In case you need another reason to eat broccoli: in a British study published this week, a compound found in broccoli has been shown to help prevent osteoarthritis. The compound is called sulforaphane and it’s found in all cruciferous veggies—like cabbage and Brussels sprouts—but broccoli has the highest concentration.
Osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis, is a frustrating and difficult problem. It’s reported that 4.5 million Canadians suffer osteoarthritis (that’s one in six people over the age of 15), and two-thirds of these are women. There's a very good chance you might be facing arthritis at some point in your future.
What is osteoarthritis? Essentially, it's wear and tear on your joints. It’s the destruction and degeneration of cartilage--the stuff that cushions your joints. It can occur in many joints, but knees and hips are common. Pain and stiffness results, and ultimately, loss of mobility and function. In an advanced stage, surgical joint replacement is the only effective treatment.
So anything that promotes prevention of arthritis is a beautiful thing.
Sulforaphane has been shown in the past to have all kinds of health benefits: anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory activity—but this is the first study to show its effect on joint health. Through cell and tissue tests, in this recent study, it was demonstrated to block cartilage-destroying enzymes.
As if broccoli wasn’t already in the superfood category!
Now, some people are wondering what the point of this research is. It doesn’t exactly sound revolutionary that broccoli is good for us, right? I probably haven’t exactly blown your mind with this revelation.
But I say—the more information the better. The more reason to include veggies in your diet, the better. Because, after all, if this is stuff we already know—why aren’t we all doing it?