Uric acid is a waste product produced by the body when purines, which are substances found in certain foods and beverages, are broken down. Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood and goes into the urine via the kidneys. However, uric acid can collect in the blood and create difficulties such as gout, kidney stones, and other health issues if the body produces too much of it or the kidneys do not expel it adequately.
There are, thankfully, several natural strategies to reduce uric acid levels in the body. One of them is to eat foods low in purines or that aid in the elimination of uric acid. Here are 10 such foods:
First, know the harmful effects of excessive uric acid in body:
Uric acid is a waste product that is normally excreted by the kidneys through urine. However, when the level of uric acid in the blood becomes too high, it can cause various health problems. This condition is called hyperuricemia and it can result from increased production or decreased elimination of uric acid in the body. Some of the factors that can contribute to hyperuricemia are:
- Eating foods that are high in purines, such as organ meats, red meat, seafood, and some vegetables
- Drinking alcohol, especially beer
- Having certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, psoriasis, and some cancers
- Taking certain medications, such as diuretics, aspirin, and chemotherapy drugs
- Exercising excessively, fasting, or crash dieting
One of the most common and painful effects of hyperuricemia is gout. Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals form in the joints and cause inflammation, swelling, and severe pain. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can also affect other joints such as the ankles, knees, wrists, and elbows. Gout attacks can be triggered by stress, injury, infection, surgery, or eating certain foods.
Another effect of hyperuricemia is kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form in the kidneys or the urinary tract. Uric acid stones are one type of kidney stones that can occur when there is too much uric acid in the urine.
A third effect of hyperuricemia is tophi. Tophi are lumps of uric acid crystals that form under the skin in various parts of the body. Tophi can occur in people who have chronic hyperuricemia or gout that is not well controlled.
10 foods that lower the uric acid levels in body
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Cherries are rich in anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and anti-gout effects. Studies have shown that eating cherries or cherry juice can reduce uric acid levels and prevent gout attacks
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body flush out excess uric acid. It also boosts the immune system and protects against infections. Foods that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Coffee contains caffeine and other compounds that may lower uric acid levels by increasing urine output and inhibiting xanthine oxidase, an enzyme that converts purines into uric acid. However, coffee should be consumed in moderation and not as a substitute for water.
Low-fat dairy products:
Low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese provide protein and calcium without adding too much purine to the diet. Studies have found that consuming low-fat dairy products can lower the risk of gout and reduce uric acid levels.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that helps regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, and promote bowel movements. Fiber also binds to uric acid in the intestines and helps it exit the body. Foods that are high in fiber include oats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Celery seeds are a traditional remedy for gout and other inflammatory conditions. They have diuretic properties that increase urine flow and help flush out uric acid. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may reduce pain and swelling.
Pinto beans are a good source of folic acid, which is a B vitamin that helps lower uric acid levels by inhibiting xanthine oxidase. Pinto beans also provide protein, fiber, iron, and other nutrients that support overall health.
Water is essential for hydration and proper functioning of the kidneys. Drinking enough water can help dilute uric acid in the blood and prevent it from crystallizing in the joints or forming kidney stones. Experts recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water per day.
Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for various ailments, including high uric acid levels. It is believed to have alkalizing effects that can neutralize uric acid and make it easier for the kidneys to eliminate it. It may also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Lemon juice is another natural way to alkalize the body and lower uric acid levels. It also provides vitamin C and citric acid, which may help dissolve urate crystals and prevent gout attacks.
These are some of the natural foods that can help lower uric acid levels in the body. However, they should not replace medical treatment or advice from a doctor. People with high uric acid levels should consult their doctor before making any dietary changes or taking any supplements.