Did you know that a vegetarian diet may help relieve the main symptoms of gout? 🥙 Indeed, as medical experts explain, it’s possible to minimize gout attacks by making some small but significant lifestyle changes. This is why adopting a vegetarian diet for gout, especially if low in purines, may play a significant role in managing symptoms and preventing flare-ups.
Let’s have a look at all the scientific reasons why going vegetarian might work wonders if you are suffering from this incredibly painful condition. 🌈
What is Gout and What are the Main Symptoms?
Gout is an incredibly painful condition that causes inflammation of the joints. It occurs when excess levels of uric acid in the blood crystallize and build up in the joint tissue.
But where does the uric acid come from? The human body makes uric acid during the breakdown of chemicals called purines found in certain food and drinks (mainly in fish, seafood, and red meat). This normal byproduct goes through the kidneys and exits the body when we pee. However, sometimes the body produces too much uric acid, or our kidneys aren’t able to expel it.
In both these cases (hyperuricemia), the uric acid crystals can concentrate in the joints, causing gout. Among the most common manifestations of the so-called “gout attacks” (i.e. symptoms flare-ups), are:
- Sudden, severe pain in a joint
- Redness, stiffness, and swelling around the painful joint
- Tenderness, even to light touches, such as from clothes and bedsheets.
- Hotness or a feeling like the joint is “on fire.”
A gout attack can last a week or two, and the symptoms tend to worsen and affect more and more joints each time they occur.
Luckily, it is possible to minimize gout attacks by making some key lifestyle changes, with diet playing a particularly big role in symptom management. Let’s take a look at why adopting a vegetarian diet could be an excellent way to manage the condition.
How going vegetarian may help relieve symptoms of gout
There are many reasons why adopting a vegetarian diet might help prevent gout flare-ups. Here are the main ones.
1. Vegetarian diets are low in purines
Purines are compounds found in the cells of all living things, including plants. However, some foods -such as red meat and fish- are richer in purines than others. When the body processes purines, it produces uric acid as a by-product.
Excessive consumption of purine-rich foods can therefore cause gout or worsen symptoms, which is why gout patients are advised to reduce their purine intake. Luckily, a vegetarian diet is based on low-purines food. This is why it’s a fantastic way to dramatically reduce purine intake and relieve gout symptoms.
2. Vegetarian diets are often high in vitamin C
Vitamin C plays an important role in regulating uric acid levels in the blood, and research has discovered that those with a high intake of vitamin C have a lower risk of developing gout. It stands to reason that by increasing vitamin C intake via our diet, it may be possible to reduce the frequency or severity of gout attacks.
Luckily, vegetarian diets are often high in vitamin C. For example, citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, and leafy greens are all good sources of this vitamin.
3. Vegetarian diets can help with weight management
Since gout affects the joints, it can impact mobility and make it difficult or painful to get out and about. Those who are overweight or obese often have a particularly difficult time because their excess weight adds additional pressure to the joints and exacerbates pain and inflammation.
Also in this case evidence suggests that it’s easier to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight while eating a plant-based diet. The main reason for this is that vegetarian diets are usually based on plenty of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which tend to be much lower in calories and saturated fats than meat and other animal products. This is why going vegetarian might help you get your weight under control and manage gout symptoms more easily!
The Main Takeaway: diet plays a huge role in managing gout symptoms!
As explained above, keeping the body as healthy as possible is essential for those suffering from gout! Eating a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet, high in vitamins and minerals is, therefore, a fantastic place to start when making changes to better manage gout!
Do you have any other tips for better managing gout flare-ups? Tell us in the comments section below!
Author Bio: Esther
Esther is certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist of Integrative Healing. “I love working with people who are motivated to break through obstacles that have been holding them back from living life fully”.
Get to know her better and check out her services at Hypno-Flow.com.
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