Did you know that cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and even Wasabi, can reduce your risk of cancer and reduce tumour growth in cancer patients?
In 2011, a study was done that showed the top 20% of Cruciferous vegetable consumers had a 22% reduction in all-cause mortality, which is non-accidental death.
A meta-analysis of cancer risk and diet showed a 20-40% reduction in breast cancer risk with as little as 1-2 servings of Cruciferous vegetables a day.
How is this possible?
By consuming broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, your body activates NRF2, which affects the expression of over 200 genes.
These genes include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory genes that deactivate harmful compounds that cause cancer, ageing of the brain and heart disease.
What if you already have cancer?
A study done on patients with bladder cancer showed that 4 servings of raw broccoli per month reduced the risk of death from cancer and reduced their tumour size.
The 2011 study above shows that the reduction in ACM from consuming Cruciferous vegetables is actually mainly from a reduction in CVD risk.
A study in 2012 showed subjects who consumed 10mg of broccoli sprout powder per day which resulted in a reduction in death from CVD.
This was caused by an 18.7% drop in Triglycerides and a reduction in LDL.
This led to a 52% drop in atherogenic index!
So, why is broccoli good for you?
The mechanism for this is the active compound in broccoli called sulphurophane.
This relaxes smooth muscle in endothelial cells and suppresses inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis.
The active compound that reduces your risk of cancer and CVD, Sulphorophane, is converted from Glucoraphanin by an enzyme myrosinase.
This is activated by chewing your food and bacteria in your gut.
How to consume your broccoli?
Cruciferous vegetables cooked at high temperatures often do not contain sulforaphane because of the myrosinase deactivation during heating.
This enzyme is heat-sensitive and can be damaged by cooking.
So how do we maximise sulphorophane in your food?
3-4 mins of gentle steaming of your food can deactivate epithiospecifer protein that prevents the formation of Sulphorphane.
This increases levels of sulphorophane by 3-5 fold without being hot enough to damage Myorsinase enzyme.
You can also buy sulphorophane supplements which are excellent, but can be expensive.
- Increased consumption of Cruciferous vegetables was associated with reductions in all-cause mortality from cancer, CVD and cancer.
- Sulphorophane is what slows cancer progression and reduces CVD risk.
- It does this by by reducing DNA damage by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation.
- It lowers CVD risk by reducing LDL and triglycerides, which in turn decreases your atherogenic index by 50%.
We recommend to have 2 portions of Cruciferous vegetables per day cooked by steaming for 3-4 minutes.
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Please see the studies quoted in this article:
Cruciferous vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular disease mortality