Eating Cruciferous Vegetables may Help Prevent Cancer

Cruciferous vegetables are part of the Brassica genus of plants. They include kale, radish, turnip, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, etc. Cruciferous vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, other nutrients, and chemicals known as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates break down into several biologically active compounds that are being studied for possible anticancer effects. Some of these compounds have shown anticancer effects in cells and animals, but the results of studies with humans have been less clear. A review of research published in the October 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that 70% or more of the studies found a link between cruciferous vegetables and protection against cancer. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in nutrients, including several carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin); vitamins C, E, and K, folate and minerals. They also are a good fiber source. In addition, cruciferous vegetables contain a group of substances known as glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing chemicals. These chemicals are responsible for the pungent aroma and bitter flavor of cruciferous vegetables. Indoles and isothiocyanates have been found to inhibit the development of cancer
in several organs in rats and mice, including the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, and stomach. Studies in animals and experiments with cells grown in the laboratory have identified several potential ways in which these compounds may help prevent cancer. Another way cruciferous vegetables may help to protect against cancer is by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the overload of harmful molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are generated by the body. Reducing these free radicals may reduce the risk of colon, lung, prostate, breast, and other cancers.Vegetables and herbs that are readily available contain some of the most potent cancer-fighting compounds found in all of nature. Natural phytonutrients derived from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and watercress, along with powerful antioxidant polyphenols such as carnosic acid and carnosol from rosemary, offer powerful, broad-spectrum support for maintaining healthy estrogen metabolism and protecting against the ubiquitous, cancer-provoking agents encountered every day in our environment. Incorporating these extraordinarily potent, plant-based compounds in a daily supplementation program is a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to guard against many of today’s most common and lethal cancers. Source: HerbHealtH

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