Cruciferous Vegetables Proven to Prevent Breast Cancer

Research is continually showing the benefits of eating a diet high in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. These veggies have been proven to prevent all sorts of cancer, including breast cancer. The way in which the active compounds in cruciferous vegetables inhibit breast cancer cells has been largely unknown. Now a study at UC Santa Barbara has shown why they are so effective.

Breast cancer is currently the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Consuming too many dead foods that don’t offer anything of value to the body is one of the root causes. Adding cruciferous vegetables to the diet can fight this epidemic form of cancer.

Olga Azarenko, a graduate student at UCSB who worked on the team said, “These vegetables contain compounds called isothiocyanates which we believe to be responsible for the cancer-preventive and anti-carcinogenic activities in these vegetables. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts have the highest amount of the isothiocyanates.

“Our paper focuses on the anti-cancer activity of one of these compounds, called sulforaphane, or SFN,” Azarenko added. “It has already been shown to reduce the incidence and rate of chemically induced mammary tumors in animals. It inhibits the growth of cultured human breast cancer cells, leading to cell death.”

Isothiocyanate have the power to actually make changes on a genetic level. They can activate some genes that fight cancer and switch off others that fuel tumors.

Cruciferous vegetables prevent all sorts of cancer. One study of 50,000 men studied how different fruits and vegetables prevented bladder cancer. No significant associations were found between bladder cancer and the consumption of:

– Total fruits and vegetables
– Fruits only
– Vegetables only
– Yellow vegetables
– Green leafy vegetables

However, there was a 51 percent risk reduction for bladder cancer in those consuming more than 5 servings of cruciferous vegetables a week versus those consuming less than one a week.

Another study of 1000 men revealed that men who consumed 3 or more servings of cruciferous vegetables per week had a 41 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer compared to those that consumed only one or less a week.

Other studies have shown that broccoli sprouts are a natural sunscreen, protecting against skin cancer.

If everyone in the world ate at least 5 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week, we would see major shifts in health. Cruciferous vegetables are incredibly easy to add into the diet. Finely chopping raw broccoli and Brussels sprouts and sprinkling them over food will help them easily blend into other flavors. Adding broccoli sprouts is another way to get the incredible benefits of isothiocyanates.

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