Fight Cancer With Cruciferous Vegetables
Everyone’s talking about the “C” word. Cancer has us all scared. However, with the support of bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, kale, and many more, your body has a fighting chance. When you hear the “C” word, think cruciferous vegetables.
Healthy compounds in cruciferous veggies
The unbelievable anti-toxin, cancer-fighting powers of cruciferous vegetables have been known for some time. Scientists have been discovering the numerous benefits in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables for years.
- Glucosinolate: This phytochemical (plant chemical) when chopped, chewed and digested, turns into isothiocyanates.
- Sinigrin is one of the cabbage glucosinolates that has received special attention in prevention research for cancer, colon, bladder and prostate cancer.
- Isothiocynates fight cancer by neutralizing the bad guys or carcinogens.
- Indole-3-carbinol is another cancer inhibitor compound formed when these vegetables are crushed or cooked.
- Sulforaphane is present in cruciferous veggies which increases the liver’s ability to detoxify and clear the body of the carcinogenic compounds.
Bok choy is loaded with indoles. Broccoli and cabbage contain indole-3-carbinol which has been shown to reduce the risk of breast and cervical cancer. Brussels sprouts contain sinigrin. All of these vegetables have sulforaphane, which attack the cancer molecules and remove them from the cell.
Kale the superstar
My favorite is kale. Kale is in the cabbage family and is an outstanding vegetable. It is a leafy green, sometimes red cruciferous veggie, and is loaded with the indoles. Don’t miss adding it to all your salads.
In addition to helping prevent cancer, these vegetables are the superstars of being loaded with calcium, iron, Vitamins A, C, and K.
Other cruciferous veggies
Arugula, Bok Choy, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnip, wasabi, and watercress.
Tips to eating more
While cruciferous vegetables may not be your favorite, give them a chance. Here’re some tips.
- Add any finely, chopped cruciferous veggie to your salads.
- Add shredded cabbage or chopped kale to all soups.
- Eat them raw, or slightly steamed with a dip.
- Add broccoli sprouts or cabbage to sandwiches.
- Add broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower florets to marinara sauce for pasta or other Italian dishes.
- Make your own homemade, cream of cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) soup.
- Try steaming and topping the veggies with lemon, fresh herbs, olive oil, or other toppings.
The appeal to eating cruciferous veggies is simple. They are low in calories, rich in fiber and are nutrient dense. They help you fight cancer and build your immune system. Eat cruciferous veggies every day!