the body and prevent crystallization.
Blackberries: Blackberries are not as sweet as other fruits but it’s a good addition to your meals if you want to diversify the flavor. It’s almost citrusy because it has a sour taste to it and just like other berries, it’s rich in antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals in the body.
Raspberries: If you are experiencing pain, reach for some raspberries or drink it in tea form. Raspberries fight inflammation by blocking the signals in your body that’s causing pain. It works just as good as your ordinary pain reliever like Ibuprofen.
Acai berry: Acai berries are relatively new considering they weren’t introduced to the Western world until the 1990s. It is suspected that they contain more antioxidants than blueberries and strawberries, but more research is yet to be done to fully understand their health benefits. Aside from being an antioxidant, acai berries are also anti-inflammatory. It has quite a short life expectancy of only 24 hours after picking so only go for acai berry products that are frozen or dried.
No guesswork needed here! All citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C. The great thing with popular citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, and grapefruit is that they all have low fructose content making them perfect to consume without worry about overindulging. Numerous studies have already proven that vitamin C may be effective in reducing uric acid as it alkalizes the blood. Make it a point to consume at least one citrus fruit every day.
Bananas are high in purines, but their benefits may just outweigh the disadvantages. For one, bananas are rich in potassium which helps normalize blood pressure and may also help control uric acid levels. It may also prevent the crystallization of uric acid by converting it into liquid form, so it’s easily filtered by the kidneys. Eat a banana by itself or add it to smoothies, desserts, and oatmeal.
The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” holds true for gout sufferers. It’s one of the most consumed fruits in the world and for good reason. It’s delicious and possesses extremely powerful nutrients that help fight inflammatory diseases. They’re also sweet which makes them the perfect treat to beat those sugar cravings. When eating apples, do not bother peeling it as the skin is just as beneficial as the flesh inside it. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly with baking soda mixed with water to remove any pesticides coating it.
Papaya is known to help people who suffer from arthritis particularly rheumatoid arthritis. If you read my article about this condition, you will know that suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can make you susceptible to developing gout as well. The proteolytic enzyme papain found in papaya is a natural anti-inflammatory which may help the body maintain its alkalinity, preventing the buildup of uric acid.
Papaya is also rich in vitamin C which may be beneficial for gout. Aside from that, it contains nutrients such as carotenes, flavonoids, B vitamins, vitamin A, folate, pantothenic, potassium, copper, magnesium. All these work together to promote heart, colon, and kidney health. Simply put, papaya helps your vital organs to function optimally decreasing your chances experiencing gout symptoms.
In the gout community, pineapple is best known for its bromelain content. But let’s not forget that it’s also high in vitamin C and low in fructose making it an ideal sweet treat for the gout sufferer. Unfortunately, its most important property, bromelain, is only found in its stems.
Research has found that bromelain helps promote blood circulation and relieve pain caused by inflammation. Yes, the stem is not as sweet and edible as the fruit itself, but it is still consumable. If you have a juicer, you can cut the pineapple stem and puree it to enjoy its benefits. You can also take bromelain in pill form. Take it during a gout attack, and hours after the attack to manage the pain.
Avocados often get mistaken for being a vegetable because they’re not sweet like regular fruit. What makes it a true a star is its high fat content. It’s one of the fattiest foods on the planet but take note, it’s the good kind of fat. It has monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight inflammation. It’s also high on potassium which may assist with the excretion of uric acid in the body. And because avocados are so filling, they make you feel full longer making you less likely to binge on unhealthy snacks. Avocado is very versatile and can be served in different ways whether as a salad mix, guacamole, toast, or by itself!
Cantaloupes possess a good variety of vitamins and minerals which may be useful for fighting gout symptoms. It has potassium and vitamin C, and although its antioxidant properties are not as powerful as strawberries or cherries, they’re still a good addition to your diet. Remember, you want to have high antioxidant levels in your body. Cantaloupes may help boost that allowing you to rid of those free radicals caused by gout flares. Cantaloupes are low in purines and have a high-water content helping to keep your body hydrated.
All kinds of grapes may be beneficial for gout. They contain bioflavonoids, potassium, and vitamin C which help support the immune system and fight all forms of pain caused by arthritis. However, grapes are high in purines and sugars, so you want to practice moderation when eating them. It can be easy to indulge in a lot since they’re small in size. Eat as much as what your palm will allow and that’s it!
About those High Fructose Fruits
There is a correlation between high fructose fruits and the incidence of gout symptoms. Once metabolized by the body, fructose turns into purines which may elevate uric acid levels. This is why it’s important to keep track of the fructose content in the fruit you are eating. Too much of the sweet fruits may be the cause of your gout attack later on. Always consume such fruits in moderation. Watch your portions and you will still be able to enjoy the benefits, without the risk.
Fruits to Limit
It’s true that certain fruits may worsen your gout symptoms. The good thing is that it’ll be easy to distinguish which ones do. One common denominator is the high oxalate content which is often found in fruit juices. When combined with calcium in your kidneys, it may crystallize and form into kidney stones. This is bad news since proper kidney function is required for processing uric acid.
Fruits that are high oxalate include:
- Dried figs
- Kiwi Fruit
These fruits are not necessarily bad. You can still eat them but as I have mentioned above, do so in moderation.
Do Purines Really Matter?
Purines are crystal compounds metabolized by the body. Once broken down, it turns into a waste product called uric acid. And the buildup of this acid is what causes those unbearable gout attacks. For this reason, gout sufferers are advised to be watchful of the purine content in their food.
But does it really matter with fruits? Based on the studies and accounts I’ve read, there isn’t really a clear answer. You obviously need to be careful of high purine foods but when you look at the list of purines in food, fruits belong in the category of foods that are lowest in purines. Low compared to beer, organ meats, or sardines.
The most important takeaway here is that you should only consume fruit in its most natural form and avoid processed ones like fruit juices or dried fruits. Whole organic fruits provide the best benefits with the least risk. If you are not buying fruit in its whole form, make sure to always check the label. Whether it’s dried fruit, canned, frozen, or juiced, you want to see whether it’s been heavily processed or added with ingredients you don’t want.
Marketers are aware that people are getting more health conscious, so they package and market their products in a way that attract people like you. Don’t fall into the hype and check the labels first. In addition to what you have learned here, I also recommend that you do your own research as well, so you are knowledgeable about the nutrient content in the fruits you buy.