“Cruciferous” vegetables are among the healthiest foods on Earth. They, for all intents and purposes, are crunchy members of our salad bowls and dinner plates. Notable members of this powerfully nutritious family include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, watercress, radish, and dark leafy greens such as kale, arugula, and turnip greens. The subject of research for decades, cruciferous vegetables have recently been shown to halt the growth of prostate tumors. In so doing, they have given hope to people who live with the chronic disease.
Cancer experts have shown that cruciferous vegetables hold a chemical that specifically could protect the body against cancer. That natural, health-boosting chemical is called “phenethyl-ITC” (PEITC for short) and it is released once you cut or chew the veggies. In one amazing laboratory experiment, PEITC outright killed cancer cells. In a study on human prostate tumors (performed on mice for safety reasons), researchers used small amounts of PEITC.
And there was the proof: When a tumor was confronted with PEITC, its growth slowed down. After a month of this, the size of the tumor shrank. Mice not receiving the chemical were unchanged. The results are promising to specialists in cancer prevention. After only two weeks, the size and activity of tumors were greatly reduced.
Try another study on for size. An antioxidant chemical called “sulforaphane” has been found to specifically help prevent colon cancer. This chemical substance is also released when cruciferous vegetables are chewed. It was used against a condition that causes polyps in the colon, handed down through genetics. Those with this condition, called “familial adenomatous polyposis,” are at high risk of colon cancer development.
Three weeks of sulforaphane in the diet has proven to reduce the number of polyps growing. And those that did develop were smaller than the researchers expected. Putting this into perspective, every polyp prevented means there is one less chance colon cancer could occur.
These are but two of the ways the vegetables could fight the world’s worst disease.
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