The body naturally produces uric acid as a byproduct of living, then it’s eliminated by the kidneys through urine. So why would it suddenly cause you problems? Well, too much of any acid can be a problem! Sometimes the body makes too much. Sometimes it can’t get rid of the excess. Then the high uric acid crystallizes. When uric acid crystals form, you may get gout and kidney stones. (1)
Fortunately, delicious foods await! See the recipe below from The Lost Herbs. It will help ease that acid buildup.
What is Hyperuricemia?
That is the diagnosis you’ll get if you have high uric acid levels. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have high uric acid, but most people don’t realize it. That only happens when uric acid crystals form, causing problems like gout or kidney stones. (2)
Hyperuricemia has two main causes: either the body makes too much uric acid, or it can’t get rid of it. The body makes uric acid during normal metabolism, but high protein and purine-rich foods cause more uric acid production. (3)
Sometimes the kidneys can’t process the uric acid and eliminate it in the urine. When the levels get too high, the acid backs up in the system. Then crystals form, depositing in the joints – causing gout – or in the kidneys – causing kidney stones. (4)
Gout is like a surprise party, but not the fun kind. It can give you sudden pain in your joints, especially in your big toe. That sudden pain can wake you from a deep sleep. The area may be tender and inflamed. Unfortunately, gout can pop up in other places, too. These painful episodes are often triggered by drinking too much alcohol, eating purine-rich foods, or taking diuretics. Obesity and family history also play a role. Chronic hyperuricemia can lead to long-term joint damage and kidney problems. (5)
Besides gout, high uric acid levels can also contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Kidney stones are little crystallized rocks that can develop in your kidneys when things get out of balance. If too much uric acid collects in the kidneys, then tiny, sharp crystals form. Up to 10% of people with kidney stones have uric acid stones. And trust us, you don’t want these little rocks hanging out in your kidneys. (6)
Remember, the solution to pollution is dilution! If you have kidney stones, drink more water!
So you have joint stiffness, lower back pain, or other signs of inflammation. What next?
Steps to Reduce Your Uric Acid Load
Yes, if you let high uric acid levels persist for too long, you can develop long-term problems. Fortunately, you can take steps right now to limit your risk of hyperuricemia.
You want to avoid uric acid triggers.
To manage uric acid effectively, it’s important to avoid certain foods and lifestyle factors that contribute to the formation of uric acid. High protein or high sugar diets are the main culprits. Here’s the lineup: (7)
- Meat: Reduce meat consumption, including high-purine meat like organ and game meats, some seafoods (sardines, anchovies, and shellfish), and processed meat.
- Alcohol: Beer, in particular, is associated with increased uric acid production. Spirits and wine can also have an impact, so moderate your alcohol intake.
- High-Fructose Foods and Drinks: Foods and beverages high in fructose can lead to increased uric acid production.
- Sugary Products: High-sugar items, including honey, can contribute to uric acid production due to their fructose content.
- Fasting without Adequate Hydration: Avoid fasting, especially without consuming enough water, as it can lead to uric acid buildup.
- Keto Diet: A no-carb, no-sugar diet like Keto can increase uric acid levels due to limited vegetable intake.
- Diuretics: Diuretics can dehydrate the body, leading to increased urate concentration and uric acid buildup.
- Cranberries: Avoid cranberries, as they can make urine more acidic, potentially exacerbating uric acid issues.
You want to include these foods to manage uric acid levels.
Along with avoiding uric acid triggers, incorporate the following foods into your diet. It’s a great strategy to add in instead of focusing on what you’re missing.
- Potassium-Rich Foods: Potassium can reduce crystallization and is found in foods like apricots, oranges, potatoes (with skin), avocados, and tomatoes.
- Wild Foods: Wild foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help with joint pain.
- Cherries: Cherries can reduce uric acid levels and are anti-inflammatory. Sour red cherries have less fructose and are a better choice.
- Turmeric: Curcumin, found in turmeric, reduces uric acid and is a potent anti-inflammatory.
- Folate Sources: Legumes like lentils, asparagus, avocados, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli are rich in folate, which can remove uric acid crystals.
- Sodium Bicarbonate: Baking soda can help remove kidney stones when dissolved in water and consumed.
To kickstart the process and bring uric acid levels into balance, try this 3-day detox plan. Your joints and kidneys will thank you!
Also enjoy this delicious smoothie from The Lost Herbs to lower uric acid levels or keep them in check. (8)
Prevent Uric Acid Crystals with These Smoothie Ingredients
Lentils: these make the base of the smoothie. Lentils are high in folate, which can help keep uric acid levels in check. Also, your body does not produce as much uric acid when metabolizing this protein source.
Avocados: this fruit is very low in fructose, yet it has the highest protein content of any fruit. And it has a nice balance of fats for energy.
Oranges: while not very low in fructose like avocados, oranges are high in vitamin C and potassium, both of which keep uric acid levels in check.
Cherries: these little gems add a lot of delicious flavor to the smoothie while lowering uric acid levels. For an extra kick, try sour cherries, which are lower in fructose.
Turmeric: one of the best herbs to combat inflammation, turmeric also reduces uric acid levels, limiting crystal formation.
Anti- Uric Acid Crystals Smoothie
½ cup soaked lentils
½ peeled orange
1/3 cup pitted cherries
2 cups oat milk or water
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Make the lentils: rinse and drain lentils, then simmer them for 20-30 minutes. Strain and allow them to cool.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender or mixer and blend until smooth.
- Serve chilled with ice.
Drinking this smoothie daily for at least a week can help reduce the severity of uric acid-related symptoms, such as gout and kidney stones. Adjust the recipe for taste, but keep the fructose content low.
If you are experiencing pain, be sure to consult with a trusted health professional for personalized guidance.
Check out this video for more information on uric acid and gout:
Chanca Piedra, or “stone breaker,” helps to naturally reduce uric acid crystals, as well as mineral buildup in other soft tissue. Chanca Piedra is one ingredient in the proprietary blend of our RUG product. Check it out here!