Apples and gout: Discover just how good apples are for preventing gout and why they should be an important part of your healthy gout diet.
Apples and Gout
Originating in Central Asia, the apple tree (part of the rose family) is now grown right around the world.
It’s estimated there are 7,500 different varieties of apples grown worldwide. China is the largest producer of apples, followed by the USA, Turkey, and Poland.
And apples are extremely popular: they are the second most popular fruit (after bananas) in the USA, the most popular in the UK and Australia, and the third most popular in Europe (after bananas and tomatoes).
Health Benefits of Apples
That old Welsh proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is really not that far from the truth…
Apples (both red and green) are packed full of important vitamins and minerals, such as:
- vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K
They’re also loaded with flavanoids, antioxidants, and soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
This highly nutritious package has a number of health benefits — studies have suggested that apples may help reduce the risk of:
- heart disease
It’s thought that they may also reduce the risk of some cancers, such as breast, liver, pancreatic, and colon cancer.
Another study linked apple consumption with a reduction in bad cholesterol and a corresponding increase in good cholesterol.
And yet another study suggested that apples (particularly Granny Smiths) may help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut which, in turn, helps to boost the immune system.
Are Apples Safe to Eat With Gout?
An apple has around 14 mg of purines per 100 gm of the fruit, and an average-sized apple weighs somewhere between 70 mg – 100 mg. So apples are a low in purines.
So an “apple a day” can easily be consumed as part of a purine-restricted gout diet. Apple products such as dried apples, apple juice, apple sauce, and apple cider vinegar, are also low in purines, and can be incorporated too.
As far as purines go, then, apples are definitely a low-purine food that can safely be added to a healthy gout diet.
Can Apples Actually Help Gout?
The nutrients in apples are not only beneficial for your overall health, they can also have a positive effect on your gout, by helping to reduce inflammation and lower uric acid.
Vitamin C has been shown, to reduce inflammation and lower uric acid, so can help during a flare-up as well as helping to control uric acid and prevent future flares.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) inhibits the xanthine oxidase needed to produce uric acid, whilst one of the benefits of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is that it’s an important element in the uric acid excretion process.
Vitamin E has a role in your body’s anti-inflammatory processes, so could help to reduce inflammation during a gout attack.
Potassium is important for gout sufferers because it’s known that a potassium deficiency can raise uric acid levels in the blood. And, it’s an electrolyte, which helps to maintain a healthy fluids balance in the body.
Magnesium helps to improve circulation and lower blood pressure, which, in turn, helps to lower the risk of crystal formation. It also has an alkalizing effect, particularly on urine, which helps to maintain the solubility of uric acid, thus promoting uric acid excretion and reducing the risk of uric acid kidney stones.
And the antioxidants in apples can help to neutralize the free radicals that cause inflammation.
Overall, then, you can see that “an apple a day” will not only help you with your overall health position, it can also help to reduce the inflammation during a gout attack and lower blood uric acid levels.
Note: Since fructose can elevate uric acid levels, it’s best to stick to one apple a day, preferably the lowest sugar-content varieties like Granny Smiths.