The humble, ubiquitous and often maligned broccoli is, however, a true superstar when it comes to providing nutrients essential to fighting cancer. Here are 5 cancer-fighting benefits of broccoli to take note of:
1. The Phytonutrient Superstar
Have you heard about the cruciferous vegetables? Maybe not, but broccoli is one of them–the most popular vegetable from this cabbage group and a close relative of cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and all forms of cabbage. This cold-weather crop “tree,” as children like to call it, is packed with antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin A and C and beta-carotene. Steam a half cup cooked broccoli for about 25 calories and over two grams of fiber.
2. Broccoli Halts Breast Cancer Cells
This vegetable contains cancer-preventive indoles and isothiscyanates that block carcinogens and interfere with the action of a precancerous form of estrogen. Research has shown that the chemical indole-3-carbinol halts the growth of breast cancer cells without actually killing normal cells. This compound works independently of the hormone estrogen which could allow combination therapy with drugs that interfere with estrogen, such as tamoxifen, a potent breast cancer drug.
3.Cruciferous Consumption for Prostate and Bladder Cancer
What about other types of cancer? Greater consumption of dark green and cruciferous vegetables–including broccoli–was associated with a decreased risk of aggressive prostate cancer, biologically virulent and linked to poor prognosis. Add more broccoli for preventive measures. Recent animal studies provide potent evidence that broccoli sprouts have an anti-cancer effect, reducing the risk of bladder cancer through specific compounds, called glucosinolates. During digestion, these are transformed into isothiocyanates, playing a role in cancer inhibition.