Gout is a painful form of arthritis that occurs mainly in the feet and is usually caused by a diet rich in fat and protein. Those with gout suffer excruciating pain due to large deposits of uric acid crystals in their foot joints. Thankfully, this pain can be easily remedied by identifying which foods cause a build up of these acid crystals and which ones can prevent them.
If you suffer with gout, these are 3 nutrition tips you need.
Eat the right kind of proteins
Proteins are essential for a well-balanced diet. Unfortunately, there are kinds that can aggravate the symptoms of gout -- these are known as high-purine proteins. Purine raises uric acid levels in the body during digestion and as a result, uric acid crystals are deposited in the joints. Cutting out these purine-rich foods (organ meats, red meats, shellfish, and poultry) can help enormously in providing pain relief.
These foods should be replaced with low-purine proteins such as soy, tofu, fish, legumes and low-fat dairy products. While these proteins still create uric acid during digestion, they are less likely to crystallize and deposit themselves in your joints.
Have high-fiber foods
Whole grains and high-fiber foods are the super foods that ensure everything flows smoothly in your digestive system -- making them essential for gout. Fiber foods help to rapidly flush out waste materials such as uric acid. A high-fiber diet includes cereals made from whole grains, brown rice, whole grain pasta, oats, barley and buckwheat. Starchy root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash and turnips are also rich in fiber and contain nutrients that help prevent the formation of uric acid crystals.
Reduce inflammation with vitamins
Treating the pain and inflammation of gout requires you to create an alkaline environment in the body. Alkaline fights against the formation of uric acid crystals in your blood and urine -- helping to reduce the aches in your feet. In helping to restore a more gout-friendly pH balance in the body, fruits and veg containing vitamin C and potassium are highly recommended. These include:
- Oranges, grapefruits and vitamin C-rich vegetables like peppers
- Pineapples are high in bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme
- Bananas, cantaloupe and tart cherry juice - these help to prevent acute attacks of gouty arthritis.
The antioxidants found in these vitamin-rich foods help to make your urine more alkaline, preventing the formation of uric acid crystals and the pain that comes with it. It's worth noting, however that some of the above can work better than others in helping relieve pain symptoms. It's best to test the effects of certain vitamins on your pain level and incorporate the effective ones into your daily diet.
Once your gout has been diagnosed by podiatrists, your local doctor may be able to recommend a specific nutrition or lifestyle plan based on your health history. Keeping to the above diet as well as a suitable exercise regimen for your gout will help prevent arthritis attacks and alleviate your pain when they do.
For more information on how a podiatrist can help diagnose and treat a condition like gout, contact a practice like McLean & Partners.