Helpful Ways To Reduce Uric Acid

In our last article, Uric Acid as a Marker of Health, we discussed some consequences of increased uric acid and some foods to avoid, but now let’s discuss things we can add into our diet and lifestyle to help reduce these levels!

Therapeutic Foods to Increase If You’re Concerned About Uric Acid Levels:

● All plant foods: increasing plant foods - such as fruits and vegetables, will have many benefits in the prevention of uric acid accumulation. In clinical studies, the fiber in plant foods was found to reduce uric acid concentration. The reason is because fiber delays absorption of dietary purines. Additionally, fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals which help reduce inflammation, reduce oxidative stress, improve liver detoxification, boost the immune system, and promote healthy hormone levels. Plant foods also contain Vitamin C which helps to reduce uric acid levels and flush it out of the body efficiently.

● Fruits rich in anthocyanosides: specifically, cherries or blueberries. Even more specifically, tart cherry juice can significantly reduce uric acid levels in individuals who drank 8 ounces a day. Try a little before bed (it’s a natural source of melatonin!) or make a tart cherry juice mocktail with your dinner. Add tart cherry juice, some sparkling water, and little lime zest, and a squeeze of lime (extra Vitamin C) to a wine glass and enjoy!

● Eat more healthy fats! Good quality fat sources, especially monounsaturated fatty acids are super heart-protective. Try to include more olive oil, olives, and avocado. Make a delicious avocado toast for breakfast and get in the habit of making simple salad dressings with lemon juice and olive oil. Fat doesn’t mean you’ll get fat. Actually, the pattern seems to be that those who eat healthy fats actually have less weight to lose and better metabolic function. So, go ahead and have some healthy fats, even for dessert!

Let’s Get You Cooking

We discussed some therapeutic foods to add into your diet to reduce uric acid levels, but let’s talk recipes and how exactly to get these foods in. I find it really helpful to start my day with a serving or two of vegetables. This really helps set the tone for the day and reminds me to add vegetables to all my meals. Try adding a big handful of greens to your egg scramble, or make a breakfast salad with some tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper. Prepare some veggies at the beginning of the week to have with hummus or smashed avocado. Wash them, chop them, and keep them in a container so they’re easy to grab when you need them!

Let’s talk about cooking oils for a minute. Many people cook all things with olive oil, and I want to encourage you not to do this. Olive oil is AMAZING for salad dressings or drizzling on a protein or veggie or grain, but it does not hold up well at high temperatures. High temperatures degrade the polyphenols of extra virgin olive oil, thereby reducing some of its amazing benefits. Instead, try using avocado oil which holds up to at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit and is neutral-tasting, so it won’t alter the taste of your food.

Increase Fluid Intake

Increasing fluids is always a good idea to promote cellular hydration, aid with digestion, regulate body temperature, and keep organs functioning, but it can also be helpful for reducing uric acid levels. The mechanism here is simply encouraging healthy kidney function and the elimination of excess purines.

If you find it hard to drink nothing but water, remember that soups and smoothies count too! And you can also eat your way to better hydration with specific foods that naturally hydrate you such as celery, zucchini, and cucumber.

Another tip? Invest in a large water bottle to keep with you throughout the day. Perhaps try purchasing a 40 ounce bottle, and that way if your goal is 80 ounces daily, you will hit it just by drinking 2 bottles a day!

Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep

You might be laughing to yourself right now at the title of this section, as we are constantly being told to reduce stress, and find ways to incorporate more stress management into our days. The reality is that chronic stress, whether physiological or emotional, can cause a lot of damage to our bodies. In relation to uric acid, chronic stress isn’t going to cause excess uric acid, but it can 100% exacerbate any underlying metabolic issues, if you are already susceptible.

There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to managing stress, and that’s what makes it so tricky. You need to find something that works for you- maybe it’s exercise, maybe it’s journaling, maybe it’s working with a therapist, or maybe it’s listening or playing music and of course there’s meditation. Whatever it is, do it every single day. For me, it’s cooking!

Lack of sleep is an obvious stressor on the body which we discuss here, and research suggests a connection between shorter sleep duration and elevated uric acid levels. (again due to the increase in fat storage hormones and the rise in other inflammatory markers we get after a bad night's sleep). We discussed the therapeutic effects of tart cherry juice above, and I want to emphasize how great a tool this can be to help fall asleep due to its naturally occurring melatonin. One dish I love making is Slow Roasted Chicken Thighs with Castelvetrano Olive, Tart Cherries, Red Onions. You can find this and other creative ways to infuse tart cherries into your meals by sampling my meal plans.

If you would like a jump start in getting in some of these therapeutic foods, it might be time to check out the LUV diet! I collaborated with the brilliant David Perlumtter, MD, author of Drop Acid, to create the most delicious menu for you. These meals include a bounty of fruits and vegetables, and small amounts of animal protein including grass-fed beef, sustainable seafood, free-range chicken, and farm eggs. In addition to helping nourish you and reduce uric acid levels, these foods and spices will also help manage stress, support healthy sleep, and increase energy levels.

Tricia Williams

Tricia Williams is a talented Chef recognized as a leader in the fields of Nutrition and Holistic Health. Some years ago, Tricia founded Food Matters, a boutique, nutritionally-sound meal delivery service. Closely collaborating with her clients’ coaches, integrative physicians, and nutritionists, Tricia was able to successfully tailor meal plans that met both their taste preferences and their health goals.

The LUV DietTM is designed to bring your uric acid under control by reducing fructose and purine consumption. more info

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