Antioxidants are natural compounds that help neutralize “free radicals”, the damaging chemicals in our bodies. Free radicals naturally occur in the body and react with protein, fats, and DNA in our cells. Unfortunately, these reactions can lead to myriad diseases and premature aging. Antioxidants prevent and repair the damage.
Antioxidants are especially important for those with arthritis. They possess anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability decrease cartilage loss. Vitamin C has been thought to be linked with less osteoarthritis (OA) progression and could reduce the chance of developing knee OA and knee pain. Vitamin E and beta-carotene intake may also have the same effect as well. However, it is better to eat an overall antioxidant-rich diet than to just load up on a single antioxidant. Avoid taking supplements as they could never replace a balanced diet.
Antioxidants can be found the following meat, dairy, and plant based foods:
- Vitamin A (beta-carotene): squash, cantaloupe, and carrots
- Vitamin C: bell peppers, strawberries, and blueberries
- Vitamin E: vegetable oil, seeds, and nuts
- Selenium: chicken, fish, and eggs
- Flavonoids and Polyphenols (subgroups of antioxidants) cranberries, and tea
5 Antioxidant Loaded Veggies
- Broccoli- Vitamins A, C, & K (reduces inflammation)
- Sweet Potatoes- Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene (decreases risk of spinal degeneration)
- Onions- Quercetin (decreases inflammation)
- Kale- Vitamins A, C, & K and Flavonoids (lower risk of inflammation-regulated chronic diseases)
- Peas- Phenolic Acids and Flavonoids (protects against inflammatory related diseases)