What are Cruciferous Vegetables and Why You Should Be Eating Them for Cancer Prevention
Shocking research shows that more then half of adult cancers in the United States are due to poor diet. This is actually great news when you think about it, because this means we have power in turning this around. Tweaking your diet to add in more fruits, veggies, and whole foods can drastically reduce this number. And cruciferous veggies are a great place to start. Cruciferous vegetables are an awesome fiber source and are rich in vitamin K, C, and E; along with folate, minerals, and carotenoids. These veggies also contain sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which give these power crops their biter flavor and their lovely aroma. Glucosinolates are very important, because when these chemicals are broken down through food preparation and digestion they create a potent anti caner effect on our cells. They have been proven to halt cancer growths in many organs such as the stomach, lung, colon, thyroid, cervix, breast, prostate, bladder, and others.
Glucosinolates, which eventually turn into indole-3-carbinol, among other important constituents, help to neutralize environmental and dietary toxins that we come in contact with every day. These toxins are detrimental to our DNA, causing damage, which then can lead to deadly cancers. There are also toxic effects that come from with in our bodies as well. Estrogen metabolism can have cancer causing effects when broken down in certain biochemical reactions. Cruciferous veggies provide a safer pathway for these estrogens to be broken down, thus avoiding the risk of cancer formation all together
Being that cancerous tumors are like parasites, they not only hord nutrients from your body, they also create their own blood supply; the nerve! The compounds found in food like kale and broccoli inhibit these blood vessel formations. They also prevent migration of cancerous cells to other organs, and cause apoptosis (programed cell death). Cancer cells loose the function of induced cell death, due to a glitch in their system. Healthy cells are able to preform this function, and do when they are no longer of use to our bodies or will in turn become harmful. It is our body’s natural mechanism to protect us. Since this is not the case with cancer cells its nice to know that broccoli has my back. Thanks Broc!
Lastly, but no way ends the list of awesome benefits, is the fact that the cruciferous family reduces inflammation with in the body. Much research is now suggesting that chronic low-level inflammation is a breeding ground for disease, and cancer being one of them. There are numerous foods in our diet today that are inflammatory causing agents; wheat, omega 6s, and sugar just to name a few. But thank God we have nature’s green stuff to help soothe us from within.
Not sure which vegetables belong to this family, no worries. Check the list below.