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How Cruciferous Vegetables Fight Cancer All Miavita Features

Cruciferous vegetables treat potential carcinogens the way Tony Soprano does a snitch. By the time members of the cruciferous family (see list below) are through with them, there's nothing left but harmless substances to be excreted.

Cruciferous vegetables' anti-cancer firepower comes from phytochemicals called isothiocyanates, which stimulate our bodies to break down potential carcinogens. Sulforaphane, found in broccoli and in even more concentrated form in broccoli sprouts, is a well-known isothiocyanate. It stimulates the body to produce enzymes that detoxify carcinogens. Among men and women aged 50 to 74 in a study from Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., participants who ate the most broccoli (average: 3.7 half-cup cooked servings weekly) were only half as likely to develop colorectal cancer as subjects who said they never ate broccoli.

Broccoli sprouts contain 20 to 50 times the amount of sulforaphane in mature broccoli. That means you'll get as much sulforaphane in a few tablespoons of broccoli sprouts as in a pound of broccoli. When scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore fed broccoli sprouts to rats for several days, and then gave them carcinogens, the animals developed smaller, fewer and slower-growing tumors than the ones that didn't eat sprouts.

Watercress contains a powerful compound called PEITC (phenethyl isothiocyanate, if you're wondering), which is not only cancer-preventive in general, but specifically blocks the nicotine in cigarette smoke from causing lung tumors in animals. PEITC is at its highest levels in raw watercress, although some remains after cooking.

Many cruciferous vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound that affects sex-hormone metabolism involved with the progression of prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. Men between 40 and 64 who ate three or more half-cup servings of cruciferous vegetables a week were 41 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.


* Arugula
* Beet greens
* Bok choy
* Broccoli
* Brussels sprouts
* Cabbage
* Cauliflower
* Chinese cabbage
* Collard greens
* Daikon
* Horseradish
* Kale
* Kohlrabi
* Mustard greens
* Radishes
* Rutabaga
* Swiss chard
* Turnips
* Watercress
Thanks Kate, Im a big broccoli fan, so it excites me to know Im on the right track. Plus the list helps me to shop for these next time.
Kate....all I can say is you continue to amaze me with the wonderful information you come up with!

Here's a great big THANK YOU for your time and effort! I can't believe spinach isn't on the list though. unsure.gif
biggrin.gif Thanks Shelly! And yeah, where IS the spinach???? I'll have to go looking for it!
Think I found the answer:

Cauliflower is one member of a diverse group of "flowering plants" known as Brassicas. The gene pool of this group is well represented by indigenous plants around the world. The "stemmed" (or cruciferous) varieties which are grown commercially are often collectively referred to as "Cole Crops". These also include broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. Historically, cauliflower is thought to have been discovered as a food source in the Mediteranean around 2000 years ago.

At the same site:

Speaking in terms of nutrition, cauliflower is very good for you. Studies have shown that consumption of cauliflower and other cole crops, actually reduces the incidence of Cancer. Most people are also surprised to find out that one serving of cauliflower, can provide your body with it's entire daily requirement of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is not restricted to oranges! Cauliflower is also an excellent source of Folic Acid and dietary fiber.


And here's the info on spinach

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per 1 cup RAW
Calories 6.6
Calories from Fat 0.945

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.105g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.0168g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0438g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.003g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 23.7mg 1%
Potassium 167.4mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 1.05g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.81g 3%
Protein 0.858g 2%
Alcohol 0g

Vitamin A 40 % Vitamin C 14 %
Calcium 3 % Iron 5 %
Vitamin D 0 % Vitamin E 1 %
Thiamin 1 % Riboflavin 3 %
Niacin 1 % Folate 15 %
Vitamin B-6 3 % Vitamin B-12 0 %
Phosphorus 1 % Magnesium 6 %
Zinc 1 % Copper 2 %

Spinach may not be cruciferous, but it's dandy anyway
To add to Kate's wonderful news stories, Dennis brought home The Wall St. Journal. There's a great article (front page of the Marketplace section) about how fiber has disappeared from the American diet.

To meet the 25 grams of recommended fiber per day, one would need to consume in a day:

2 bowls of Total cereal
1 Sara Lee Honey Wheat bagel
2 cups (4 servings) white rice
48 (3 servings) Wheat Thins
1/4 box (2 servings) spaghetti
1/2 can Campbell's Chunky Vegetable Soup


2 apples
1 pear
1/2 cup serving of chili beans
3 slices whole-grain bread (doesn't say whole wheat...whole GRAIN)

Hmmm...I think I'll stick with the SB WOE which encourages us to eat the RIGHT FOODS with GOOD BENEFITS!!! Anyone else see the trend here...more support towards SB!!! cool.gif

This is the first time I've picked up the WSJ in a LONG time and was surprised to see this information.

Couldn't access the article on-line, but here are a few quick excerpts from the article written by Michael J. McCarthy in the October 22nd edition....

"From breakfast to dinner, fiber is disappearing from the American Diet, as high-margin, eat-on-the-go packaged foods replace basic foodstuffs. On one leve, fiber has been on its way out for decades, through the high-speed processing of raw commodities such as fruit and grain. But its disappearance is being hastened now, as a side effect of the food-industry's drive to develop snacks and easy-to-prepare dishes to replace what used to be called square meals.

"The fiber erosion is occurring just as experts are warning of a critical fiber deficiency in the U.S. After the flash-in-the-pan fiber craze of the late 1980's, fiber's reputation took a hit amid conflicting research into its role in preventing colon cancer. But studies this year have underscored the connection, and now the national scarcity of dietary fiber is being more carefully scrutinized for its role in everything from heart disease to obesity to diverticulitis, a rapidly growing intestinal disease.
"Warning that Americans are eating only about half the 25 grams of fiber they need daily, the American Dietetic Association says persuading people to eat more fiber-rich plant foods could have a 'significant impact on the prevention and treatment of obesity, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.' ..."

Ok...that was all I had time to read on the front page of the Marketplace section. now the rest of the world will know our best-kept secret!! ph34r.gif

Think I'll go eat some fiber!
Yay...thanks for sharing that Joanie....although when I read it, it brought to mind that commercial where everyone has to eat a thousand bowls of cereal to get the nutrition of one bowl of Total! laugh.gif laugh.gif

I think I'll stick with the second option also....if I ate all they recommended, I'd look like the Goodyear blimp. blink.gif
laugh.gif I thought about that one, too!! There's also a commercial out (think it's a fiber dietary supplement ad) where the lady is on the phone at work eating carrots and broccoli, and is on the bike at the gym eating an apple...point was that to get the recommended amount of fiber in your daily diet, you'd have to eat huge amounts of food all day long. Well, according to this article and based on what we know, that's totally misleading!! As long as we make wise, healthy choices, we should have no problems with the recommended 25gr per day. However, realistically we know the average American (and American child especially) is NOT getting it!

Once people start getting enough fiber I'm sure cholesterol levels will go down as well and we'd see less health problems.

(OK...what kind of mood am I in tonight?!)

WHAT??? No Wasabi?


I actually think that stuff is borderline toxic. smile.gif

There is a place bordering on Heaven called Carvers. For $9 you get a large slab of prime rib, fresh horseradish that'll send you home crying, a large salad, and 1/2 plate of steamed broccoli.
We just had a class on the phytochemicals in my nutrition class. When I get home this afternoon I'll list some of the info I learned. The important thing to remember about phytochemicals is that you can't get them from any source but plants, so eat your veggies! (this means you kodakstapler!)

Spinach is high in others- carotenoids-which also have been found to lower cancer risks. There is also a difference in the amount of phytochemicals available depending on whether the veggies are raw or cooked. Cooking actually makes more of them available in some of the veggies, again I'll give a list this afternoon.

Thanks Sofie! It's been a while since I was in school, but I do remember my mother's voice in my head saying that gently cooked carots were healthier than raw. WIll be glad to get your list biggrin.gif
smile.gif still will add the list, but I'm writing a paper at the moment so a little crunched on time. On the weekend I will get to it.

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