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Arthritis Foundation says antioxidant-rich diet helps prevent, manage arthritis

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Arthritis is one of the newest diseases to benefit from a diet rich in antioxidants, according to a recent article in Arthritis Today Magazine, a publication of The Arthritis Foundation.

According to the article, antioxidants are the natural compounds found in fruits and vegetables that help protect against the damaging effects of free radicals, the harmful chemicals that cause disease when they interact with the body’s fats, protein, and DNA.

The article explains that vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene intake may be linked to less osteoarthritis and a reduced chance of developing knee osteoarthritis. However, because antioxidants work best together, the article suggests eating a diet that is rich in all antioxidants and not just overloaded with one.

Arthritis Today Magazine” suggests eating more of these five vegetables, all of which are known to be rich in antioxidants:

Broccoli, which is high in vitamins A and C and a good source of vitamin K. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a substance that may block enzymes involved in cartilage breakdown. As an added bonus, sulforaphane has been shown to also have anti-cancer properties.

Sweet potatoes, which are high in vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Onions, which contain the flavonoid, quercetin, a substance that blocks the formation of inflammation, a condition associated with arthritis.

Kale, which contains vitamin K, vitamins A and C and flavonoids.

Peas, which contain phenolic acid and other related compounds.

According to the article, antioxidants appear to reduce inflammation by blocking enzymes that lead to joint destruction, so eating a diet high in anti-oxidant rich vegetables such as these five, will help keep cartilage strong, which in turn will lead to healthy joints.

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