Cruciferous Vegetables Can Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer grows out of normal cells in the body. Normal cells multiply when the body needs them, and die when the body doesn’t need them. Cancer appears to occur when the growth of cells in the body is out of control and cells divide too quickly. There are many different kinds of cancers. Cancer can develop in almost any organ or tissue, such as the lung, colon, breast, skin, bones, or nerve tissue. Alarming statistics now suggest that more than half of all cancers in American adults may be caused by poor diet. What these numbers mean is that much of the death and misery caused by cancer can be prevented. Fortunately, scientific evidence has now established that cruciferous vegetables contain vital cancer-fighting components that offer powerful protection against many carcinogens. Broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, kale, brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables contain many health promoting phytonutrients that have been shown to help prevent the onset and halt the progression of colon, breast, prostate, thyroid, cervical, and other cancers. Only a small percentage of Americans consume the five to seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables that the government recommends for good health. (We should really be eating 10-12 serving of fruits and vegetables a day!) Even more concerning, the typical American diet is especially deficient in cruciferous vegetables, which are some of the most potent cancer-fighting foods available. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which contribute to their healthful effects. Scientists have identified other bio-active compounds (phytonutrients) in these vegetables that are important to their cancer-preventive effects. These compounds, which are called glucosinolates, are transformed to indole-3-carbinol and diindolylmethane in the body. Methods of preparation and cooking affect the availability of these phytonutients. Cruciferous vegetables need to be well chewed, chopped or blended to get maximal effect. Some benefit may be lost with boiling or steaming. (Do not over steam! Try to under-cook a bit so they are not mushy.) The maximal benefit comes from eating these vegetables raw. Amazing as it may seem, vegetables that are readily found in any supermarket produce aisle contain some of the most potent cancer fighting compounds found in all of nature. Cruciferous vegetables are not only the most powerful anticancer foods in existence, they are also the most nutrient dense of all vegetables. Try to eat 1-2 serving of cruciferous vegetables a day.

Author: drjeffgreenberg

Dr Greenberg is a clinical cardiologist who specializes in preventive cardiology, nutrition, exercise, and longevity. He favors using natural methods to improving one's health.

2 thoughts on “Cruciferous Vegetables Can Help Prevent Cancer”

  1. If you are on a blood thinner you can’t have a lot of the cruciferous vegetables. I am told only one of them once a week, I eat lots of other vegetables and fruits, but not a lot of the green ones you suggest.

    1. That is a fallacy! Anyone on coumadin/warfarin can eat whatever vegetables they want. This includes eating cruciferous vegetables. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your Coumadin dose as needed. Usually your dose may need to be increased a bit to compensate. Never adjust your diet without talking to your doctor first! It is very possible to eat healthy and also to be on Coumadin or warfarin.

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