In my search for antioxidants for my previous message, I found an interesting approach to healthy gout food. The article about food is not specifically about gout, but a lot of the food listed is high antioxidant. Certainly, none of it should make gout worse, and the presentation gave me a new idea for healthy gout food.

Dr David Heber is well known for his “What Color is Your Diet?” book. I found some fascinating information from him about nutrition and antioxidants. He has grouped food by color, and I think the plan is to try and eat something from each color group every day. Well, if he can do it, why can’t I?

The color groups are Red, Green, Green/Yellow, Red/Purple, Orange, Orange/Yellow, White/Green. Before I continue with these groups, I’d like to share some of Dr Heber’s comments, as they are very relevant to healthy gout food.

The first is very relevant to those gout sufferers, like me, who are trying to lose weight:

Another advantage of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is that it reduces the number of calories per bite or “energy density.” It is only possible to eat a certain volume of food until you get full (at least for most of us), but there is no increased fullness when sugar or oils are added to a given volume of food.

He also offers practical advice that is very much in-line with my approach to healthy gout food:

Visualize your plate and fill it two-thirds with vegetables from the above categories and one-third with low fat protein foods such as chicken or turkey breast, ocean-caught fish or seafood, or soy protein meat substitutes. Have a dark green leafy salad beforehand and when everyone else is going for the Creme Brulee ask for a dish of mixed fruits for dessert such as kiwi, blueberries and strawberries. This way you won’t feel deprived and you will be eating very healthy foods that are good for you as well as taste good.

The table is developed for cancer, not gout, but it still has some relevance to us. I believe the color coding system is probably as much to do with certain nutrients as it is with color. The Red/Purple and Green/Yellow groups are a particularly strong indication of this, as you can see from this table:

7 Colors of Health: Color Code
1. Red: Tomato juices, soups, or sauces, tomato, watermelon, pink grapefruit. Lycopene inhibits breast cancer cell growth in the laboratory.
2. Green: Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, bok choy. Isothio-cyanates increase liver proteins that defend against carcinogens.
3. Green/Yellow: Spinach, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, avocado. Lutein protects vision, the heart, and inhibits cancer cell growth.
4. Red/Purple: Grapes, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries. Proanthocyanidins protect against urine infections. Ellagic acid inhibits cancer cell growth.
5. Orange: Carrots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, sweet potato. Beta carotene protects vision and immune function, and is an antioxidant.
6. Orange/Yellow: Oranges, lemons, pineapples, peaches, nectarines. Flavonoids inhibit tumor growth and repair DNA. Limonoids in the skin of lemons and oranges inhibit tumor growth.
7. White/Green: Garlic, onions, chives, leeks. Allyl sulfides inhibit tumor cell growth.

You might like to try color-coding some of the items from the table in my last post about gout and antioxidants. It is not necessary to be too precise about this – just try to get as much variety as you can each day.