Is Broccoli Good For Cancer Patients?

Fight Cancer With Broccoli

Eating broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, or other cruciferous vegetables just once a week could significantly lower your risk of several cancers.

By Allison Takeda

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FRIDAY, October 5, 2012 —Adding cruciferous veggies to your diet could decrease your cancer risk by as much as 32 percent, according to a recent review published in theAnnals of Oncology. And a little goes a long way: Experts say eating broccoli or cabbage or bok choy even once a week can yield positive results.

Researchers in Italy and Switzerland compiled data from several previous studies on various cancers, including those of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum, liver, pancreas, breast, ovary, prostate, and kidney. They found that individuals who included cruciferous vegetables in their diets at least once weekly had a lower risk of most cancers than people who never or rarely ate these veggies. The effects were greatest for kidney cancer (32 percent lower risk), esophageal cancer (28 percent), and colorectal, breast, and oral cancers (17 percent).

Eat Broccoli, Prevent Cancer?

The research supports earlier findings about the importance of diet in cancer prevention. In one study from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., scientists found that eating broccoli or cabbage just three times a month could reduce an individual's risk of bladder cancer by as much as 40 percent. And in a study presented at the 2012 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, women who increased their cruciferous vegetable intake within the first three years after a breast cancer diagnosis lowered their risk for mortality by up to 62 percent and their risk for recurrence by up to 35 percent.

Cruciferous vegetables — so named for the shape of their flowers, whose petals resemble a cross — include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, and brussels sprouts, among others. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which is thought to help protect against colon cancer. They also contain compounds called indoles and isothiocyanates that may help reduce inflammation and ward off DNA damage, both risk factors for disease.

Earlier research from the University of Illinois suggests that a component called myrosinase may also have cancer-fighting properties. Myrosinase is an enzyme found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables that activates sulforaphane, an anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory compound. However, cooking diminishes the myrosinase content in veggies, so experts recommend either eating them raw or lightly steaming them to preserve their health benefits.

Video: How To Properly Prepare Broccoli To Be A Cancer-Fighting Vegetable

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Date: 30.11.2018, 00:37 / Views: 35231