Eat More Broccoli to Protect Your Joints

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Can eating more broccoli help to prevent osteoarthritis? A new study shows some new benefits of eating broccoli – and the positive effects it could have on joint health. Could it be another reason to enjoy more of this crunchy, cruciferous vegetable?

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that causes inflammation and gradual destruction of joint cartilage. It may affect any joint and can occur at any age, although it’s more common in women and people over the age of forty.

Osteoarthritis doesn’t always cause symptoms – even when it shows up on x-ray. In people who have symptoms; they usually experience joint pain and stiffness that’s worse in the morning, and they may have problems getting around. In some people, the condition gets so bad that they can’t work or carry out their normal activities. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for this common joint disease.

Benefits of Eating Broccoli: Eat More Broccoli to Protect Your Joints?

Researchers at the University of East Anglia recently discovered a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane that may help protect joints from osteoarthritis-related joint destruction.

Sulforaphane is a sulfur compound found naturally in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, watercress, turnip greens, radishes, bok choy, and cauliflower. Preliminary studies show it may also protect against some forms of cancer. Scientists are hoping it’ll not only reduce the risk of osteoarthritis but slow down the progression of already established arthritis.

Don’t be too quick to give up your arthritis meds. Research looking at the benefits of eating broccoli for joint health is still in its early stages, and it’s unclear how much you need to eat to get the benefits. Sulforaphane needs to successfully reach the joint space to exert its action.

Benefits of Eating Broccoli to Protect Joints: The Bottom Line?

There’s still much to be learned about the role broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables play in joint health, but that’s no reason not to get at least five servings of fruits or vegetables a day – and more is better. Don’t forget to throw in some cruciferous vegetables – especially broccoli – to help protect your joints.

References:

Eurekalert website. “Eating broccoli could guard against arthritis”


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