What Foods Are Good For Lowering Uric Acid
Keeping uric acid levels stable is very important in order to avoid problems like uric acid concentration in joints and the consequent formation of urate crystals, which cause inflammation and pain. Following a proper diet is key to preventing uric acid from increasing or, indeed, to reducing it. In this oneHOWTO we explain in detail what foods are good for lowering uric acid. An increase of uric acid is also the cause of the painful type of arthritis known as gout, when the acid's accumulation around a particular joint will cause it to swell and will be very painful. Despite being previously known as "the disease of kings" thanks to its links to the over-consumption of rich foods, it can happen to anyone.
Before learning about what foods are good for lowering uric acid, it is important to know that there are some off-limit foods for people with high levels of uric acid. These include:
- red meat
- cold cured meat
- oily fish
- commercially baked goods
- animal fats in cream and butter
- alcoholic beverages
- carbonated drinks
Uric acid is caused by the breakdown of a chemical known as purine. The foods listen above contain high amounts of this chemical, but you can find them in some vegetables like spinach, lentils and beans. However, the main cause is attributed to lifestyle so heavy drinkers, those who regularly take drugs and those with a sedentary lifestyle are at a higher risk of developing the condition, despite not necessarily eating a lot of these foods. For further information, take a look at our article on what foods increase uric acid.
Artichokes contain high amounts of a chemical called cynarine. This chemical is a great aid for digestion as it helps in the production of bile which absorb fats and helps us to break down the nutrients in our food through the liver which will then enter our bloodstream. Artichokes also contain silymarin which helps further protect the liver and therefore aids digestion of toxins. It is also helpful in lowering uric acid since artichokes have diuretic properties that help excrete uric acid through urine. Essentially, you will be peeing out the bad toxins in a more efficient way.
A good way to enjoy its benefits is to boil the artichokes and, in addition to eating the vegetables, drink the resulting vegetable broth. To do so, we recommend you take a look at our article on how to cook artichokes and use them to reduce your uric acid.
On the other hand, onions also help cleanse the body and reduce problems with uric acid. They have long been associated with treatment of arthritis as it can slower the swelling. As in the previous case, it is recommended to drink the vegetable's broth when boiling the onions. Boil the onions with lemon juice and drink a couple of cups of onion broth a day. These are both purine-poor (as opposed to purine-rich) vegetables, so they will help counteract these properties.
Apart from this diuretic vegetable, others such as carrots and celery can help to lower uric acid. They can keep your levels at a more normal rate and avoid the formation of crystals of urate in your limbs.
Speaking of fruit that is beneficial to reduce the levels of uric acid, apples can also be beneficial to eliminate uric acid, and again water apples. Boil three chopped apples in 1.5 litres of water for about half an hour. Filter out the pulp of the apples and drink throughout the day. You could eat three apples instead, but these will be very filling, so this is a good way to get the nutrients without being too full.
Strawberries and citrus fruits are also appropriate for people that have problems with uric acid, as they have high concentrations of vitamin C.
At the same time, you should maintain a diet rich in cereals, starches and vegetables and those low in purines in order to accelerate the excretion of urates, thereby preventing the development of urate crystals in your joints. Essentially you want to help your body stop the breakdown of purine into uric acid and flush out your system.
Also, due to the fact that red meat increases cholesterol levels, eating chicken is recommended for those who wish to reduce this substance in their body. Eggs can also be incorporated into your diet as long as you do not suffer from hypercholesterolemia. If meat is what has led to the problem in the first place, then it may be worth consideration of a vegetarian or vegan diet. You would still have to stick to those which are low in purine, but, as meat has the greater levels of it, cutting it out altogether will be to your benefit.
If you are in doubt as to which meat is considered red, and therefore should avoid, we suggest you take a look at our article: What is considered red meat.
Above all, to combat uric acid it is essential to drink plenty of water because the body excretes this toxin through the urine. This is why it's highly important to guarantee the intake of two litres of water daily, though you can also add fresh juices and other non-carbonated drinks. A person who is not used to drinking enough water will be more prone to uric acid accumulation. Drinking the wrong thing can also hurt, so make sure to not drink high sugar or fructose beverages (commonly in sodas or other high sugar drinks which we unfortunately find so drinkable).
Reducing your intake of alcohol will most likely have a bearing on your uric acid levels as well. Wine presents somewhat less of a risk of increasing uric acid that spirits or beer, but it will still be a contributing factor. Changing your drink of choice to wine might help, but not drinking any alcohol will be even better.
Drinking coffee has also been known to help reduce the chances of producing too much uric acid. Studies have found that those over 40 years of age who regularly drink coffee have less of a chance of developing gout caused by the increase of uric acid due to uric acid's link to insulin levels. A particular antioxidant found in coffee, chlorogenic acid, is thought to lower the production of insulin, with a lower production of uric acid a side effect of this. It may be counterproductive to have a sugary latte with a lot of high fat milk, but a couple of black coffees a day is thought to help lower uric acid.
It is fundamental to visit your doctor or nutritionist if you have any doubts on what food you should eat to lower uric acid, as well as those you should avoid. In any case, you can take a look at the following advice:
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to What Foods Are Good For Lowering Uric Acid, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.
- Track your uric acid levels and do not let it rise.