The diagnosis of cancer encouraged me to orientate my diet towards ensuring that every bite of food I took from then on was going to contribute to my healing.
Understanding the nutritional value and health benefits of food will assist in eating nutrient dense meals.
Certain foods have more cancer fighting components than others. These foods became a major part of my daily diet.
In this blog I am going to discuss Cruciferous Vegetables that contains many anti cancer components.
This food group is still part of my diet today because of its cancer prevention benefits.
Research on cruciferous vegetables has skyrocketed over the past 10 years.
Among this group of vegetables are:
• Bok choy
• Brussels sprouts
• Chinese cabbage
• Collard greens
• Daikon radish
• Land cress
• Mustard greens
• Shepherd’s purse
The following cancer fighting components are present in cruciferous vegetables:
• Researchers have found that sulfurophane induces phase-2 enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.
• In addition, sulfurophane induces apoptosis, inhibits NF-kB, and scavenges free radicals thereby helping block cancer cell growth.
2. Indole-3 carbinol
A flavonoid Indole-3 carbinol is found in Cruciferous vegetables that fights cancer by inducing enzymes that help to metabolize carcinogens.
Researchers are interested in indole-3-carbinol for cancer prevention, particularly breast, cervical and endometrial, and colorectal cancer. Their reason is that diets with higher amounts of fruit and vegetable consumption are associated with a decreased risk of developing cancer. Researchers suspect indole-3-carbinol is one of several vegetable components that might protect against cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables are also rich in phytochemicals and can help to metabolise aggressive estrogen. Excess aggressive estrogen is a major contributing factor in most breast cancers.
Phytochemicals lower aggressive estrogen and are known to assist in preventing breast cancer.
I found this a good reason to eat lots of cruciferous veggies at all times.
4. Fibre content
A study has revealed that consuming 30 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber can reduce the risk of breast cancer. It also reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by almost 20%.
Dietary fiber, also known as roughage, is a nutrient required for proper digestion of food.
Besides assisting with smooth bowel movements, fiber can also reduce the risk of heart diseases, stroke and hypertension.
Cruciferous vegetables are high in soluble as well as insoluble fiber
• One cup of steamed broccoli can provide you with 5.1 grams of fiber.
• Brussels sprouts can contribute 4.1 grams of fiber to your body.
• Cabbage can help you meet 12% of the daily amount of fiber.
• Kale contains 4 grams of fiber per cup,
• One cup of cauliflower provides you with 2 grams of fiber
Cruciferous Vegetables offer integrated nourishment across a wide variety of categories.
The chart below summarizes the nutrient richness of some cruciferous vegetables:
- It is difficult to find another vegetable group that is as high in vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber as the cruciferous vegetables.
- Kale and collards are also high in vitamin K. Vitamin K helps regulate our inflammatory response, including chronic, excessive inflammatory responses that can increase our risk of cancer.
- Cruciferous vegetables contribute a surprising amount of protein — over 25% of the Daily Requirement in 3 cups.
- Many B-complex vitamins are concentrated in cruciferous vegetables, as are certain minerals.
- This food group also contains its own unique set of phytonutrients — the glucosinolates — that are simply unavailable to the same extent in any other food group.
Cooking of Cruciferous Vegetables.
Cruciferous vegetables are best steamed or cooked in soups or stews. Eaten raw in large amounts can inhibit thyroid hormones which is vital for the functioning of the body. The insoluble fiber (1-2 grams in 1/2 cup of cruciferous vegetables) makes them hard to digest when eaten raw.
But by cooking these vegetables we loose most of the enzyme breakdown products.
Dr Michael Greger MD.FACLM wrote the following in an article “How to Cook Broccoli”
“There is a strategy to get the benefits of raw in cooked form. In raw broccoli, the sulforaphane precursor, called glucoraphanin, mixes with the enzyme (myrosinase) when you chew or chop it. If given enough time—such as when sitting in your upper stomach waiting to get digested—sulforaphane is born. The precursor and sulforaphane are resistant to heat and therefore cooking, but the enzyme is destroyed. No enzyme = no sulforaphane.
That’s why I described the “hack and hold” technique—if we chop the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, or cauliflower first and then wait 40 minutes, we can cook them all we want. The sulforaphane is already made; the enzyme has already done its job, so we don’t need it anymore”. https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/02/09/how-to-cook-broccoli
Sauerkraut is a good option to eat cabbage raw . Fermented vegetables are easily digested and supply a host of good gut bacteria.
I find it absolutely fascinating to discover the components of food that can assist us in healing.
I hope you are inspired to add this food group to your diet to regain and keep your health.
Remember there are many other foods that are beneficial in eating to heal from cancer
“Food can be our medicine” to heal.
I discuss my complete anti-cancer diet in my e-book that will be available soon.
In this book I also reveal all the modalities and methods I used to overcome breast cancer naturally.