Monday, December 17, 2007

Broccoli, Blackberries, and Cancer

news you may not knowGo Ahead - Try the Broccoli...

Do you love blackberries? What about broccoli? If so, you are fortunate indeed. Especially if you can concoct a tasty recipe that uses both cancer-fighting wonders. OK, so that may be a bit of a stretch, but...

Researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, report that raw broccoli is a powerful cancer fighting cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, kale, watercress, bok choy, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and mustard greens. What's their cancer-fighting secret? They are the only vegetables that contain isothiocyanates.

Isothiocyanates are nutrients that have previously been shown to fight cancer. The current study reconfirms this.

Eating just 3 servings of broccoli per month reduced the risk of bladder cancer by 40%. The news is even better when you factor in being a non-smoker. For non-smokers eating at least 3 veggie servings each month, the risk was reduced by 73%. Seems like a pretty decent payoff for a piece of broccoli here and there.

How should you cook your broccoli? That would be using the "no heat" method. Yes, researchers found the benefit only derives from raw veggies - cooking reduces the amount of isothiocyanates by up to 90%, thus eliminating its cancer fighting potential.

Blackberries, in a separate study, were shown to have a similar ability to fight esophageal cancers.

...You know what to do. Head to the grocery store, hit the produce section, and buy some color. Then, instead of ignoring it for two weeks before finally throwing it away, get in the habit of giving it a quick wash and enjoying the snap and crunch of real food. Health has never been so simple...

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about the health benefits of fruits and veggies, see this from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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