Mailbag! How to Stop Gout Naturally

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

You’ve got questions…

We’ve got answers!

Today, we are going to answer an important and popular reader question about foods that cause and prevent gout.

Let’s get started…

Hi, Natalie,

My husband refuses to eat broccoli because he says it causes his gout to flare up. Is this true? Does broccoli really affect his gout, or is he just pulling my leg? Also, is there something he can eat to help his gout?


Terri R.

Great questions, Terri.

For those not familiar, gout is a type of arthritis that’s caused by the buildup of sharp, needle-like urate crystals in the joints that can cause intense pain, burning, swelling and inflammation. These crystals form when your body produces too much uric acid from breaking down purines.

Certain foods, like red meats and seafood, and beverages, like beer and sugar-sweetened drinks, are high in purines and cause gout flare-ups.

However, this is not the case for broccoli. It’s low in purines and full of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, so it shouldn’t affect you husband’s gout. Though it’s possible your husband could be eating broccoli with another food that’s high in purines and is causing the flare-up.

Additionally, researchers have found that diets rich in high-fiber foods like broccoli can help fight gout at its source — inflammation. Fiber does this by triggering gut bacteria to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which can stop inflammation in its tracks.

To make this discovery, researchers feed mice with simulated gout in their knees a high-fiber diet and SCFAs. At the end of the experiment, the mice experienced reduced inflammation as well as higher levels of anti-inflammatory agents in the knee joint, which could help prevent further knee issues.

This means eating more fiber-rich foods like broccoli, beans, Brussels sprouts and berries can help you lower inflammation and fight gout naturally.

Even better, studies have shown that fruits, veggies and legumes that are high in purines are still safe to eat, even if you suffer from gout. While it’s not clear why this is, perhaps it’s because of their high fiber content.

Do you have health questions? Write me:

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily

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[1] Gout Causes

[2] High fiber diets may alleviate inflammation caused by gout

[3] Gout diet: What’s allowed, what’s not

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