The 18th century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus said that a diet of only strawberries had cured his gout. As a botanist he supposedly knew a lot about fruits and flowers. Since you can find photos of a painting of him, he was probably a well-known expert in his day. He lived to be 71, quite old for that gout-conscious century. But he may not have known about vitamin C because it was discovered in the 1930s.
If this actually happened, remember that single-food diets, like simply eating strawberries, are crash diets. These can lead to gout attacks, so copying Linnaeus is definitely not recommended.
What was in the strawberries that made it? For starters, strawberries are high in vitamin C. At least three studies have reported that vitamin C lowers uric acid levels or protects against gout. In the last study, not much, but enough (10-15% of an excess level), to be a useful aid in reducing uric acid.
And one of the ways to take it in its best forms is that flavonoids are added to it. This isn’t exactly new because many vitamin C products have added citrus flavonoids. But the problem with many vitamin C products is that experts have said that an equal (or nearly equal) amount of flavonoids should be with the vitamin C. So there is a more therapeutic effect. I found only one supplement (and looked at about 10 vitamin C preparations) that does this. Most have between 10% and 20% flavonoids in their vitamin C content.
And it is always said that vitamin C is best taken naturally, from food and juices. So there is at least one thing that the world’s nutrition experts agree on.
It is believed that there are perhaps 4,000 flavonoids, but so far only five, plus proanthocyanidins, have been tested in food. The five subclasses of flavonoids are: anthocyanidins (also known as anthocyanins), flavon-3-ols, flavanones, flavones, and flavonols.
Quercetin, the dietary supplement that is reported to be helpful in treating gout because it is an antioxidant and because it can inhibit xanthine oxidase and therefore reduce uric acid production, is one of the flavanols and is found notably in onions and apples (found mainly in the skins of apples). ). It is also found in grapefruits and some green leafy vegetables. There is also some quercetin in strawberries.
Strawberries are at the top of the list of foods rich in vitamin C (amount 59 mg per 100 grams) and are also rich in flavonoids. The profile of its flavonoids (anthocyanidins, flavan-3-ols, etc.) is comparable to that of cherries, but not exactly the same. For the amounts of proanthocyanidins, strawberries are cherries.
But the value of strawberries as a food for gout doesn’t end here. Let’s look at other dietary factors that are beneficial for gout.
Total flavonoids to vitamin C: 68%. High. Well.
pH: strawberries are moderately alkaline. Well.
Purinas: Low. Well.
Glycemic index: moderate. Well.
ORAC score (antioxidant capacity): among the highest of the best foods with vitamin C. Good.
Water: about 91%. Well.
Are there testimonials of strawberries in the treatment of gout? I have seen some. I think I remember one where the guy said he went to the fridge for a bowl of strawberries every time he felt a gout attack coming, and the feeling went away after eating them. The kind of story you read about cherries, cherry juice, and dried cherries.
That famous British summer dish … strawberries and cream, (cream is low purine, low GI, and quite low carb), anyone? Yes, and an extra portion too if there are leftovers left, please.
NB. The content of this article contains medical information, not medical advice. Always discuss remedies with your doctor or other healthcare professional before implementing any treatment.