Broccoli for gout. It’s a reliably good food  
     for gout, but not a knock-out punch

This page about broccoli for gout was last reviewed or updated on 4 December 2017

Why eat broccoli for gout? No one has said it is a magic gout cure, nor that it can lower gout’s inflammation and uric acid. There isn't a study saying it lowers uric acid. Eating broccoli per se is unlikely to lower it, so don’t expect it to be good for gout in that way – the most important way  –  because lowering your blood uric acid is the way to control gout. However, broccoli can help. Please read on.

Broccoli contains sulforaphane which a study (1) has found has an inhibiting effect on inflammation. It impedes inflammasomes which stimulate the inflammation of the cytokine Interleukin 1-b. But this study used broccoli sprouts, which contain an estimated 30-50 times the sulforaphane found in broccoli itself.

You probably have difficulty purchasing broccoli sprouts but it's suggested you could grow them at home, or purchase sulforaphane as a dietary supplement. Some would like the sprout's taste more than broccoli - they taste like radishes.

You could buy broccoli sprouts extract (2,000 mcg of sulforaphane), or sulforaphane from broccoli (400 mcg) and try the recommended amount per serving. (If you think you have success, please contact us).

Can you eat broccoli when you have gout? It’s hard to see why broccoli could be bad for gout. Uric acid is made from purines breakdown. Elevated uric acid in your blood that becomes crystallised (crystallized), is the immediate cause of gout. But broccoli is low purine, and so it is not one of the foods that traditionally can cause gout. Its purines cannot make much uric acid.


Healthy nutrient big hitters

Broccoli is an excellent all-rounder food, often called a super food. There is thiamin (B1), folate (folic acid), magnesium, zinc, iron, plus Vitamins B 6, A, E, and K in broccoli.

But the most significant-amount nutrients in it are calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Potassium (in the citrate form) has a role in natural gout treatment and any sort of potassium is good for any gout diet. If you were trying to consume 500 mg of Vitamin C daily  (or more) in an attempt to lower uric acid with it, you’d get nearly 1/5th of that from 100 grams of broccoli.

And there's more. Broccoli is said to be among the best food sources of the trace element chromium. Chromium may help to improve insulin's activity and insulin resistance. There is a case that insulin resistance is a cause of gout - it might be to-day's leading cause. But chromium has not been scientifically studied in gout treatment. You can read more about this on our chromium picolinate for gout page.

As you can see (below) broccoli is not quite in the same league for calcium, potassium and vitamin C, as vegetables for gout like kale; nor parsley. But it’s not far behind and overall it just about matches watercress.

Amount in milligrams per 100 grams (1)

Broccoli raw         Calcium   47 mg     Potassium   316 mg   Vitamin C  89 mg

Watercress raw    Calcium  120 mg    Potassium  330 mg    Vitamin C  43 mg

Parsley fresh        Calcium  138 mg    Potassium  554 mg     Vitamin C 133 mg

Kale raw                Calcium   150 mg   Potassium   491 mg    Vitamin C 120 mg

Another reason why you eat broccoli for gout is that it also contain quercetin, the flavonol flavonoid that studies have shown lowered uric acid in mice and test tubes. Quercetin has been shown to inhibit xanthine oxidase, (3) the enzyme responsible for converting purines into uric acid. It may help in excreting uric acid too, and together with bromelain, act as an anti-inflammatory. Broccoli’s quercetin amount of 3.26mg/100grams of broccoli is not as high as in watercress, but more than most vegetables. (3). Additionally broccoli contains another flavonoid kaempferol, 1.06 mg/100 grams, which has also inhibited xanthine oxidase. (4) Best performers in this study? Quercertin and  kaempferol.

Broccoli and spinach are the only vegetables that contain CoQ10.  Few foods are a source of CoQ10. It is primarily found in seafood and meat. And especially in high purine offal (organ meat) which gout sufferers should not eat.

Don’t like broccoli? Try watercress, which has a slightly better good for gout profile, with more quercetin. Or purchase broccoli extract supplements, which deliver its sulforaphane, thought to be an anti-cancer molecule and anti -inflammatory.

BROCCOLI. Raw. Nutrient data. All per 100 grams

Purines Broccoli is low purine, producing according to one calculation, 81 mg uric acid per 100 grams of broccoli.

Calories  Low. 34 kcal per 100 grams. That’s useful on a low calorie diet.

Carbohydrates  Low. Broccoli is not exactly devoid of carbs but there are not a lot. It has 6.64 grams of carbs per 100 grams. But the net carbs number (the real number) is 4.04 grams because there are 2.6 grams of fibre (fiber), and you deduct the fibre (fiber) from the carbs to get the effective carbs number. Compare that to a low carb diet typical daily allowance of 20-60 per day.

GI-GL Its Glycemic Index is 10 which is low. This is good for low carbohydrate dieting, and for those folk who don’t want a food to release glucose quickly.

Acid-Alkaline Broccoli is an alkaline food, because of its high amount of potassium, an alkalizing mineral, which is good for gout.

Broccoli  raw. Nutrient amounts per 100 grams.

Vitamin C             89 mg *
Calcium                47 mg
Potassium          316 mg
Magnesium           21 mg
Zinc                  0.410 mg
Phospherous        66 mg
Iron                   0.730 mg
Thiamin             0.070 mg
Riboflavin          0.117 mg
Niacin                0.639 mg
B6                      0.175 mg 
Folate (folic acid)  63 mcg
Vitamin A              31 mcg 
Vitamin E             0.78 mg
Vitamin K         101.6 mcg

Chromium 1 cup 18.55 mcg
* Both the florets and the stalks have the same amount of Vitamin C.


Want to read more pages like this one about good foods for gout? Visit this page, where there are links to good gout foods pages.

Spinach is up there with broccoli as a star nutrient. But how good is it for gout ?

Some folk have said cauliflower causes gout. Can it? Visit our cauliflower for gout page.

Is kale good for gout ? Visit our kale page

Broccoli for gout Study References

(1)   Greaney AJ, Maier NK, Leppla SH, Moayeri M Sulforaphane inhibits multiple inflammasomes through an Nrf2-independent mechanism. J Leukoc Biol. 2016 Jan;99(1):189-99. doi: 10.1189/jlb.3A0415-155RR. Epub 2015 Aug 12.

(2)   USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Release 26. October 2013.

(3)  USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods. Release 3.1 (revised May 2014)

(4) Nagao A, Seki M, Kobayashi H Inhibition of xanthine oxidase by flavonoids. . BiosciBiotechnolBiochem. 1999 Oct;63(10):1787-90.                  

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