If you suffer from arthritis, relief may be easier than you think because, according to new research, all you need to do is eat more broccoli. A recent study out of the U.K. has found that broccoli can slow the progression of osteoporosis, the most commonly diagnosed form of arthritis, by reducing cartilage damage around your joints—damaged cartilage is what causes your chronic joint pain.Broccoli naturally contains a compound called sulforaphane. When consumed, sulforaphane appears to block the enzymes in your body that cause the joint damage seen in arthritis sufferers. In the study, mice that were fed a sulforaphane-rich diet showed much less cartilage damage when compared to the control group that was not fed sulforaphane.Although the study was done on mice, the findings suggest that broccoli—the highest food source of sulforaphane—might actually be able to help treat individuals living with arthritis, and maybe even prevent the development of this common age-related disease in the first place. In fact, researchers are so confident about the link between sulforaphane-rich broccoli and arthritis that they’re in the process of conducting clinical trials with 40 osteoarthritis patients who are awaiting a scheduled knee replacement. Half of the group will be eating broccoli that has been enriched with sulforaphane for two weeks prior to their surgery to see if their joints are positively affected by consuming the “super broccoli.”

Can This Anti-Aging Superfood Prevent Arthritis_2If the results of this study on mice translate to humans, it would be a huge breakthrough in arthritis research. Not only could it help to slow down the progression of the condition, but it could also help to promote joint health before the onset of arthritis, which is the key to prevention. It would be one of the first proven methods of using an anti-aging diet to treat and prevent the development of arthritis later in life.

Sulforaphane can also be found in cabbage and Brussel sprouts, but broccoli has the most potential for treating arthritis because it’s the best source of this powerful compound. On top of its ability to promote healthy joints and treat arthritis, broccoli has also been shown to help prevent cancer, improve nervous system function, reduce cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure. To get the most nutritional value out of this superfood in your anti-aging diet, it’s best to eat it raw or lightly steamed.


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Gray, N., “Broccoli benefits: Could sulforaphane be key in the fight against osteoarthritis?” web site, August 28, 2013;