Broccoli Can Help Treat Cancer
A couple of days ago we posted an article on asparagus where we denounced extreme claims that asparagus can directly impact cancer. Broccoli, however, is a somewhat different animal – or rather, vegetable. Known as one of the superfoods, broccoli has been indicated for many health benefits, impacting cancer being one of them. The use of vegetables with medicinal properties provides avenues for people not only to prevent major diseases such as cancer, but, in the event that they are overtaken by the disease, they can also assist treatment protocols to maximize returns.
Broccoli is known for being a valuable source for nutrients, all in a low-calorie package. Research says that broccoli is effective against both breast and prostate cancer besides other diseases.
Broccoli originates from the Mediterranean where it is used extensively in cuisine, and has been known to have cancer fighting properties. The unique phytonutrients within broccoli are thought to be the source of the benefits.
Broccoli as a Cancer Fighter: Sulforaphane
Keeping broccoli as a consistent part of a healthy diet works wonders to prevent cancer, besides other chronic diseases such as heart disease, ulcers etc. Among other interesting chemicals, broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane that has strong anti-cancer properties. This chemical is present in other cruciferous vegetables, e.g. brussels sprouts and bok choy. Interestingly brussels sprouts contain 50 times more sulforaphane than broccoli.
These vegetables are used as part of the standard Asian diet. Dr. Emily Ho, an Assistant Professor at the Linus Pauling Institute describes broccoli’s cancer inhibitors as playing an important role in prostate cancer. She finds that American men have dramatically higher rates of prostate cancer than Asian men. However, once Asian men live in the United States for 5 years or more, their rates of prostate cancer rise significantly. The biggest indicator here is dietary change.
What Else Can Broccoli do?
Being a good source of cancer-fighting chemicals is not the only advantage derived from broccoli. It also contains high levels of antioxidants. These anti-oxidants fight free radicals and build a stronger immune system which in turn keeps people healthier.
Broccoli is high in many nutrients that help with DNA health. Substances like iron and folic acid are contained in broccoli, which help prevent anemia, and other diseases of the blood.
Broccoli is a great source of B complex vitamins and is also high in potassium making it a great way to control blood pressure and blood clots.
Because of the combination of all these dietary elements, broccoli is considered one of nature’s super foods.
Steam your Broccoli to help fight Cancer
All the different ways that there are to prepare broccoli affect its effectiveness, but most experts state that the best way to cook broccoli is to steam it. Every other way of preparing broccoli reduces the amount of chemicals within the plant. Only steaming will give you the great taste in addition to all of the health benefits of eating broccoli.