Gout is an inflammatory joint disease and a form of arthritis which can cause quite a lot of pain and joint stiffness. Gout is caused by an increased concentration of uric acid in the blood, which results in the formation of uric acid crystals that can harm the joints.
In the past, experts believed vitamin C supplementation makes gout attacks even more severe, but several studies have later shown that vitamin C can actually reduce the pain. 500 mg. of vitamin C a day can keep the uric acid levels under control by decreasing the serum uric acid levels. Vitamin C first binds the uric acid from your kidneys to receptor sites and then eliminates the excess uric acid through the urine. One study showed that the higher the vitamin C intake, the better the reduction of pain is – people in the study who suffered from gout and took 1500 mg. of vitamin C a day had a 45% reduction of gout attacks and pain.
Bioflavonoids and their effect on gout
Bioflavonoids are antioxidant compounds that can be found in citrus fruits such as lemon. Citrus fruits also contain another powerful substance called hesperidin, for which studies have shown it can reduce the severity and frequency of gout attacks. According to one study, a combination of vitamin C, bioflavonoids and hesperidin is essential for reducing gout pain, which means that lemons may be the best remedy nature has to offer against inflammatory diseases.
The best way to fight gout is to take 500-1500 mg. of vitamin C every day in the form of supplements. Calcium ascorbate is a great option as it can be used by anyone including those with stomach problems. Adding citrus fruits in your daily diet can help as well – you can pick from lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and other tasty fruits which will relieve your gout pain and prevent attacks.
Here are a few groups of vitamin C-rich foods which can help you defeat the disease:
Dark leafy green vegetables
Kale, spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard all contain a high amount of vitamin C which makes them an ideal choice of food if you’re suffering from gout. You can add a bit of these vegetables in your smoothies and meals, or lightly steam them and serve them up on your plate. Besides being great against gout, these veggies contain essential nutrients as well which will nourish your body and keep you healthy.
Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C and can easily fight gout. Cut a few of them in half and eat them raw, or add some in your smoothie for a nice flavor.
Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids which can significantly reduce the gout pain.
Add some fresh rosemary in your meals for a nice flavor and a jolt of hesperidin which will treat the pain.
Sweet bell peppers
Sweet bell peppers are full of vitamin C and antioxidants which can reduce the pain caused by any type of arthritis. However, make sure to limit their consumption to just a few a day – if your body is sensitive, sweet bell peppers can actually worsen your condition as they are a part of the toxic nightshade family.