Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints. This causes sudden and severe pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the affected joint, often the big toe. While gout cannot be completely cured, it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes like diet. Making adjustments to your diet is one of the most important ways to manage gout flare-ups. Studies have shown that certain fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants and low in purines may help reduce uric acid levels and inflammation. Juices made from these ingredients can be a nourishing way to get their beneficial nutrients while staying hydrated. Here is an overview of some of the best juices for gout.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins that help reduce inflammation. Multiple studies have found that consuming tart cherry juice can significantly lower uric acid levels and reduce the risk of gout attacks. In one study, consuming two 8-ounce (240 ml) bottles of tart cherry juice per day lowered uric acid levels by up to 18% in women. Another study gave participants two 8-ounce (240 ml) bottles of tart cherry juice daily for 4 months. They experienced a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared to the control group. The high antioxidant content of tart cherries can help reduce inflammation and pain during gout flares. Tart cherry juice also contains melatonin, which may help regulate sleep. Getting adequate sleep is crucial for managing gout symptoms.
Pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain that has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Test tube and animal studies have found bromelain can reduce inflammatory markers and joint swelling. While more human research is needed, these findings suggest bromelain may help reduce gout inflammation. Pineapples are also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that may help lower uric acid levels according to some small studies. One study gave participants 500 mg of vitamin C daily for 2 months. They experienced significantly lower uric acid levels compared to the control group. However, other studies have found no effect. More research is needed on vitamin C supplements, but getting vitamin C from natural sources like pineapple juice likely provides benefits.
Celery juice has recently gained popularity as a health drink. It contains antioxidants like flavones, phenolic acids and furanocoumarins that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Celery juice is also very low in purines. Foods high in purines like meat, seafood and alcohol can raise uric acid levels. Replacing high-purine foods with low-purine options like celery juice may help reduce gout flares. Celery juice is also hydrating due to its high water content, which helps flush out uric acid. However, celery juice lacks fiber from the whole vegetable, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
Drinking apple cider vinegar diluted with water may provide gout relief in several ways. Acetic acid, the main active compound in vinegar, may help increase the excretion of uric acid from the body. ACV also contains polyphenols that may help reduce inflammation. Several studies have found apple cider vinegar may lower blood uric acid levels and reduce the risk of gout attacks. One study had participants with gout drink 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water daily. After 8 weeks, they experienced significantly lower uric acid levels and fewer gout attacks compared to the control group.
The high vitamin C content of lemon juice makes it a smart choice for gout prevention. As mentioned earlier, vitamin C may help lower uric acid levels and reduce inflammation. Lemons also promote hydration and alkalize the body, which can further help flush out excess uric acid. Adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to water enhances the flavor and can help you stay hydrated. One study found that men who drank a bottle of lemon juice diluted in 500 ml of water daily for 2 months had significantly lower uric acid levels than the control group.
Fresh vegetable juices made from low-purine veggies are a great option for gout. Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, kale, spinach and other greens are excellent choices. Not only are vegetables nutrient-dense and low in purines, but they also possess antioxidants and compounds that may help lower uric acid levels. For example, a study found drinking vegetable juice for 3 months significantly reduced uric acid levels in obese individuals compared to the control group. Enjoying fresh vegetable juice can increase your intake of gout-fighting nutrients from produce.
Watermelon is a refreshing, low-purine fruit that may also help mitigate gout symptoms. It contains an amino acid called citrulline that may help reduce uric acid levels. One study gave participants 3 grams of citrulline daily from watermelon extract for 2 weeks. They experienced significantly lower blood uric acid levels compared to the placebo group. Watermelon also has a high water content to keep you hydrated, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant that exhibits anti-inflammatory effects.
Beets are known to promote detoxification and may specifically help get rid of uric acid due to their high nutrient content. Beets contain betalains, which are antioxidants that exhibit potent anti-inflammatory activities. A rat study found giving gout-induced rats beetroot juice reduced inflammation markers and helped normalize antioxidant and uric acid levels. More research is needed, but beet juice shows promising effects for mitigating gout symptoms.
Pomegranate juice provides a range of evidence-backed benefits for gout patients. It’s one of the richest natural sources of antioxidants, including anthocyanins, tannins and ellagic acid. These may help reduce inflammation and lower uric acid levels. An 8-week study gave participants 1.5 cups (360 ml) of pomegranate juice daily. They experienced a significant reduction in inflammatory markers and antimicrobial peptides compared to the placebo group.
Broccoli Sprout Juice
Broccoli sprout juice is made from 3- to 5-day old broccoli sprouts. Although more research is needed specifically on gout, broccoli sprout juice is high in sulforaphane – a sulfur-containing antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Sulforaphane may help mitigate oxidative stress and inflammation associated with high uric acid levels. Broccoli sprouts also contain good amounts of vitamin C for added gout benefits.
Ginger root is often touted as an anti-inflammatory food in folk medicine. Human and animal research has found compounds in ginger like gingerols, shogaols and paradols exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Ginger juice may help suppress the production of inflammatory compounds linked to gout pain. Fresh ginger juice adds a spicy kick of flavor to juices and smoothies.
Black Cherry Juice
Like tart cherries, black cherries contain high amounts of anthocyanins that can help reduce inflammation. Animal studies have found black cherry juice may reduce gout inflammation and pain behavior in rats with gout. More research is needed, but replacing high-sugar fruit juices with unsweetened black cherry juice appears to be a smart strategy for managing gout.
Things to Keep in Mind
When incorporating juices for gout, there are some important considerations:
- Opt for fresh, raw juices instead of store-bought to avoid added sugars.
- Drink juices in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
- Pair juices with sources of protein and healthy fats for more balanced nutrition.
- Don’t suddenly load up on high-oxalate juices like beet, spinach or celery if you have kidney stones.
- Monitor your uric acid levels and symptoms to see how juices affect your body.
- Always speak to your healthcare provider before making major dietary changes.
Sample 1-Day Juice Plan for Gout
Here is a sample 1-day juice plan incorporating some of the best juices for gout:
- 12 oz (360ml) warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp)
- Beet, carrot, apple, ginger juice
- 1 cup berries
- 1⁄4 cup walnuts
- Cucumber, celery, kale, lemon juice
- 1 apple
- 1 oz goat cheese
- Tomato, carrot, bell pepper juice
This provides a good mix of juices and whole foods. Tart cherry or pineapple juice can also be substituted for other juices.
The Bottom Line
Juices made from fruits and veggies that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes may help mitigate gout symptoms. Tart cherry, pineapple, celery, lemon and pomegranate juice are especially great options. For best results, pair juices with a gout-friendly diet and always talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate lifestyle changes. With the right dietary approach, juices can be a healthy component of an overall gout management plan.