I’m guessing I don’t have to tell you that it’s important to eat your vegetables. Our mothers taught us that when we were just kids, and our doctors picked up the task of delivering the veggie message as we got older.
But sometimes don’t you wish for something more concrete and specific? A motherly “because I said so” just doesn’t always cut it… especially if you don’t happen to be a big fan of eating vegetables anyway.
Well I’ve got one great… very specific reason to follow mom’s (and your doctor’s) advice on this one.
Veggie chemical fights prostate and breast cancer cells
According to a study conducted at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Micronutrient Research Institute confirms that sulforaphane–a phytochemical found in broccoli and related cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower and cabbage–has a natural ability to target and attack prostate cancer cells without harming neighboring cells. Unconnected studies suggest it may have similar promise for breast cancer.
The active chemicals found in everyday foods – such as broccoli – are often much more potent than people would imagine. If fact, determining how to safely adapt these chemical ingredients for medical use is one of the biggest hurdles researchers face. Even edible plants that are considered “rich” in a given nutritional substance contain relatively low amounts of it by volume. The vast majority of these compounds may also become toxic to humans if taken in large enough concentrations.
While a number of previous investigations have proven that sulforaphane is able to attack both benign and malignant cancer cells, the Oregon State study is one of the first to prove that it is effective without disrupting otherwise healthy tissue. This gives researchers a tremendous tool for developing new, low-risk treatment options, and is likely to encourage additional research into the healing potential of other seemingly mundane edible plants.
Realistically, it could be some time before these findings are applied to any sort of drug development or cancer treatment in a traditional hospital setting. Meanwhile though, the researchers behind the study recommend that we all eat more organic cruciferous vegetables.
Foods rich in cancer-fighting compounds
Besides broccoli, a number of readily available cruciferous vegetables contain naturally large amounts of sulforaphane. Some good examples of foods high in this important phytochemical include mild and spicy radishes, turnips, watercress, cabbage, arugula, kale, chard, and most other leafy greens.
Unrelated studies also suggest a variety of other cancer-fighting compounds may be present in other herbs and garden vegetables. Celery and parsley, for instance, are especially rich in apigenin – a substance that has shown remarkable promise for fighting breast cancer. Trace amounts of apigenin are also found in oranges, apples, and some tree nuts. The problem is, it’s very difficult for the body to effectively extract it from any of these foods on its own.
Supplementing a balanced diet with natural digestive enzymes is a good way to break down and absorb these compounds, as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Dr. Edward F. Group III has his Naturopathic Doctorate, Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist certifications, and is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and the American Board of Functional Medicine. He founded Global Healing Center Inc. in 1998 which has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
A dynamic author and speaker, Dr. Group focuses solely on spreading the message of health and wellness to the global community with the philosophy of full body cleansing, most importantly colon cleansing, consuming pure clean organic food, water, air, exercise and nutritional supplementation. Visit GlobalHealingCenter.com to learn more about living green and healthy!
Latest posts by Dr. Edward Group (see all)
- Top 6 reasons to try kombucha tea - October 4, 2016
- Always tired? Your thyroid could be to blame - September 24, 2016
- 9 surprising uses for the chili pepper extract capsaicin - September 1, 2016