The next time you head to the supermarket to restock your vegetables, you may want to include broccoli in the list, as according to TIME these greens may help keep your joints healthy.

In a study recently published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, scientists explored how this underrated veggie may help battle osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition where the cartilage between joints begins to deteriorate.

Researchers gave laboratory mice a regimented diet high in sulforaphane (compounds that help fight against inflammation and tumor growth) found in broccoli and found that their subjects exhibited fewer signs of cartilage damage than the mice from the control group. The same effects were also replicated in cow and human cartilage cells tests.

Researchers are hopeful about making this compound a way to avoid invasive procedures for those already suffering from the condition.

“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. Prevention would be preferable, and changes in lifestyle, like diet, may be the only way to do that,” study author Ian Clark from the University of East Anglia says.

Aside from broccoli, cauliflowers, brussel sprouts, and cabbages are also known to have sulfur-based compounds which may help lessen inflammation.

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(Photo by jules via Flickr Creative Commons)

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