Children the world over hate them but Brussels sprouts are proving to be a new superfood for older Australians.
Researchers at Edith Cowan University found just half a cup of the unglamorous greens daily can significantly reduce the risk of falls in elderly people.
And the good news is other vegetables from the cruciferous family — such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli — are just as effective.
Just why this should be so is not clear but lead researcher Marc Sim says the study gives clear evidence of the benefits to older people.
“On top of the physical impact, suffering a fall has been linked to a reduced participation in social and physical activities due to a fear of falling again,” Dr Sim says.
“Additionally, falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisations in people aged over 65, which is projected to cost the health system approximately $789 million per year by 2021.”
Vegetables are known to improve health in all age groups and participants in the Edith Cowan study who consumed more overall showed better muscle strength and physical function.
This is thought to explain the reduced risk of falls generally but the mysterious benefits provided by these vegetables in particular will be explored in future research.
Whatever the answer, it seems there’s another reason to eat your greens.