Pain and tenderness in your joints, redness around the affected area and limited movement in the joints signal a gout flare-up.
Extra care in your food habits can help check the triggers. What you put on your plate can greatly help control and prevent flare-ups of gouty arthritis.
In gout, the level of uric acid is high that leads to formation of uric acid crystals. These crystals deposit themselves in your joints and cause excruciating pain. Since diet is responsible for one fourth part of the total uric acid that is formed in your body, it is a great way to control got symptoms.
Before we embark on a list of foods you should not eat in gouty arthritis to avoid triggering its symptoms, let us have a look at what foods are gout friendly.
Foods that are gout friendly are as follows:
- Add more fluids to your diet:
Water is the first thing you drink to start your day! In fact, make sure you take at least 1.5 litres of water daily. This will hydrate your body and help flush out excessive uric acid from your body.
You may also add other fluids like tea, coffee, non sugary juices and drinks.
- Increase folic acid intake:
Folic acid helps restrain the production of a compound called xanthine oxidase. This compound is the major enzyme that boosts the production of uric acid. You may take 10 to 80 mg of folic acid daily after consulting your health care practitioner.
- Eat complex carbohydrates:
Simple carbs like bread, cakes, biscuits etc. elevate the blood sugar level in your body. This in turn elevates the uric acid in your body that may trigger or worsen symptoms of gouty arthritis.
Eat complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbs. So, load your platter with fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains. They are an excellent source of fibre. This fibre content keeps you full for a long time and reduces food cravings. It also helps bring down levels of uric acid in your body naturally.
- Snack on strawberries:
Strawberries are rich in a compound that helps neutralize uric acid in your body. This makes strawberries a natural remedy for countering symptoms of gouty arthritis.
- Baking soda:
Baking soda is alkaline in nature. It helps in removing uric acid content from your body by neutralizing it. You can consume baking soda by putting half a teaspoon of it in a glass of water.
- Go for low fat dairy items:
Include low fat dairy foods like skimmed milk or low fat yoghurt in your diet. They prevent the risk of gouty arthritis.
There are some foods that are rich in purine content. Purines elevate the level of uric acid in your body that further worsens the symptoms of gouty arthritis. Here are some foods that you should avoid in gouty arthritis:
- Cut down on animal protein:
Foods that contain animal protein are enriched with purines. Purines elevate uric acid in your body that makes gout pain worse. So, eliminate red meat like pork, beef, lamb etc. and sea food like shrimps, scallops, lobster, herring, anchovies and tuna etc. from your diet.
Seafood, poultry and all types of meat are full of purines. Also avoid protein rich crash diets as they abnormally elevate uric acid levels in your body.
- Say no to alcohol:
Eliminate alcohol from your consumption list. It is not good for gout symptoms. For example, beer not only sharply shoots up the uric acid levels in your body, it also makes it difficult to flush out uric acid from your system. So, it is wise choice to steer clear of all forms of alcohol.
- Give sugary drinks a miss:
Sugary drinks like cold drinks are full of fructose content. Fructose increases uric acid content in your body.
- Avoid purine rich foods:
Although vegetarian sources of purines are not as bad as animal protein, still they burden your system with uric acid. Asparagus, mushroom, legume, spinach and cauliflower are high on purines, so they should be avoided in gout.
- Avoid fats:
Steer clear of foods high on fat content. Oily and fried food like pizza, hot dogs, burgers, bakery items like pastries, breads etc. are high on fat and calories. This burdens your system and makes gout condition worse.
If you follow these do’s and don’ts in your diet plan, it will be easier to prevent and tone down gout flare-ups. It will also keep a check on your weight and help you with the management of gouty arthritis.