This page about berries for gout was last reviewed or updated on 25 July 2014.
Why are berries are touted for gout?
To summarise it quickly, their antioxidants come from their flavonoid anthocyanidins, and these anthocyanidins are among the strongest antioxidants. Hence berries are at, or towards, the top of the ORAC tables for the antioxidant capacity of fruit and vegetables. And this makes them very healthy foods.
Berries have a generally similar flavonoid profile to cherries and some have more anthocyanidins than cherries. Cherries are better known as gout fighters but there has never been gout reserach into berries, unlike cherries.
But strawberries and elderberries have been known as foods for gout for centuries. And strawberries are high in Vitamin C, which studies have shown, can reduce uric acid levels.
Even if they do not reduce the inflammation of a gout attack, or uric acid levels – and there are some testimonials that some berries do – berries lead to a healthier body, because of their antioxidants. All gout sufferers need to be otherwise as healthy as possible to widen their gout treatment options.
What might they do? They can reduce pain and inflammation (i.e. they are COX inhibitors just like NSAIDs drug medications and cherries) and maintain collagen which some say helps in gout prevention.
But most importantly, and to repeat, they are great sources of antioxidants which gout sufferers need. But whilst they are not a complete natural remedy for gout, they are good foods for gout.
So it is hard to see why these berries could be bad for gout, except probably cranberries (see below). Blackcurrants
Berries are low in purines.
BLACKCURRANTS FOR GOUT
Blackcurrant juice contains useful amounts of two anthocyanidins, cyanidin and delphinidin. And famously, Vitamin C, which is good for gout. Just 100 grams of blackcurrants contain 181 mg of Vitamin C.(1)
In one study, 500 grams a day of C for 30 days lowered uric acid by an average of 0.35 mg/dL - see next link. Many studies have shown Vitamin C lowers uric acid. On balance there are more that say it does, than those that say it doesn't.
Blackcurrant juice is an good drink for gout
sufferers. It has shown some gout positive effects in a study And good for your eyes; some say better than blueberries.
BLACKBERRIES FOR GOUT
One variety of blackberry was once known as a gout berry, which suggests that it was considered in folk lore to be helpful with gout attacks. But let's move on to modern science...
Blackberries are very high in the flavonoid anthocyanidin cyanidin, in fact higher than cherries for this anthocyanidin. The fruit of the bramble bush, they can easily be picked wild in many countries in the autumn (fall). This is probably the very best blackberry to eat, since wild fruits almost invariably score higher for antioxidants than other kinds. Don't pick them close by busy roads. Blackberry juice is good too for cyanidin, but the berries are better.
BILBERRIES FOR GOUT
Bilberries are often described as the European version of the American blueberry. But actually bilberries are smaller than blueberries and for flavonoid anthocyanidin scores they are certainly different.
Bilberries and blueberries both contain five of the six anthocyanidins discussed on this site, but raw bilberries have a total anthocyanidin score higher than blueberries, in the USDA database. If these scores are all that matter, bilberries are better than blueberries as far as anthocyanidin antioxidants are concerned. (But raw blueberries have more of other flavonoid antioxidants).
Bilberries are made into jam, juices and fruit wines but these products are not easy to find and get into your gout diet. But bilberry extract is sold as a dietary supplement and you could search the Internet for a bilberry juice brand in your country.
Note Huckleberries are a member of the same family as bilberries and blueberries.
BLUEBERRIES FOR GOUT
Blueberries, like bilberries, are best known for protecting and sharpening vision, especially at night. And they are definitely one of the berries for gout too. Their advantage over bilberries is that they are much more widely available and so are
easier to include in a gout diet. Their antioxidants are found mainly in the skin, so the usual rule with all berries applies – the darker the skin, the more antioxidants they contain. Wild ones score higher than farm grown ones in the USDA database. Blueberries' anthocyanidins are said to build collagen in the joints which is part of some gout natural gout treatments.
CRANBERRIES FOR GOUT
Cranberries have significant amounts of cyanidin, delphinidin and peonidin. Some people think they are good for gout, but they are acidic and are probably not a food to eat for gout, especially if your body is too acidic.
Do you want to read the menu and recipe ingredients for five courses of low/medium purine dishes which are also restricted carbohydrate? Perfect for some gout diets.
Berries for gout references
(1) USDA National nutrient database.