When the levels of uric acid in the body rise too high, they can cause a variety of ailments such as gout, kidney stones, and poor renal function. Learn a little more about this problem and some all-natural remedies to reduce uric acid in this article!
Uric acid: what you need to know
Uric acid is produced by the decomposition of a class of chemicals known as purines, which are found in foods like liver, herring, anchovies and sardines. Some vegetables and milk also contain purines; however, studies have shown that they do not impact the health of the body, nor do they increase the risk of gout.
Uric acid is “recycled” when cells die and helps in protecting the blood vessels. The kidneys are responsible for filtering it from the blood and excreting it in the urine; it’s also released in small amounts in feces. When the body produces too much, it accumulates in the joints, tendons, and internal organs like the kidneys.
Elevated uric acid levels play a key role in the development of a condition known as gout, but not all people develop gout in this way (it can also be the result of hypertension, heart or kidney disease).
There are many causes of elevated uric acid, from heredity to obesity, heavy alcohol consumption or a diet high in “bad” purines. Diuretic medications, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hyperthyroidism, psoriasis and immuno-suppressant drugs can also raise uric acid levels.
It’s worth mentioning that high levels of uric acid do not initially present symptoms.
Recipes and home remedies for reducing or eliminating uric acid
- Eat an apple (red or green) after lunch and dinner, and leave the peel on (wash it well beforehand). Make this a ritual to keep your body healthy. The peel of an apple is rich in vitamin C; apples also contain “healthy” acids, like malic acid, that detoxify the body and naturally eliminate uric acid.
- Drink two tablespoons of cherry juice daily. Cherry juice contains flavonoids, which give cherries their red color and help flush uric acid from the body.
- Watch out for foods high in purines, like red meats (pork and lamb, too), beans and alcoholic beverages. Reduce consumption to just once per week and replace with foods low in fat and purines, such as cooked rice, bread, cottage cheese or natural yogurt.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, which provides a wealth of essential minerals and flushes toxins and bacteria for your body’s well being. Your kidneys need plenty of water to work efficiently. Too much salt and caffeine produce the opposite effect, and therefore should be avoided.
- Do a total body detox once every two months or so. It will help rid the body of the crystals formed due to uric acid. Mix up a solution of half a tablespoon baking soda in a 1/4 liter of water and drink 8 times throughout the day. This is not recommended for those suffering from hypertension or renal disorders.
- Eat more artichokes! These vegetables have excellent diuretic properties to eliminate and reduce uric acid naturally. There are hundreds of different recipes for enjoying them, but the best is to boil and eat them, and drink the water they’re cooked in.
- Among the many different foods for eliminating uric acid you’ll be sure to find onions; they cleanse the body and prevent many health problems. Boil two onions that have been peeled and cut into large chunks. Add the juice of one lemon and drink a few cups a day.
- Strawberries are a great remedy for gout and lowering uric acid. You can make a tea from the leaves and roots or just eat more strawberries for dessert every day.
- Be sure to include foods rich in potassium in your diet, as potassium prevents the crystals that form from high uric acid levels and improves kidney function. Add bananas, green leafy vegetables (spinach, chard), raisins and prunes, potatoes, watermelon, strawberries, and apricots to your diet. You should also eat more complex carbohydrates like those found in fruits, greens, and whole grains.
- Limit or completely eliminate foods that are sweetened with fructose or corn syrup; they can raise uric acid levels. Fructose is found in soft drinks and other beverages (and even in some juices). Choose water or natural juices without additives.
- Use apple cider vinegar as a condiment and for dressing your salads. Many studies are finding that it reduces uric acid, thanks to its acetic acid and potassium content. In addition to using it with food, you can mix two tablespoons of vinegar into a glass of cold water and drink twice daily.
- Avoid diets high in protein, especially those used for weight loss; they can cause a rise in uric acid levels. A healthy diet and exercise are better for weight loss.