Uric acid is a byproduct created when the body breaks down purines. Purines are substances naturally produced in the body and also found in some foods and beverages.

If you have too much uric acid in your body, it may form crystals that cause inflammation and pain in your joints. This can cause a type of arthritis called 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.

Research suggests that changing your diet could help control gout symptoms and reduce the risk of developing gout.

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

Bananas are a very low-purine food. They’re also a good source of vitamin C. A 2021 review suggests that high vitamin C intake may protect against gout, but more research is needed to confirm this potential benefit.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that one banana contains 14.1 mg of vitamin C, around 16% of the daily value (DV).

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 uric acid levels in your blood.

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

  • fruits
  • dark berries
  • vegetables (vegetables high in purines — like 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 you might want to try 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 makes 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. But you may still need to take medication to treat your gout.

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