Gout is a type of arthritis in which uric acid crystals are deposited in the joints, tendons and kidneys causing pain and inflammation.
Uric acid is normally cleared from the body via the kidneys and out through the urine. However, crystals of monosodium urate can be formed when there is an excessive production of uric acid or when excretion through urine is reduced or impaired.
Uric acid production can become high due to excessive intakes of purine rich foods or due to poor protein metabolism.
Over 95% of gout sufferers are males over 30. Gout is often referred to as a rich man’s disease, since this condition can reflect an over-indulgent lifestyle of ‘wining and dining’!
About 50% of cases typically involve the first joint of the big toe. Usually, that first attack is short lived but subsequent attacks can last from weeks to months. Sufferers of gout run a high risk of developing kidney stones. Preventing subsequent attacks of gout can be achieved by switching to a more alkaline-forming diet.

Dietary and lifestyle recommendations

Concentrate on a vegetarian diet reducing body acidity, by including plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Eliminate alcohol, saturated fats and purine foods.

Purple berries

– rich in anthocyanidins, which prevent collagen destruction proved to be protective in conditions such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Eat two tablespoons of purple berries a day. Choose from blackberries, black currents, blueberries and bilberries. If not in season, then use frozen or tinned fruit.


– during an attack of gout consume half a pound of fresh, tinned or frozen cherries. This is an effective way of lowering uric acid levels.


– freshly juiced fruits and vegetables like carrot, beetroot, celery, cherry, apple, etc. act as good cleansers, help to alkalise the body and are rich in vitamins and minerals vital for immunity and healing.

Seeds for protein

– rich in vital minerals like selenium, magnesium and zinc. These are also an excellent vegetarian source of the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids. Important for dietary protein since it is not advisable to consume animal protein when suffering from gout. Add a mixed tablespoon of ground pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and hemp seeds a day. Whiz in an electric coffee grinder until powdered and sprinkle on to salads, baked potatoes, muesli or rice.

Fluid intake

– use fresh juices and filtered water. Drink at least two litres a day to dilute uric acid levels.

Potassium broth

– drink on a daily basis to help re-alkalise the body. Two carrots with tops, two beets with tops, one onion, one bunch parsley, two stalks celery with leaves, handful spinach, half bunch watercress. Chop all ingredients and add to four pints water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are soft. Strain, discard the vegetables and drink half a pint of the broth. Refrigerate the left over, for future use. Serve hot or cold.

Fresh fruit

– build up to 3-5 portions of fresh fruit a day. Blue and purple berries are particularly good, rich in the natural anti-histamine, vitamin C and bioflavaniods. Avoid excessive consumption of citrus fruit. Eat a banana a day for potassium.

Fresh vegetables

– build up to 3-5 servings of fresh vegetables a day. Increasing the soluble fibre content of the diet helps with detoxification, re-alkalising, reducing the toxic load on the body and boosting immunity. Celery, cabbage, kale, parsley, carrots and alfalfa sprouts are especially good.


– which reduces the excretion of uric acid

Purine rich foods

– Avoid the high and moderate purine foods and limit intake of low purine foods.

Refined carbohydrates

– these contribute to raised uric acid levels. Avoid confectionary, cakes, biscuits, pastries, puddings, chocolate, soft drinks and sugar.

Saturated fats

– these increase uric acid retention. Avoid fried foods, crisps, butter, cheese and red meat.

Smoking, artificial colourings and additives, caffeine

– act as stresses to the body, reduce immunity and promote inflammation.

Processed foods

– these are depleted of micronutrients and often loaded with artificial additives.
As some gout can be triggered by lead toxicity, use a water filter in soft water areas or if your house has old lead water pipes. A weight management programme should be followed if suffering from obesity or if overweight.
By Elizabeth Hartland
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Elizabeth Hartland has a Bachelor of Science Degree in nutrition, together with a Diploma from the Institute of Nutritional Therapy. She is married with two young children and has a passion for good nutrition and helping others to find better health. 282 427 652