Uric acid is a naturally occurring 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 out uric acid through your kidneys and in urine. If you consume too much purine in your diet, or if your body can’t get rid of this byproduct fast enough, uric acid can build up in your blood.
A high uric acid level is known as hyperuricemia. This can lead to a disease called gout that causes painful joints that accumulate urate crystals. It can also make your blood and urine too acidic.
Uric acid can collect in your body for many reasons. Some of these are:
- Obesity or being overweight
Certain health disorders can also lead to high uric acid levels:
- Kidney disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- some types of Cancers or Chemotherapy
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to naturally reduce your uric acid levels.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix one teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink this every day. Apple cider vinegar acts like a natural cleanser and detoxifier. It contains malic acid which helps in breaking down and removing uric acid from the body. Apples also contain malic acid and you should eat at least one a day.
2. Drink more water
Drinking plenty of fluids helps your kidneys flush out uric acid faster. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Set an alarm every hour to remind you to take a few sips.
Although, the body easily adapts to low water intake, optimum hydration is necessary to eliminate uric acid from your system. Water dilutes uric acid levels in the blood and stimulates the kidneys to pass on waste products to the bladder.
3. Eat antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables
A study conducted by University of Maryland suggests that you should load up on more antioxidant rich berries like cherries, blueberries and strawberries. Dark coloured berries contain flavonoids called anthocyanins that help in reducing inflammation and stiffness. Alkaline foods like tomatoes and bell peppers also help in balancing the acid levels in your body.
4. Lose weight
Along with your diet, extra pounds can raise uric acid levels. Fat cells make more uric acid than muscle cells. Additionally, carrying extra pounds makes it harder for your kidneys to filter out uric acid. Losing weight too quickly can also affect levels.
If you’re overweight, it’s best to avoid fad diets and crash dieting. Talk to a nutritionist about a healthy diet and weight loss plan that you can stick to. Your doctor can recommend a healthy weight goal for your body type.
5. Balance insulin levels
Have your blood sugar level checked when you visit 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 into your cells where it can power every bodily function. However, too much insulin leads to excess uric acid in the body, as well as weight gain.
Individuals with a condition called prediabetes may also have high insulin levels and a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Your doctor may want to check your serum insulin level in addition to your blood glucose level.
6. By Limiting Alcohol
Alcohol dehydrates your body, so you must avoid consuming it in large quantities. Beer should especially be avoided for its high yeast content. Wine, however, doesn’t seem to affect uric acid levels. If you are a beer drinker, you must reduce or eliminate your intake.
7. Celery seeds
Celery seeds are rich in Omega-6 fatty acids and other diuretic oils. As a powerful diurectic, it helps in cleaning the system of excess liquids by stimulating the kidneys to flush out the uric acid. It alkalizes your blood and also lowers inflammation in the body. You can take half teaspoon of dried celery seeds once a day but remember to have plenty of water with it.
8. High fibre-foods
The same study conducted by University of Maryland also recommends that you should add more high-fibre foods to your diet in order to control the level of uric acid in blood. Dietary fibre absorbs the excess uric acid in your blood and helps it to get eliminated from your body. Oats, bananas and grains like jowar and bajra are good sources of soluble fibre.
9. Drink Coffee
Drinking coffee can lower uric acid levels by increasing uric acid elimination through the urine. Coffee also contains polyphenols, so it may lower uric acid production as well. However, it appears that caffeine isn’t the reason for these beneficial effects, since both regular and decaffeinated coffee can lower uric acid levels.
10. Choose Non-Fat Dairy Products
Dairy products contain low amounts of purines and increase uric acid removal through the kidneys. Reduced uric acid levels may occur with both full-fat and 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 full-fat and non-fat dairy products to determine which is more effective, but experts generally recommend non-fat dairy products for lowering uric acid levels, perhaps because of their overall greater health benefits.