Arthritis has many forms, and gout is one of them. This condition causes painful swelling that may be controlled with a special diet low in purines. These compounds are common in many foods you eat, and vegetables are no exception. By avoiding veggies known to be high in purines, you can help to keep your gout symptoms under control. Always talk to your physician before making dietary changes, however, to ensure they don’t interfere with any treatment recommendations.
Purines and Gout
Purines, which are metabolized into uric acid, aren’t normally enemy no. 1, but when you eat a high-purine diet or are predisposed to gout, your body builds up uric acid crystals, which collect around your joints. When this occurs, your symptoms of gout are more pronounced. While a low-purine diet won’t necessarily cure your gout symptoms, it can help to manage them and help you feel a lot better on a daily basis.
While vegetables aren't put on the list of foods that have the most purines, which means having a range between 150 and 1,000 milligrams of purines per 100 grams of food, some vegetables can still contain moderate amounts of purines, according to “Arthritis Today.” When you eat them in excess by exceeding serving sizes, a moderately purine-rich food can quickly become a very purine-rich food. For example, cauliflower, peas, beans, asparagus, mushrooms and spinach all fall in the “moderate" purine category, which means a 100-gram serving has between 50 and 150 milligrams of purines.
Even on a low-purine diet, you can likely enjoy a moderate-purine vegetable serving occasionally. “Arthritis Today” recommends limiting moderate purine veggies to one serving per day. So if you just can’t live without a single serving of beans per day, enjoy them while avoiding other foods known to be high in purines. Just avoid cooking these vegetables with high-fat butter or gravy because a diet high in saturated fats makes symptoms of gout more likely to develop.
Veggies to Choose
Instead of eating vegetables with moderate levels of purine, choose vegetables that have low levels of purines. For example, instead of a spinach salad, have one made with iceberg lettuce. Broccoli, cucumbers, bell peppers, onion and squash also are low in purines. Soybeans are another healthy option. While you’re enjoying these low-purine choices, always drink plenty of fluids. Drinking between 8 and 16 glasses of water per day can help eliminate uric acid in your body, according to MayoClinic.com.
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.