July is Nutrition month. This post is my entry for good nutrition and health. Nobody wants a swelling painful joints, painful movements, or should I say “gout”, so let’s talk about Gout Management: List of Healthy Foods Low in Purine, why do we need these low purine foods and what will happen to our bodies if we eat high-purine foods.
What is Purine?
Purine is a substance that is found in foods and is produced naturally by the body. Purines are broken down by the body and changed to uric acid. The kidneys normally filter the uric acid, and it leaves the body through the urine. However, people with gout, sometimes have a build-up of uric acid in the blood. This build-up of uric acid can cause swelling and pain (a gout attack).
What is Uric Acid?
Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down a chemical called purine. High uric acid levels in the blood stream can lead to a common form of arthritis called gout.
What is Gout?
Gout, a painful form of arthritis, occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood cause crystals to form and accumulate around a joint. For many years, treatment for gout focused on eliminating all foods that had moderate to high amounts of purine. A low-purine diet may help to treat and prevent gout attacks.
What is a low-purine diet?
A low-purine diet is a meal plan based on foods that are low in purine content. Keep in mind that uric acid crystals form after the breakdown of purines. In fact, purines are known to increase the level of uric acid in the blood. Since some purines are taken in through the diet, a low uric acid diet is also a low-purine diet. With that being said, here are the List of Healthy Foods Low in Purine that will help lower uric acid levels in your blood:
List of Healthy Foods Low in Purine
10 Foods That Reduce Uric Acid
Cherries are among the top foods that lower uric acid levels. They help prevent uric acid crystallization in the joints and they contain powerful compounds called bioflavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and anthocyanins.
- Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar should also be included in a low-uric acid diet. The malic acid in apple cider vinegar is thought to help break down and remove uric acid from the body. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is best to add one to three teaspoons of raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to eight ounces of water. Drink the apple cider mixture two to three times daily to help control uric acid. In general, apples can also help control uric acid levels.
- Lemon juice:
Vitamin C is important in a low-uric acid diet. Lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C and citric acid. Lemon juice will stimulate calcium carbonate formation—as a result, uric acid is controlled. The citric acid and vitamin C in lime can also help lower uric acid levels. It is a good idea to add freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice to a glass of water and drink it after meals to prevent gout attacks.
- Olive oil and olives:
Olives and extra virgin olive oil are considered good alternatives to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and they are among the foods that lower uric acid levels. The antioxidant vitamin E in olives and olive oil is considered vital to control uric acid levels. It is best to add olive oil to salads, vegetables, and pastas. Avoid using the olive oil for deep-frying, especially since gout sufferers should always avoid fried foods.
- Organic eggs:
Eggs are considered a low purine food and should be included among the foods that lower uric acid. Keep in mind that protein intake should not be excessive. It is best to limit your protein intake to 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
In general, blueberries, hawthorn berries, strawberries, goji berries, cranberries, as well as other dark blue or red berries and fruits should be part of the low-uric acid diet. Berries were featured as foods to eat with gout in a 2012 study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. Like cherries, berries are rich in proanthocyanidins and anthocyanidins. These bioflavonoids help prevent collagen destruction and inflammation.
- Brazil nuts:
Brazil nuts can help lower uric acid levels. They contain only 23 milligrams (mg) of purines per cup. Most nuts contain less than 40 mg of purines; however, peanuts are the exception—they contain nearly 79 mg of purines per cup. Walnuts also control uric acid levels, and they contain 25 mg of purines per cup. Other low-purine nuts include cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts.
- Pinto beans:
Dietary folate is very important in the treatment of gout, and foods high in folate can help reduce uric acid levels. Pinto beans are an excellent source of folate and they contain a lower amount of purines (57 mg per cup). Other low-purine legumes that are good sources of folate include lima beans and chickpeas.
Parsley and its major flavonol constituents, quercetin and kaempferol, can also reduce uric acid levels. Parsley will act like a natural diuretic and help your body excrete excess uric acid. A particular bioflavonoid flavone in parsley called apigenin can also reduce uric acid levels. Apigenin can inhibit the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which is responsible for the conversion of purines to uric acid.
Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are a good source of essential fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation. In a study published in 2011, researchers from Brazil found that flaxseeds reduced uric acid levels better than soybean oil in rats. The flaxseed supplement reduced uric acid levels by 34% after 180 days.
Fish low in purine:
In addition, if you love eating fish, look for the fish with white meat such as Milk fish, Betilia, Asuos, Salmon, Lapu lapu, Maya Maya, Dalagang bukid. This is according to my mom’s doctor.
What we need to know:
To prevent gout, it is essential to maintain good eating habits and have proper medication. Increase liquid intake. Drink 8 to 16 (eight-ounce) cups of liquid each day. At least half of the liquid you drink should be water. Liquid can help your body get rid of extra uric acid.
To reduce the uric acid levels in blood, you may need to limit intake of alcohol, sugary foods, salty-foods and reduce purine rich foods like meat, poultry, seafood and pulses.
What to avoid to reduce high blood levels of uric acid?
- Vegetables such as cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, cabbage, peas and mushroom also contain a lot of purines.
- Avoid eating dried and preserved fruits.
- Avoid red meat.
Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, you should lose weight slowly. Weight loss can help decrease the amount of stress on your joints. Regular exercise can help you lose weight if you are overweight, or maintain your weight if you are at a normal weight. Talk to your healthcare provider before you begin an exercise program.
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Researcher: Mei Redillas