When you sit down to enjoy organ meats like liver and seafood like trout and tuna, you may not be aware of the tiny molecule that could be wreaking havoc on your body. Uric acid, a byproduct of the breakdown of purines found in many foods, can accumulate in the bloodstream and lead to a variety of health problems. When the level of uric acid in the body becomes too high, it can cause excruciating pain, inflammation, and even kidney damage. In this age of rich diets and sedentary lifestyles, high uric acid levels are becoming increasingly common, making it important to understand how to keep this molecule in check.
If you are diagnosed with high levels of uric acid in your body, it's important to be mindful of the foods you eat. Uric acid is a waste product produced by the breakdown of purines, which are found in many foods.
Symptoms Of High Uric Acid In Your Blood
High uric acid levels, if untreated, can cause permanent bone, joint, and tissue damage, as well as kidney and heart illness.
According to Dr Debabrata Mukherjee, director of Nephrology & Renal Transplant, Max Hospital, Gurugram, following can be the symptoms of high uric acid:
- Gout (a condition that causes inflammation, joint discomfort, stiffness, and redness)
- Stones in the kidney
- Chills and fever
Food To Reduce Uric Acid
To help reduce the risk of gout attacks and manage high levels of uric acid, it's important to follow a low-purine diet. Here are some foods to eat when you have high levels of uric acid:
Low-Fat dairy products
Low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt are great sources of protein and calcium. They also have been shown to lower uric acid levels.
Research published in Hindawi demonstrated that cherries have been shown to reduce uric acid levels and decrease the risk of gout attacks. They can be eaten fresh or dried, and can also be consumed as juice.
Berries are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are also low in purines and can help reduce uric acid levels.
Most vegetables are low in purines and can be consumed in large quantities. Some good options include spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat are high in fibre and can help regulate uric acid levels.
Also read: High Uric Acid Levels Can Be Dangerous: Ways To Manage It
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and flax seeds are rich in healthy fats and can help reduce inflammation in the body.
Research published in National Library Medicine showed that eggs are a good source of protein and have been shown to lower uric acid levels.
Lean meats and fish
Lean meats like chicken and turkey are good sources of protein and are low in purines. Fish like salmon and tuna are also low in purines and are high in healthy fats.
Dr Mukharjee suggests drinking plenty of water can help flush out excess uric acid from the body and prevent gout attacks.
Also read: High Levels Of Uric Acid? Try These 5 Ayurvedic Remedies To Bring Them Down
What Foods To Avoid
While following a low-purine diet can be helpful in managing high levels of uric acid, it's important to also limit or avoid certain high-purine foods. These include:
- Organ meats like liver and kidney
- Seafood like anchovies, sardines, mussels, and scallops
- Red meat like beef and pork
- Alcohol, especially beer and wine
It's also important to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and avoid dehydration to help reduce the risk of gout attacks.
A low-purine diet that includes foods like low-fat dairy products, cherries, berries, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, eggs, lean meats and fish, herbal teas, and water can help manage high levels of uric acid. It's also important to avoid or limit high-purine foods and maintain a healthy lifestyle overall to prevent gout attacks.