This Vitamin Can Reduce Gout Pain! Here’s Where to Find It
Gout strikes without warning, sometimes in the middle of the night when you feel intense pain in one or more joints, especially the one close to the big toe. Other joints that can be affected by gout are ankles, knees, thumbs, elbows, and fingers.
This form of arthritis occurs when uric acid crystals accumulate in a joint. It’s more common in men than women and affects around 8 million people in America.
Symptoms of Gout
This condition of the joints can cause symptoms like:
- joint pain
- swollen joints
- joint redness
- formation of nodules under the skin
- joint that’s warm to touch
As we mentioned, the pain strikes usually in the middle of the night. It can range from mild to extremely severe.
What Causes Gout
Our body normally contains uric acid in the blood, being a byproduct of the breakdown of purines (proteins). But, if there’s too much of it, it causes uric acid buildup in body tissues in the form of crystals. They accumulate in the joints and cause pain, heat, redness, and swelling.
The most common risk factors for high uric acid levels in the blood include obesity, genetics, chronic decreased kidney function, diuretics, and other medications.
It was only until recently that scientists discovered vitamin C can help relieve the gout symptoms. Before that, they believed this vitamin can actually worsen the gout attacks.
Some suggest taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C to help reduce uric acid levels. In fact, one meta-analysis of a number of randomized controlled trials discovered that taking oral vitamin C supplements can indeed lower the serum levels of uric acid.
How Vitamin C Works
Scientists discovered vitamin C reduces serum uric acid levels in two ways. The first is by attaching to the receptor sites, thus reducing the re-intake of the acid in the kidneys. The second is by supporting the elimination of uric acid through urine.
Either way is effective at decreasing uric acid levels in the bloodstream, and this is excellent for fighting gout.
One 20-year long study showed that men with higher vitamin C intake have a lower incidence of gout than others. Those who took 1500 milligrams of this vitamins on a daily basis had a lower risk of gout by 45%.
The bioflavonoids found in citrus fruits include high levels of hesperidin. One research showed that this bioflavonoid in rosemary extract significantly reduces the arthritis gout-related pain. In other words, higher levels of vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids can help relieve the symptoms of gout.
Bioflavonoids and vitamin C work together to lower the uric acid levels in the blood. Luckily, you can increase their intake naturally by adding certain foods to your diet.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Here are the top foods richest in this vitamin.
Consuming limes, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines, mandarins, and oranges is an easy way to boost your vitamin C levels. What’s more, they are also high in hesperidin and other bioflavonoids which can help lower uric acid levels.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, turnip greens, and Swiss chard are abundant in vitamin C and many other essential nutrients. So, if you have a lack of this vitamin, or you just want to boost your levels, add as many dark leafy greens as you can to your diet.
In fact, getting your vitamin C through leafy greens is better than getting it through fruits as the latter contain sugar.
This group of vegetables includes Brussels sprouts, white radishes, broccoli, red cabbage, green cauliflower, watercress, arugula. mustard greens, etc.
They are packed with vitamin C, so make sure you eat plenty of them whenever you can. It’s best to consume them lightly steamed to keep most of the nutrients.
This vitamin C-rich fruit is an excellent snack that will raise your energy levels while working against your gout. You can eat it in slices, or cut it into halves and eat them with a spoon.
Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are one of the most powerful sources of vitamin C found in nature. What’s more, they are high in antioxidants which will further improve your health and protect you against many illnesses and diseases.
Rosemary is high in the bioflavonoid hesperidin, so don’t save it and add this herb fresh or dried in your cooking. Besides, it will boost your meal’s flavor. So, why not using it in your dinner today?
Sweet Bell Peppers
Bell peppers of all colors are great sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. But, be careful when using them, as they can aggravate arthritis symptoms in people sensitive to them, being part of the nightshade family of veggies.
In such case, avoid them and get your vitamin C and bioflavonoid dosage through other foods from this list.