Can Bananas Help With Gout?

Gout is a common form of arthritis characterized by pain and swelling of the joints (via American College of Rheumatology). Gout affects more than 3 million Americans and is more prevalent among men, post-menopausal women, and people with kidney disease. Caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body, gout attacks occur suddenly and usually affect joints in the feet, particularly the big toe. While pain in the big toe is often the first sign of gout, it can occur in other joints of the body as well.

Gout flare-ups can cause severe and intense joint pain lasting between four to 12 hours, according to Mayo Clinic. This is often followed by lingering but more manageable discomfort, lasting days or weeks. During a flare-up, the affected joints will most likely become red, inflamed, and tender to the touch. Depending on the severity of the attack, it might even be hard to move or bend your joints normally.

But are there measures you can take to help prevent attacks, particularly when it comes to your diet?

Eating a low-purine diet may reduce gout attacks

Fortunately, you can help manage your gout flare-ups at home by modifying your diet and reducing the intake of high-purine foods (via Healthline). When the body breaks down purines, it can increase uric acid in the body. Since a build-up of uric acid is directly linked to gout flare-ups, it can help to reduce purine-rich foods, such as sugary drinks and foods, high-fructose corn syrup, and red meat.

Thus, it would make sense that including more low-purine foods in your diet, like bananas, may help reduce gout flare-ups. According to Healthline, bananas are also a rich source of vitamin C, which is thought to have protective effects against gout, though more research needs to be done on this specific nutrient. Other low-purine foods include eggs, nuts, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, pasta, and tofu. While diet alone can't cure gout, it can stall advanced joint damage and reduce the risk of future attacks. It's important to work with your doctor to identify the best treatment strategy, which may include medications and dietary modifications.