The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.
- Soothe symptoms and prevent new attacks by eating a half a pound of cherries or drinking an equivalent amount of cherry juice per day.
According to a 1950 study of 12 people with gout, eating one-half pound of cherries or drinking an equivalent amount of cherry juice prevented attacks of gout.5 Black, sweet yellow, and red sour cherries were all effective. Since that study, there have been many anecdotal reports of cherry juice as an effective treatment for the pain and inflammation of gout. The active ingredient in cherry juice remains unknown, but a study in healthy volunteers found that eating about half a pound of cherries per day for four weeks decreased levels of C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation).6
- To keep uric acid levels low, eat fewer purine-containing foods, such as liver, shrimp, and dried beans and pulses
Foods that are high in compounds called purines raise uric acid levels in the body and increase the risk of gout. Restricting purine intake can reduce the risk of an attack in people susceptible to gout. Foods high in purines include anchovies, bouillon, brains, broth, consommé, dried legumes, goose, gravy, heart, herring, kidneys, liver, mackerel, meat extracts, mincemeat, mussels, partridge, fish roe, sardines, scallops, shrimp, sweetbreads, baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and yeast extracts (e.g., Marmite, Vegemite).
- To help prevent new attacks, avoid drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day.
Avoiding alcohol, particularly beer, or limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day or less may reduce the number of attacks of gout.7,8Refined sugars, including sucrose (white table sugar) and fructose (the sugar found in fruit juice), should also be restricted, because they have been reported to raise uric acid levels.[REF] In addition, consumption of large amounts of fructose or sugar-sweetened soft drinks was associated with an increased risk of gout in one study.9