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Broccoli background photo – © Natika – Fotolia.com
Amazing news – a team of scientists in the UK has found that glucoraphanin, a substance present in broccoli, may prevent joints from arthritic damage. After successful lab tests, the research has now moved into the “human trial” stage.
I’ve done some additional research for you and uncovered some great information which will help you become a “quick expert” and to get the best from your broccoli. 🙂
Glucoraphanin is also present in young cauliflower shoots , Brussels sprouts and cabbage.  When these foods are eaten, the glucoraphanin is converted to sulforaphane, which is the actual molecule thought to protect the joints. The research has led to the scientists growing “super broccoli” – which is extra rich in the beneficial components. Different varieties of broccoli are reported to contain varying quantities of glucoraphanin  – though it is not stated which varieties are the best.
It is also thought that consumption of good amounts of broccoli “a handful per day” and other cruciferous vegetables is a very strong contender for having a preventative effect on cancer. 
Doing a little further research, I learned that younger broccoli contains more sulforaphane (the substance that glucoraphanin is converted to).
It has also been stated that raw broccoli is best in terms of faster absorption, higher bioavailability, and higher peak plasma amounts of sulforaphane.  I also found out that cooked broccoli still contains glucoraphanin, however boiled broccoli will contain less because glucoraphanin is water soluble. (I would imagine that steamed or baked will score somewhere between the two). And of course, there are broccoli supplements available which would appear to be of value.
If you are eating raw broccoli it is thought that chewing it well is important to releasing the chemical. 
But here’s an important-but-obscure fact I found at the last minute: Broccoli sprouts (i.e. freshly sprouted broccoli seeds) contain 30x as much glucoraphanin as mature broccoli! So there’s the winner! According to the source, broccoli sprouts are not grown commercially, but can be sprouted from seeds in the same manner as other sprouts are created. 
Note that it is not thought that the broccoli will reverse existing arthritic damage; but it may help prevent further harm.
The team is also investigating the effects of other food compounds on arthritis, including diallyl disulphide found in garlic. 
Here is the link to the original press release announcing the news: http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=133840&CultureCode=en
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