Gout is an excruciating medical condition caused by excess uric acid. Gout currently afflicts an estimated 8.3 million Americans. During the drafting of the United States Constitution, Benjamin Franklin remained bedridden at the Philadelphia Convention due to his gout.
Even those of us who don’t have issues with gout have heard horror stories of otherwise healthy friends passing kidney stones. Kidney stones, like gout, are caused by excess uric acid int he body. Uric acid is bad stuff.
Gout is almost exclusively a man-made illness. People eat themselves into gout, as Franklin humoursly observed in his essay, “Dialogue Between Franklin and the Gout”:
FRANKLIN. Eh! Oh! eh! What have I done to merit these cruel sufferings?
GOUT. Many things; you have ate and drank too freely, and too much indulged those legs of yours in their indolence…. While the mornings are long, and you have leisure to go abroad, what do you do? Why, instead of gaining an appetite for breakfast, by salutary exercise, you amuse yourself with books, pamphlets, or newspapers, which commonly are not worth the reading. Yet you eat an inordinate breakfast, four dishes of tea, with cream, and one or two buttered toasts, with slices of hung beef, which I fancy are not things the most easily digested. Immediately afterwards you sit down to write at your desk, or converse with persons who apply to you on business.
Recent research shows that there is a dietary cure for gout.
It’s been known for years that eating cherries lowers uric acid levels. See, “Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women.” Researchers wanted to see what would happen to gout patients who were fed cherries.
Their results are welcoming:
Our study included 633 individuals with gout. Cherry intake over a 2-day period was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake. Cherry extract intake showed a similar inverse association. The effect of cherry intake persisted across subgroups stratified by sex, obesity status, purine intake, alcohol use, diuretic use, and use of antigout medications. When cherry intake was combined with allopurinol use, the risk of gout attacks was 75% lower than during periods without either exposure.
It’s easy to add cherries to the diet. You can juice cherries or make smoothies. Costco sells a Townsend Farm Berry Antioxidant Blend, which is loaded with cherries, for a very affordable price. I go through a bag each week. This superfood smoothie recipe has a healthy dose of cherries.
Superfood Berry Green Smoothie
- 2 cups spinach (or your favorite green)
- 2 cups frozen berries
- 1 banana
- 2 scoops protein powder
- 20-36 ounces of water or almond milk
You can also juice cherries. It’s harder to juice cherries in a centrifugal juicer like a Breville. Juicing cherries is best one with an Omega juicer like the Omega J8006.
Cherry Juice Recipe
- 1 cup cherries
- 1 apple
If you don’t have a juicer, blend the cherries in a blender (with or without water). Then strain them through a strainer.