Gout is a type of arthritis that causes sudden and severe bursts of pain in the joints which leads to swelling and inflammation. More often than not, gout occurs in the big toes, but it can also appear in the fingers, wrists, knees, and heels. It can be an extremely painful and uncomfortable condition, and unfortunately, it’s quite common. Healthline reports that it affects an estimated 8.3 million people, and that’s just in the United States! Thankfully, gout is a manageable condition, but it does take some work.
Because the symptoms can come on suddenly and without notice, they are often referred to as “attacks.” These attacks occur “when there is too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product made by the body when it digests certain foods,” writes Healthline. With that being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that gout can be somewhat controlled through diet. In addition to taking medication, the patient can reduce the amount of flare-ups they endure by following a gout-friendly diet, as well as a few lifestyle changes.
If you’re not sure what makes for a gout-friendly diet, do not fret! We’ve compiled a list of foods that are good (or safe) to eat, as well as all the foods to avoid. Check it out:
Eat: Vitamin C
Unlike some of the bad foods on this list that increase uric acid levels, vitamin C actually works to decrease these levels and prevent gout attacks. Everyday Health says the Canadian-American research found that men who ate at least 1,500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day reduced their chances of developing gout by 45-percent. This was against men who got less than 250-mg a day. You’ll see later on in this article that fructose, an ingredient in fruit, is actually bad for gout, so it’s important to choose specific fruits that have a lower amount of fructose when possible. The best options are oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, and strawberries. Vegetables that are high in vitamin C are broccoli and red pepper.
The Arthritis Foundation says most studies recommend getting about 500-mg per day, and while it is possible to get vitamin C through a supplement, Everyday Health advises talking it over with a doctor to figure out the right dosage. Vitamin C is helpful in the fight against gout, but too much of it can be harmful. It could do the opposite of what we want by increasing uric acid levels and potentially trigger a gout attack.