Each day, millions of parents across the country tell their children to eat their broccoli. However, a new study suggests that these parents should be following their own advice, as antioxidants in the vegetable may help support joint health.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the UK found that a compound in broccoli — sulforaphane — inhibits the production of enzymes that that cause damage to joints. The body produces these enzymes in larger quantities as individuals grow older.
Ian Clark, who led the investigation, said that the worldwide population is growing older and he expects the number of individuals suffering from joint problems to increase dramatically in the near future. These issues are among the leading causes of loss of mobility and disability in the world.
However, consuming higher levels of antioxidant-rich broccoli may help this aging population avoid some of these problems. Billions of dollars are spent each year on expensive drugs and joint replacement surgeries. However, proper nutrition may make some of these procedures unnecessary, Clark said.