By Don Penven
Chances are your well-meaning parents pressed you to eat all those green vegetables they served up regularly.
And current research proves they were right. But my having been born as the Great Depression was showing signs of winding down, and Word War II was just a bit over the horizon, my parents were grateful to be able to at least put something on our plates—green, brown, purple or whatever.
Mealtime back then was mostly meat (when Mom could get it) and potatoes. On a few occasions we chanced to have green beans or garden peas.
From birth to when I was 19 and moved away from home because I was offered a job some 50 miles away, I don’t ever recall hearing the term broccoli.
We hear a lot about broccoli these days. The latest good news is that it may be far more powerful than other “greens.” Researchers at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom discovered its effects on arthritis. Scientists say that those folks eating broccoli regularly may soon say goodbye to the stiff, painful joints of osteoarthritis.
As far-fetched as this may sound, the researchers credit a particular broccoli ingredient that works on this most commonly diagnosed form of arthritis on a world-wide basis. Osteoarthritis most often causes
knee and back pain. Many of us need strong, healthy, pain-free knees and backs just to survive a normal day—much less perform physical labor.
This is the plus side. On the minus side is that this super-food ingredient responsible for the healing process is sulphoraphane—also the source of the foul, rotten eggs odor that accompanies eating broccoli.
The cancer and inflammation-fighting properties of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are well-known, but broccoli contains a much more beneficial amount of sulphorphanes that Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
This UK study is the first on record establishing evidence that sulphorphanes actively arrest destruction on the cartilage in knee and back joints when it is a regular part of one’s diet. Scientists caution, however, that eating broccoli is just one important piece of the arthritis-curing puzzle, but the study does support the results thus far achieved.
For some time now I have made broccoli a much-needed part of my diet. And I am eating more salads than I did in the past. Is raw broccoli better for you? Probably, so cooking, especially cooking these greens until they are soft and mushy blows away much of the nutritional value. I mix raw broccoli florets in salads with those that are steamed. Steam for about five minutes for a good, crunchy taste.