Making positive lifestyle changes, like sticking to a healthy diet, is key in managing gout. Doing this can involve adding avocado to your diet.
The many health benefits of avocado can aid in preventing gout attacks and boost your overall health.
Read on to take a look at the health benefits of avocado, learn how it can help with gout, and get additional tips for managing this condition.
Gout is an inflammatory arthritis condition that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness of a joint. It usually occurs in one joint at a time and most often affects your big toe, although it can also occur in your wrists, knees, and ankles.
Gout can develop due to high levels of uric acid in your bloodstream, known as hyperuricemia.
Your body creates uric acid when it breaks down purines (chemical compounds). It produces these naturally but also gets them from certain foods.
The buildup of uric acid crystals in your joints, fluids, and tissues can lead to gout.
Treating gout involves taking action to lower the uric acid levels in your bloodstream, which can prevent flare-ups. Although there’s no cure for gout, you can experience periods of remission when no symptoms are present.
Following a diet that includes plenty of low purine foods and limits high purine foods can help control gout.
Avocados are a beneficial addition to any healthy diet, including one that can help manage gout.
They’re naturally low in purines and contain large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. A
Avocados offer a variety of nutritional benefits that can help improve gout symptoms, as well as benefiting your overall health. They are a low carb food containing plenty of nutrients, including potassium, fiber, and monounsaturated fats.
High levels of dietary fiber and monounsaturated fat promote cardiovascular health by improving your cholesterol levels. They do this by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels while reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Potassium further supports heart health by regulating blood pressure.
Avocados are also high in a carotenoid called lutein, which supports eye health and mental function.
Most importantly for those with gout, avocados are rich in antioxidants. They also contain vitamin E, which plays a role in anti-inflammatory processes. These properties mean that the fruit can help manage gout.
Most of the fat content in avocados is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid, or “good fat.” They are still high in fat, though, so they are a high calorie food.
Since maintaining a moderate weight is part of managing gout, you should eat avocados and other calorie-dense foods in moderation.
That said, eating adequate amounts of dietary fats promotes satiety and can help you feel fuller for longer, which may reduce snacking. Dietary fat also keeps blood sugar levels stable by slowing down carbohydrate digestion.
How to add avocado to your diet
You can experiment with simple and creative ways to incorporate avocado into your diet. Here are a few ways to get started:
- For a simple snack, lightly season an avocado with salt, pepper, or other condiments. Enjoy it on its own or spread it onto whole grain crackers or toast.
- Add sliced avocado to salads, scrambled eggs, or sandwiches.
- Blend an avocado to make guacamole, smoothies, or dressings.
- You can also drizzle avocado oil over your meals or use it for cooking, but this won’t offer the same nutritional benefits as eating the whole fruit.
In addition to following a nutritious eating plan for overall health, you should limit or reduce your intake of foods that are high in purine. You can also include plenty of foods low in purine.
Examples of high purine foods include:
- All organ meats: including liver, kidney, sweetbread, and brain
- Game meats: including pheasant, rabbit, veal, and venison
- Fish: such as sardines, trout, anchovies, tuna, mackerel, and haddock
- Other seafood: including prawns, crab, scallops, mussels, and roe
- Sugary beverages: such as soda, fruit juice, and sports drinks
- Foods rich in refined sugar: including cookies, cakes, and pastries
- Sweeteners: such as honey, agave nectar, and high fructose corn syrup
- Yeasts: including nutritional yeast, brewer’s yeast, and other yeast supplements
- Alcohol: especially beer, fortified wine, and port
Examples of low purine foods include:
- All fruits: including pineapple, banana, apples, grapes, red raspberries, watermelon, and cherries
- All vegetables: such as cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, peas, mushrooms, and dark leafy greens
- Most legumes: including lentils, beans, soybeans, and tofu
- Most nuts and seeds: including cashews, walnuts, and flaxseeds
- Whole grains: such as oats, brown rice, and barley
- Eggs and all dairy products: especially low fat dairy
- Certain beverages: coffee, tea, and green tea
- All herbs and spices: such as chili, cilantro, and turmeric
- Plant-based oils: including coconut, avocado, olive, and flax
It’s also important to try to maintain a moderate weight. Having excess body weight can increase the likelihood of flare-ups by:
- increasing uric acid production
- reducing uric acid removal by your kidneys
- hindering your body’s ability to break down sugar
However, if you’re trying to lose weight, you should take care to do this safely and avoid fad diets. Such extreme measures can put additional stress on your kidneys, which can impair their ability to excrete uric acid and prevent gout flare-ups.
In addition to following a balanced diet, there are several ways to improve symptoms during a gout flare-up.
Here are a few simple things that can help:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help your kidneys excrete uric acid.
- Stay physically active but allow yourself plenty of time to rest, especially during flare-ups. Engaging in low impact activities, like biking and swimming, may be most beneficial.
- Avoid putting excessive strain on your joints during this time by taking a break from strenuous exercise and lifting heavy weights.
- Take time to relax in an Epsom salt bath or take a cold bath. Avoid hot baths if your inflammation is severe.
- Alternate applications of ice packs and heating pads to the affected area a few times per day.
- cherries or tart cherry juice
- vitamin C
- skim milk powder
- warm water with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and turmeric
- celery or celery seeds
- nettle tea
- dandelion tea, extract, or supplement
- milk thistle seeds
- bromelain extract
- guava leaves extract
- fish oil supplements
However, the general advice is to avoid relying solely on home remedies. Also, the
Before adding any new supplements to your diet, talk with your doctor to make sure that they are right for you and don’t interact with any medications you might be taking.
Even though you can’t cure gout, you can take steps to manage your symptoms and reduce the recurrence of flare-ups.
A healthy diet that includes avocado can help fight inflammation and aid in weight management.
Talk with a healthcare professional if your symptoms worsen or you’ve taken steps to manage gout and they haven’t worked.