Which Vegetables Reduce My Risk of Cancer?
Do you have a history of cancer in your family? If so, you're most likely to be diagnosed with cancer as well, right? That's what scientists once believed, but exciting new research shows that the food choices we make on a daily basis have the ability to "turn on" or "turn off" cancer cell expression.
When it comes to protecting ourselves from cancer, "early detection screening" is actually late detection. This is because the average time it takes for many tumors to grow large enough to be detected is 10 years. As a result, tumors that are programmed to spread to other organs have already had the chance to do so.
That's the bad news; the good news is that those who consume diets rich in vegetables significantly reduce their likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer. Although all vegetables offer powerful protection against cancer, cruciferous vegetables in particular contain unique anti-cancer properties called isothiocyanates (ITCs). Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables that come from the broccoli and cabbage family. They include: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brocollina, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, red cabbage, rutabaga, turnips, turnip greens, and watercress. Equally important, a whole-food, nutrient-dense, plant-based diet not only helps prevent cancer, it can help prolong the life of someone who already has cancer. (See the links below.)
According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, "The evidence is now overwhelming that cruciferous vegetables play a major and unique role in the widely recognized protective effects of natural plant foods against cancer. The biologically active compounds from raw and conservatively cooked green vegetables enhance the natural defenses of the human body against DNA damage and they even fuel the body's ability to block growth and replication of cells that are already damaged. Studies have even shown that genetic defects that may lead to cancer are suppressed by the consumption of green cruciferous vegetables."
Observational studies have shown that just three servings of cruciferous vegetables per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 41% and one serving per day reduced the risk of breast cancer by over 50%. This protective effect also improved the survival rate for women who already have breast cancer. For more details, see our topic article, Cruciferous Vegetables Protect Against Cancer.
Learn how a whole-food, plant-based diet helps protect against cancer and prolong the lives of those with cancer:
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