I love when studies are done to show that vegetables have anti-cancer properties! Broccoli is, of course, one of the most studied among the vegetable family. Studies show that broccoli contains “compounds that may protect the body from stomach cancer, as well as cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus.”[i] And when we break down broccoli, we can see why!
This mighty, green, treelike veg is in the cruciferous vegetable family, along with cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale—all excellent or good sources of. Broccoli is packed with immune-boosting vitamins nutrients and phytochemicals: vitamin C, sulforaphane, manganese, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. “Carotenoids inhibit cancer growth, improve immunity, support vision and promote skin health.” [ii]
Broccoli is also rich in glucosinolates, a compound found in all cruciferous vegetables. Glucosinolates form isothiocyanates and indoles, which are known to prevent tumor growth and decrease the production of cancer cells, which stop cancer from being able to survive in the body.[iii]
And broccoli has tons of fiber, one of the top seven nutrients that fight cancer according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.[iv] In a five-year study of patients in Spanish hospitals, researchers recruited people with lung cancer. Controls were individuals attending hospital for trivial surgery. They collected information on lifestyle, placing special emphasis on tobacco use and dietary habits. They observed a reduced risk of cancer by those who consumed broccoli and pumpkin and said that the frequent consumption of green leafy vegetables and other vegetables might be associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer.[v]
Broccoli Is Especially Good For . . . [vi]
Doctrine of Signatures: The broccoli head, when cut in half, resembles the inside chamber of the lungs; therefore, it is believed that broccoli is especially useful for lung health. Also, when we examine broccoli up close, the tips on a head of broccoli look like hundreds of tiny cancer cells.
A fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute reports that three or more servings of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts) a week may reduce prostate cancer risk by nearly 50 percent.[vii] Empowering info!
The Cancer-Free with Food recipes with Broccoli
Other Ways of Incorporating Broccoli in Your Cancer-Healing Kitchen
There are so many ways to eat broccoli! You can eat broccoli raw, steam it, or roast it with some olive oil, garlic, and sea salt. My favorite way to eat broccoli is by roasting it and adding some nutritional yeast so it tastes a bit like cheesy popcorn. It makes a great side dish or even an entire meal. You could:
Fun fact: The four-petal flowers from cruciferous veggies resemble a cross or crucifer, hence the name. Surely broccoli is a gift from God? Hehe! The other cruciferous vegetables are known as the “headless crucifers”; for example, kale and collard greens.
Resources from Cancer-Free with Food book
[i] AICR’s Foods That Fight Cancer. “Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables,” American Institute for Cancer Research (accessed June 30, 2018), www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/broccoli-cruciferous.html.
[ii] Kellie Bramlet. “Phytochemicals and Cancer: What You Should Know,” MD Anderson Cancer Center (January 2017), https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/january-2017/phytochemicals-and-cancer-what-you-should-know.html.
[iv] AICR eNews. “7 Key Nutrients: Find Them in Your Cancer-Fighting Foods,” American Institute for Cancer Research (March 2, 2017), http://www.aicr.org/enews/2017/03-march/enews-7-key-nutrients-found-in-foods.html
[v] A.M. Tarrazo-Antelo, A. Ruano-Ravina, J. Abal Arca,et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Lung Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study in Galicia, Spain,” Nutrition and Cancer, vol. 66, no. 6 (August 2014), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25085257.
[vi] AICR’s Foods That Fight Cancer. “Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables.”
[vii] “Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention,” National Cancer Institute (accessed June 230, 2018), https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet.
by liana werner-gray
Hi. I am a Health researcher bringing you honest information about cancer healing treatments and foods that kill (and cause) cancer! I love diving into the scientific studies that show this research.