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Thumbs up Broccoli, Bok Choy... Cancer Fighters?
by Narkissos 08-03-2011, 05:23 PM

How Cruciferous Vegetables Fight Cancer



Cruciferous vegetables are a group of vegetables that research has proven may provide protection against certain cancers including breast, colon, and bladder cancers. Cruciferous vegetables contain antioxidants (beta carotene and the compound sulf`oraphane). These vegetables are all high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and are part of a healthy eating regimen.

The anti-cancer properties of cruciferous vegetables come from phytochemicals called isothiocyanates, which stimulate our bodies to break down potential carcinogens. Sulforaphane, found in broccoli and in even more concentrated form in broccoli sprouts, is a well-known isothiocyanate. It stimulates the body to produce enzymes that detoxify carcinogens. Among men and women aged 50 to 74 in a study from Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., participants who ate the most broccoli (average: 3.7 half-cup cooked servings weekly) were only half as likely to develop colorectal cancer as subjects who said they never ate broccoli.


Broccoli sprouts contain 20 to 50 times the amount of sulforaphane in mature broccoli. That means you'll get as much sulforaphane in a few tablespoons of broccoli sprouts as in a pound of broccoli. When scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore fed broccoli sprouts to rats for several days, and then gave them carcinogens, the animals developed smaller, fewer and slower-growing tumors than the ones that didn't eat sprouts.

Watercress contains a powerful compound called PEITC (phenethyl isothiocyanate, if you're wondering), which is not only cancer-preventive in general, but specifically blocks the nicotine in cigarette smoke from causing lung tumors in animals. PEITC is at its highest levels in raw watercress, although some remains after cooking.

Many cruciferous vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound that affects sex-hormone metabolism involved with the progression of prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. Men between 40 and 64 who ate three or more half-cup servings of cruciferous vegetables a week were 41 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.


EAT SOME OF THESE EVERY DAY:
  • Arugula
  • Beet greens
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Daikon
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
Sample Recipes for Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli Soup


Serves 4-6. 15 minutes to prepare. This high protein soup is for broccoli lovers!

2 cups of water or vegetable stock
3-4 cups broccoli
1 red bell pepper, cut in large pieces
2 red or yellow onions, cut in large pieces
1 avocado
1-2 stalks of celery, cut in large pieces
Bragg Liquid Aminos to taste
Cumin and Ginger to taste


Preparation:

1. In an electric skillet, warm 2 cups of water or stock, keeping the temperature at or below 118. Add the chopped broccoli and warm for 5 minutes.

2. In a blender, puree the warmed broccoli, bell pepper, onion, avocado and celery, thinning with additional water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. If desired, save the broccoli stalks, peeling off the tough outer skin, process them in a food processor until they are small chunks and add to the soup just before serving to add crunch.

3. Serve warm, flavoring with Bragg's, fresh ginger, cumin or any other spice you like. Add a slice of lemon on top to garnish.

Anti-Cancer-Soup


2 Servings

2 cups hot water 2 green onions, cut
2 Tbs. caraway seed
2 carrots
2 Slices each, purple and green cabbage
2 broccoli stalks
1 red pepper, sliced
3 Tbs. fresh Dill Weed

Preparation:

Soak caraway seed in pure water 24 hours prior to use, then pour off liquid. Put finely cut broccoli flowers and thinly sliced, peeled stems in utensil with cover. Grate cabbage and carrots over broccoli and add caraway. Blend onions in two cups hot water and pour broth over veggies. Cover, let steam 5 minutes, garnishing with dill and sliced red pepper.
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anti-cancer, cancer, fitness, health, indole-3-carbinol, isothiocyanate, sulforaphane, vegetables, wellness


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