Gout causes severe pain and swelling around the joints, and while many factors contribute to gout, certain foods can make it worse.
Grain liquors, red meat, organ meats, seafood, especially shrimp and lobster, can trigger gout. But should you worry about nuts causing gout?
Read on to learn more about the properties of nuts and their side effects on inflammation, allergy, and kidneys.
How Does Gout Occur?
Gout is a disabling type of arthritis, which occurs in the big toe and sometimes in the ankle, knee, wrist, and foot. The symptoms include:
- Severe pain
- Red, shiny skin over the affected joint
Males are usually diagnosed with the disease after age 40 and females after menopause.
To control the disease, make dietary changes to reduce your purine levels.
But there’s no need to cut nuts from your diet since no research has proved nuts cause gout.
A gout-friendly diet includes fruits and vegetables, whole grain, low-fat dairy, seeds, and of course, nuts.
The best low-purine nuts — walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, and cashews — contain less than 50 milligrams of purine per one ounce (28 grams).
They can also lower uric acid levels in the blood.
Home Remedies for Gout
There’s no cure for gout, but patients can reduce the swelling and pain with the right diet. Here are a few tips:
Drink Plenty of Water
You should drink more water to reduce inflammation, while the kidneys release excess fluid to remove uric acid crystals from the body.
If you don’t want water all the time, you can include broths and herbal teas in your diet.
Apply Ice Over the Affected Joint
An ice pack or a frozen vegetable pack can ease pain and inflammation.
Wrap an ice pack in a thin towel and put it on the joints for 15-20 minutes.
Unfortunately, this is a temporary remedy.
Heightened stress can repel pantothenic acid, a vitamin that helps the body remove uric acid.
If you boost your pantothenic acid levels by overcoming your anxiety, you can prevent or mitigate the condition.
Coffee helps you flush the uric acid crystals, as well as reduce the enzyme that releases purines in the body.
However, drink coffee in moderation because too much of it can have side effects like an increased heart rate.
Why Do Nuts Have Saturated Fat?
Saturated fat can heighten your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lead to heart problems if you consume too much, which is mostly in butter, fatty cheese, and meats.
Other nuts are rich in unsaturated fats, which is a kind of healthy fat you can find in foods such as avocados, olive oil, and seeds.
Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fats (in walnuts and pine nuts) and monounsaturated fats (in almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts).
Are Saturated Fats in Nuts Healthy?
Excessive consumption of saturated fat raises your bad cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart stroke and arterial diseases, but you don’t need to cut out all saturated fats from your diet.
It’s better to buy nuts you need to crack yourself so that you’ll have to spend more time getting to the nuts, making you eat less.
Plus, cracked nuts are generally unsalted, except for pistachios, making them even healthier.
Why Do Nuts Cause Inflammation?
These particular nuts have high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, so your immune system produces an antibody when you eat them. The antibody attaches itself to white blood cells and releases a chemical called histamine, causing your blood vessels to swell.
Depending on the situation, inflammation can be good or bad, as it’s a defensive response by the immune system to help the body repair an infected tissue.
But chronic inflammation can pose a negative effect on your body, damaging your healthy cells, DNA, and tissues, which can be triggered by what you eat.
Peanuts are the most common allergy-producing nuts.
Even if you’re not allergic, consume them in moderation or replace them with other raw and unsalted nuts, as they contain aflatoxins, which are poisonous compounds produced by two types of mold.
These toxins can cause cancer and increase inflammation.
If you think you have a nut allergy, contact your doctor, as they can perform different tests to determine if you have an allergy.
A skin prick test is the most common option, where lab staff put a small amount of that particular substance onto your forearm.
If you’re allergic to the nuts, the affected area becomes red and itchy within 20-30 minutes.
Easy Ways To Reduce Inflammation
If your body shows allergic inflammation to certain nuts, the following tricks may help you alleviate the situation.
Take Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D plays a vital role in regulating inflammatory proteins, and being deficient can cause inflammation.
Spend 10-30 minutes in sunlight and eat fortified foods such as cheese, egg yolk, and tuna to supply your required vitamin D.
Use Herbal Remedies
Some herbs such as oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil have protective effects against inflammation, as they contain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.
Polyphenols interact with proteins, leading to protective effects against inflammation.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which increases the body’s ability to reduce inflammation and pain.
Paradoxically, some people are allergic to pineapples, so if you’re not sure, take one small bite of the fruit and wait for 30 minutes to see if your body shows reactions.
Why Are Nuts Bad for Kidneys?
Kidneys regulate your blood pressure, removing excessive protein and minerals from your blood.
To have healthy kidneys, you need to follow a suitable renal diet and avoid certain foods.
Another factor that makes nuts bad for kidneys is calcium oxalate, which can form calcium oxalate kidney stones and prevent calcium from being absorbed.
Peanuts and cashews contain high amounts of this mineral.
However, some nuts — such as macadamia — can be a suitable option for people with kidney problems.
They’re low in phosphorus and contain healthy fats, B vitamins, copper, iron, and manganese.
Best Foods for People With Kidney Disease
People with kidney disease should adopt a special diet that boosts kidney function and prevents further damage.
Here’s a list of healthy foods for renal conditions:
- Blueberries are packed with the best antioxidants. You can add them to your diet as they have a low amount of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Skinless chicken breast contains less phosphorus and potassium. This means it can be a good protein source for people with kidney issues. But don’t eat too much because you need to watch your overall protein intake if you have kidney problems.
- Red grapes are full of vitamin C and antioxidants called flavonoids, which reduce inflammation. These sweet fruits are also low in potassium, making them kidney-friendly.
- Cottage cheese contains little potassium and phosphorus. However, it’s better to mix it with other low sodium meals such as berries or peaches since it contains salt. A high salt diet reduces kidney function and causes high blood pressure.
Gout occurs around the joints and causes pain and swelling, but you can control it by consuming low-fat dairy, vegetables, fruits, and of course, nuts.
However, excessive consumption of some nuts such as cashews and macadamia may raise bad cholesterol levels since they’re rich in saturated fats.
Some nuts such as peanuts and walnuts can create inflammation, as they contain omega-6 fats, which may lead to an allergic reaction.
Patients with chronic kidney disease should be careful about having nuts in their diet.
Most nuts contain phosphorus and potassium, which damaged kidneys can‘t remove from the blood.