Broccoli can already claim superstar status for cardiovascular and cancer protection – and thanks to an exciting study, fighting arthritis may be added to its disease-busting credentials. In a series of three separate lab experiments, researchers from the University of East Anglia were able to show that sulforaphane, a compound in broccoli, blocks the destructive inflammation within joint cartilage that leads to osteoarthritis.
The lead researcher commented that broccoli is the first food that has shown such promise in preventing and slowing the progression of this painful and debilitating disease. They plan to do larger studies in humans to further evaluate broccoli’s effects on joint pain and joint health. Meanwhile, we already know that broccoli is great for other vital parts of the body so serve it up!
To maximize the sulforphane that you can get from broccoli, consume it raw (think salads or dipped in hummus) or lightly (tender/crisp) cooked. Broccoli spouts are an even better choice. These immature shoots of broccoli plants are available in most produce aisles and house up to 20 times more sulforaphane!
Arthritis and Rheumatism, 2013; DOI:10.1002/art.38133