Too much uric acid in your bloodstream, a condition known as hyperuricemia, can cause gout or gout-like symptoms, including painful and swollen joints, kidney disease and general malaise. Because uric acid accumulates when people develop a sensitivity to foods high in purines, avoiding these foods and eating foods that help to lower purines and uric acid in your system is an effective treatment for symptoms of uric acid retention. Here are some of the foods to avoid or add to your diet to help you lower your overall uric acid levels.
What to Avoid
Avoid red meats, seafood, most pork and especially bacon if you have too much uric acid in your system. These foods are unusually high in purines and can exacerbate your condition. Eat small amounts of white meats, such as chicken and ham, and avoid alcohol and bread as much as possible, as these foods are very high in the chemical compounds that produce uric acid. Beer and shellfish are two of the worst culprits when it comes to increasing uric acid in the bloodstream. Wine and hard liquors in small amounts are less likely to cause gout symptoms than beer, but they should still be consumed in moderation.
What to Eat
Drink plenty of black cherry juice--sometimes called sour cherry or bitter cherry juice--celery seed extract and bromelain to help reduce uric acid levels in your bloodstream. Take a folic acid supplement every day, or eat foods that are high in folate, such as legumes, spinach and other green leafy vegetables. Foods high in flavonoids--including most fresh vegetables and herbs, such as parsley, thyme and peppermint--are helpful in reducing levels of uric acid in the bloodstream.
Taking certain supplements, such as high doses (1,500 mg a day) of vitamin C and propolis, have been shown to decrease the likelihood of uric acid retention in people, according to a March 2009 study by the Canadian Archives of Internal Medicine. Drinking coffee daily may also decrease gout tendencies, but it is unclear whether the risks of caffeine intake and large doses of vitamins are worth the potential benefits. Talk to your doctor before beginning any diet that involves extreme doses of supplements or drugs, such as caffeine.