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Broccoli may help decrease inflammation and help arthritis sufferers

Arthritis can take many forms. If you have osteoarthritis you may experience join pain and stiffness. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis your condition may cause painful swelling, inflammation, and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs, and wrists. Other types of arthritis such as infectious arthritis may include joint inflammation, tenderness, sharp pain and chills. But what if you could take one easy step to reduce inflammation- which is a common symptom for many osteoarthritis suffers? According to the latest study, published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, eating broccoli may help combat inflammation, which can further prevent the deterioration of cartilage. More cartilage means individuals may be able to avoid some types of degenerative joint diseases commonly found in osteoarthritis sufferers. If this is true, this is great news for the more than 12.4 million arthritis sufferers in the United States.

Why is broccoli so good for you?

It’s hard to believe but within that little cruciferous vegetable there are a variety of vitamins including A, B, K, and C. But the benefits do not stop there. Broccoli also has other nutrients such as potassium, zinc and fiber. So according to researchers it’s time to grab some broccoli and eat!

What now?

Although the studies conducted by researchers mainly focused on mice which were fed a diet high in the sulforaphane (which is found in broccoli) and compared their cartilage damage and signs of osteoarthritis to mice who were not fed the compound, more trials are underway. Recently researchers have also been conducting a trial study to see if this same compound can protect a small group of arthritis patients getting knee replacement surgery.

If the results are as promising as some researchers hope, this could be great news for people hoping to avoid osteoarthritis in the future. One of the greatest challenges for all of us is first to avoid certain conditions. If that’s not possible, however, research indicates it may be possible to slow its progression.

As the study author Ian Clark, professor of musculoskeletal biology at the University of East Anglia, noted, "Although surgery is very successful, it is not really an answer. Once you have osteoarthritis, being able to slow its progress and the progression to surgery is really important.” Clark continued. "Prevention would be preferable and changes to lifestyle, like diet, may be the only way to do that."

What are other benefits of a healthy diet and eating broccoli?

It’s no surprise that eating a diet rich in protein, good carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables is critical to good health. Eating the right diet can also eliminate obesity, which is one of the most significant factors for…you guessed it, arthritis.

I have osteoarthritis, what now?

As mentioned above, if you already suffer from severe osteoarthritis you can still benefit from keeping a healthy weight and eating a good diet, but you may find that you are not able to continue to work. Some workers, who have worked and paid sufficient employment taxes, may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance if they can prove their condition is so severe they cannot work for at least 12 continuous months.
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