This page about antioxidants in a gout diet, was last reviewed or updated on 15 August 2014.
Gout diet foods should be loaded with antioxidants. The chief value of antioxidants for gout is that they act to neutralize the harmful effects of loose free radicals. Free radicals are produced in the normal process of respiration (breathing) and in the liver and large intestines. They are also created by environmental factors. The cell damage they cause is one of the factors that age us, a well known, well researched effect.
Destroying free radicals as soon as possible, and as many as possible, means you need to maintain a high level of antioxidants in the body. This is an important part of anti ageing and is generally helpful in fighting diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. There is a connection between gout and both heart diseases and type-2 diabetes. Antioxidants can also slow the onset of degenerative brain diseases.
Gout sufferers Antioxidant protection applies especially to gout sufferers. When the immune system attacks the MSU gout crystals, additional large numbers of loose free radicals are created. These need to be neutralized by antioxidants. Putting it another way, gout attacks age you in ways you don't see or feel, without antioxidant protection. Therefore, foods that are high in antioxidants are definitely foods for a gout diet.
Curiously uric acid, the blood count of which drugs and natural remedies are trying to reduce and excrete, is a major antioxidant. It has been thought that excessive uric acid is produced because the body needs more antioxidants to neutralise free radicals. This may be true in some cases of gout, so why take a chance when it’s so easy to ensure your body has plenty of antioxidants?
Get more antioxidants into gout diet ! How to do that ?
Major antioxidant vitamins Carotenoids such as beta-carotene (much of which converts to vitamin A in the body and the remainder acts as an antioxidant), lycopene and lutein. Plus vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, lipoic acid, CoQ10 and resveratrol. And among the flavonoids, quercetin (a flavonol flavonoid) and anthocyanidins. Plus proanthocyanidins.
It is not a coincidence that food manufacturers are starting to promote the word "antioxidant" on food labels. More so in the United States than in other English speaking countries up till now. This trend will continue, and more foods and drinks will do so. It will become a little easier for gout sufferers to spot brands that are good gout foods.
Flavonoids and anthocyanidins explained The flavonoid classes are called flavon-3-ols, flavanones, flavonols, flavones and anthocyanidins.
Within anthocyanidins there are six sub classes, with names like the fairies at the bottom of your garden: cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, and petunidin.
Just as anthocyanidins have their sub classes, so the other flavonoids have their sub classes. Quercetin for example, is a sub class of flavonols.
strongest class of flavonoids is reckoned to be anthocyanidins with the
possible exception of quercetin. So foods high in anthocyanidins and
quercetin are among the best foods for a gout diet.
Proanthocyanidins are also considered to be strong flavonoids.
Other good foods for a gout diet are explained further down this page. Foods high in quercetin are explained on the quercetin page.
How strong are the antioxidants in various foods? Antioxidants are best
found naturally in fruit and vegetables. The total antioxidant capacity
of a fruit or vegetable is measured by its ORAC score. Currently ORAC
is considered to be the best assay of antioxidant capacity. (There are
other assays). The higher the ORAC score, the more antioxidant capacity
in a fruit or vegetable.
Antioxidant tables are never exactly the same, but generally they are more than similar. So one can't be 100% definitive.
Many berries are usually right at the top, or almost, of the ORAC tables for fruits. So berries' antioxidant capacity is high. If ORAC tables for fruits and vegetables are combined berries are still top of the league, or almost. They beat high scoring vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. And garlic. Berries have the added probable benefit for gout sufferers that they contain less fruit sugar than most other fruits. Moreover the Glycemic Index, and the Glycemic Load index, also score them highly. This is why berries are foods for a gout diet. Eat them daily!
USDA database The flavonoid anthocyanidin amounts in berries, have been taken from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected foods. Release 3.1 (revised May 2014). This is a wonderful and free resource for anyone interested in nutrition and who wants to know about foods for a gout diet.
If you wish to see the whole database yourself and view the specific flavonoid numbers of different foods in detail visit the USDA database. It requires Adobe Reader, and the database can also be downloaded free of charge.
You'll be able to see which foods are high in flavonoid anthocyanidins. This will assist in choosing foods for a gout diet from your home computer.
The database shows the amount of flavonoids in foods, the ORAC score measures the antioxidant capacity of those flavonoids.
Listed below are more gout diet foods amongst fruits and vegetables and commonly consumed beverages:
Vegetables for a gout diet
kale, garlic, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, squash, brussels sprouts,
beetroot (beets), avocado, onions, sweet corn, peas (frozen), potatoes,
carrots, string beans, tomatoes, cabbages (red and green), watercress.
CLICK ON THESE LINKS TO GO TO THE BEST BERRIES PAGES
They’ll give your free radicals a real whacking! One of the berries we describe is a little known food for gout, since it’s seldom used in recipes, but it contains by far the highest level of one key anthocyanidin of all. Not many people know that it's a gout fighter.
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