Uric acid is a natural waste product resulting from the breakdown of purines – substances made by your body and found in most foods. Uric acid usually dissolves in the blood, passes through the kidneys and is eliminated in the urine.
Normally, your body filters uric acid through the kidneys and urine. If you consume too much purine in your diet, or if your body can’t get rid of this byproduct quickly enough, uric acid can build up in your blood.
Hyperuricemia is high level uric acid. This can lead to a condition called gout that causes painful joints that accumulate urate crystals. It can also make your blood and urine too acidic.
Uric acid can build up in your body for many reasons. Some of them are:
- Obesity or overweight
Certain health conditions can also lead to high levels of uric acid:
- Kidney disease
- Diabetic sugar
- certain types of cancer or chemotherapy
Fortunately, there are a number of things that can help you to naturally reduce uric acid levels.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it every day. Apple cider vinegar acts as a natural cleanser and detoxifier. It contains malic acid which helps break down and eliminate uric acid from the body. Malic acid is present in apples and everyone should eat at least one a day.
2. Drink more water
Drinking plenty of fluids helps your kidneys get rid of uric acid faster. Always keep a bottle of water with you. Set an alarm every hour to remind you to take a few sips.
Although the body adapts easily to low water consumption, optimal hydration is necessary to remove uric acid from your system. Water dilutes uric acid levels in the blood and stimulates the kidneys to pass the waste to the bladder.
3. Eat antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables
A study by the University of Maryland suggests that you should stock up on berries richer in antioxidants like cherries, blueberries and strawberries. Dark-colored berries contain flavonoids called anthocyanins which help reduce inflammation and stiffness. Alkaline foods like tomatoes and peppers also help balance the acid levels in your body.
4. Lose weight
With your diet, extra pounds can increase uric acid levels. Fat cells produce more uric acid than muscle cells. In addition, carrying extra pounds makes it more difficult for your kidneys to filter out uric acid. Losing weight too quickly can also affect levels.
If you are overweight, it is best to avoid fad dieting and dieting. Talk to a nutritionist about a healthy diet and a weight loss plan you can stick to. Your doctor may recommend a healthy weight goal for your body type.
5. Balance insulin levels
Have your blood sugar checked when you see your doctor. This is important even if you don’t have diabetes.
Adults with type 2 diabetes may have too much insulin in their bloodstream. This hormone is necessary to move sugar from your blood to your cells where it can supply all bodily functions. However, excess of insulin can cause excess uric acid in the body, and weight gain.
People with a condition called prediabetes may also have high insulin levels and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Your doctor may want to check your serum insulin levels in addition to your blood sugar.
6. By Limiting Alcohol
Alcohol dehydrates your body, so you should avoid consuming it in large quantities. Beer should be avoided especially for its high yeast content. Wine, however, does not appear to affect uric acid levels. If you are a beer drinker, you should reduce or eliminate your consumption.
7. Celery seeds
Omega-6 fatty acids and other diuretic oils have celery seeds. As a powerful diurectic, it helps cleanse the excess fluid system by stimulating the kidneys to remove uric acid. It alkalizes your blood and also reduces inflammation in the body. You can take half a teaspoon of dried celery seeds once a day, but don’t forget to have lots of water with it.
8. High fibre-foods
The same study by the University of Maryland also recommends adding more high-fiber foods to your diet to control the level of uric acid in your blood. Dietary fiber absorbs excess uric acid in your blood and helps remove it from your body. Oats, bananas and grains like jowar and bajra are good sources of soluble fiber.
9. Drink Coffee
Drinking coffee can reduce uric acid levels by increasing the elimination of uric acid in the urine. Coffee also contains polyphenols, which can also reduce the production of uric acid. However, it seems that caffeine is not the reason for these beneficial effects, as regular and decaffeinated coffee can reduce uric acid levels.
10. Choose Non-Fat Dairy Products
Dairy products contain small amounts of purines and increase the elimination of uric acid by the kidneys. Reduced levels of uric acid can occur with whole, non-fat dairy products. A study of 16 volunteers published in the September 2010 issue of Clinical and Epidemiological Research found that consuming three cups of skim milk significantly lowered uric acid levels when measured three hours later.
No human studies have directly compared whole and non-fat dairy products to determine which one is most effective, but experts generally recommend non-fat dairy products to lower uric acid levels, perhaps because of their benefits overall for health.