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What is the best juice to drink when you have gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints. This buildup of uric acid causes sudden and severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in the joints – often the joint of the big toe. While there is no cure for gout, making changes to your diet and lifestyle can help manage symptoms. One dietary change that may help is adding certain juices that are low in purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid.

Causes and Symptoms of Gout

Gout occurs when excess uric acid builds up in the bloodstream and crystallizes in the joints, tendons, and surrounding tissue. This causes the painful inflammation and swelling associated with gout attacks.

There are a few factors that can increase your risk of developing gout:

  • Genetics – some people have genes that make it harder for the body to break down and get rid of uric acid
  • Medical conditions – high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, kidney disease
  • Medications – diuretics, low dose aspirin, some cancer drugs
  • Diet – foods high in purines which break down into uric acid
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol use – especially beer due to its high purine content
  • Dehydration – not drinking enough fluids

The most common symptoms of a gout attack include:

  • Intense joint pain that happens suddenly, often waking you up at night
  • Joint redness, swelling and warmth
  • Most commonly affects the big toe, but can impact other joints like knees, ankles, elbows, wrists
  • Lingering discomfort and stiffness after the initial attack

Dietary Changes to Help Manage Gout

While gout cannot be completely cured, making certain dietary and lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. Some key recommendations include:

  • Stay hydrated – make sure to drink plenty of fluids like water
  • Limit alcohol intake – especially beer which is high in purines
  • Lose weight if overweight or obese
  • Limit intake of purine-rich foods like red meat, seafood, and organ meats

Adding juices that are low in purines and high in antioxidants and nutrients can also be a helpful part of a gout-friendly diet. Let’s take a look at some of the best options.

Best Juices for Gout

Cherry Juice

Cherry juice is often considered one of the best options for gout. Cherries contain high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins which help reduce inflammation. They also contain a compound called quercetin that may have natural anti-inflammatory effects.

Studies have found cherry juice can help reduce uric acid levels and inflammation linked to gout attacks. One study gave participants cherry juice or a placebo for 4 months. The cherry juice group had a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared to the placebo group.

Opt for unsweetened cherry juice and drink it daily to maximize the anti-inflammatory and gout-fighting benefits.

Celery Juice

Celery juice contains antioxidants and polysaccharides that can help reduce inflammation. Celery also has several other nutrients like vitamin K, potassium, folate and vitamin A that offer health perks.

Research shows celery seed extract may help lower uric acid levels due to a compound called 3-N-butylphthalide (BuPh). Lowering uric acid can minimize painful gout attacks.

To get the benefits from celery, juice about 3-4 stalks daily. Make sure to drink the juice right away before nutrients start to degrade.

Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain that has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show it can help reduce swelling, joint pain, and morning stiffness in people with arthritis.

The bromelain in pineapple may also help break down purines. This can lower uric acid levels and reduce gout flares.

Drink a few cups of unsweetened pineapple juice per day. Choose a juice with at least 1,000 mg of bromelain for optimal anti-inflammatory benefits.

Cabbage Juice

Cabbage juice is loaded with antioxidants like polyphenols along with vitamin C, anthocyanins, and sulfur. These compounds help lower inflammation and may protect cartilage tissue from damage.

Studies also show drinking cabbage juice can help increase urine output, which may aid the body’s detoxification process and excretion of uric acid.

Drink 1-2 cups daily of fresh cabbage juice. Make sure it’s raw and organic to maximize nutrient content.

Lemon Juice

The vitamin C and antioxidants in lemon juice can help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation associated with gout. Lemon juice also helps increase citrate levels in the urine, which may help inhibit kidney stone formation.

Plus, lemon juice has diuretic effects to help flush excess uric acid from the body. Try squeezing fresh lemon juice into water for a dose of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains a substance called acetic acid that may help dissolve uric acid crystals. This helps decrease gout pain and inflammation.

Studies show that taking apple cider vinegar orally can lower uric acid and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the blood. To use it, mix 1-2 tablespoons into water and drink once or twice a day.

Ginger Juice

Ginger root contains anti-inflammatory compounds like gingerol that may inhibit inflammation-causing enzymes related to gout.

Research indicates ginger juice helps reduce joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis. It may also help decrease uric acid levels.

Squeeze fresh ginger juice by grating the root. Mix with orange juice or lemon water and drink once daily.

Blueberry Juice

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins that give them anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show blueberry juice can reduce inflammatory markers CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα).

The antioxidants may also help inhibit enzymes related to gout that can lead to painful flares. Drink 1⁄2-1 cup of blueberry juice daily.

Beet Juice

Beets are a good source of antioxidants like betalain that help reduce inflammation. Research shows beetroot juice can lower CRP, TNFα, and oxidative stress.

Beets also contain compounds called betains that may help get rid of uric acid and thin the blood. This improves circulation and oxygen flow to joints.

Drink 1⁄2-1 cup of raw beetroot juice daily to ease gout symptoms. Avoid store-bought varieties high in added sugars.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranates have a very high antioxidant content to fight inflammation. They contain polyphenols like punicalagin that block inflammatory enzymes and proteins.

Evidence indicates pomegranate juice reduces joint swelling, stiffness, and pain for people with gout. It may also lower C-reactive protein.

Drink 1⁄2-1 cup of pomegranate juice daily to reduce inflammation and lower uric acid levels.

Grape Juice

Grapes contain antioxidants like resveratrol and anthocyanins that help reduce inflammation and protect joints.

Research shows concord grape juice can lower inflammatory markers related to gout like CRP. Grapes may also inhibit enzymes involved in gout flare-ups.

Opt for 100% pure grape juice and drink 1 cup per day to ease gout symptoms.

Foods to Limit or Avoid with Gout

In addition to drinking anti-inflammatory juices, it’s also important to limit or avoid foods high in purines which can raise uric acid levels and trigger painful gout attacks. Some foods to reduce include:

  • Red meat
  • Organ meats like liver, kidneys, sweetbreads
  • Seafood like shrimp, shellfish, sardines, anchovies
  • Foods containing yeast like beer and bread
  • Sugary drinks
  • Refined carbs
  • Alcohol, especially beer

The Bottom Line

Making dietary modifications like drinking certain anti-inflammatory juices can help manage gout flares. Some of the best options include tart cherry, celery, pineapple, cabbage, lemon, apple cider vinegar, ginger, blueberry, beet, pomegranate and grape juice.

Aim for 1⁄2-2 cups per day of these low-sugar juices to reduce inflammation and uric acid levels related to gout. Be sure to also limit your intake of meat, seafood, sugary drinks, and alcohol to prevent attacks.

Drinking gout-fighting juices along with medication prescribed by your doctor, staying hydrated, losing weight, and avoiding trigger foods can help minimize gout attacks long-term.