Nucleic acid — one of our body’s important building blocks — includes substances called purines. A waste product of purines is uric acid.

If you have too much uric acid in your body, it may form crystals that cause inflammation and pain in your joints. This metabolic disorder is known as gout.

Although there are other factors that contribute to gout, the higher the levels of uric acid in your body, the greater the chance for gout inflammation, swelling, and pain.

According to a 2015 article from the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, changing your diet can help lower your uric acid levels.

Eating a low-purine diet should lower uric acid production, which might, in turn, reduce gout attacks.

Bananas are a low-purine food. They’re also high in Vitamin C. A 2009 article in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that a higher intake of vitamin C is associated with a lower risk of gout.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that a large banana contains 11.8 mg of vitamin C.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adult women is 75 mg and adult men is 90 mg. That translates to a large banana supplying about 16 percent of the daily recommended vitamin C for a woman and about 13 percent for a man.

Although changing your diet probably won’t cure your gout, it can slow the advancement of joint damage and lower the risk of recurring attacks by reducing the levels of uric acid in your blood.

In addition to bananas, here are some other low-purine foods to add to your diet:

  • fruits
  • dark berries
  • vegetables (according to the Mayo Clinic, vegetables high in purines — such as spinach and asparagus — do not increase the risk of gout or gout attacks)
  • nuts (including peanut butter)
  • low-fat/fat-free dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • eggs
  • potatoes
  • tofu
  • pasta

If you have gout, here are some foods to avoid:

  • sugary drinks
  • sugary foods
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • red meat (beef, lamb, pork)
  • organ and glandular meat (liver, sweetbreads, kidney)
  • bacon
  • seafood
  • alcohol (distilled liquor and beer)

Bananas are low in purines and high in vitamin C, which make them a good food to eat if you have gout.

Changing your diet to include more low-purine foods, like bananas, can lower the amount of uric acid in your blood and reduce your risk of recurrent gout attacks. However, you may still need to take medication to treat your gout.

Talk to your doctor about how best to manage your gout and lower your risk of gout attacks.