We already know that broccoli is a superfood, as it’s an amazing source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, manganese, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A, phosphorus, potassium, copper, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, niacin, and selenium.
Scientists have also discovered that broccoli can prevent and even fight cancerous cells, and they are working on developing the ‘green chemoprevention’ treatment, which uses broccoli and other vegetables. The treatment is aimed at preventing various types of cancer, such as breast, bladder, lung, neck, head or throat.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a chemical that targets the cells which feed tumors. Studies made on mice have shown that sulforaphane stops the growth of cancer cells and therefore halts the tumor’s progression.
American scientists plan to administer capsules containing broccoli seed powder to patients at risk of cancer relapse. Associate Professor Dr. Julie Bauman, from the University of Pittsburgh, believes that this natural and safe molecule from cruciferous vegetables can protect the lining where certain types of cancer form.
Could cancer be prevented through diet?
Most scientists agree that it is easier to prevent cancer than to cure it. They also believe that at least 30% of all types of cancer might be triggered by a dietary component. The Harvard School of Public Health has conducted a 10-year study on more than 47,000 men, and they discovered a reverse connection between the apparition of bladder cancer and the consumption of broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli and cabbage were the ones to offer maximum protection. Only 10 grams daily of raw crucifers or three or four portions of broccoli per week can have a significant effect on reducing the risk of developing cancer. If you can eat two servings per day, you will reduce by 50% the risk of developing particular types of cancer.
Although most crucifers have shown anti-cancer properties, only broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are the most potent. Besides sulforaphane, other components that prevent cancer are indoles and phytochemicals. But only sulforaphane can increase the number of enzymes that eliminate carcinogens and destroy abnormal cells. It also helps the body to limit oxidation at the cellular level.
Simultaneously, indoles’ role is to combat cancer by blocking the estrogen in breast cancer cells and preventing the growth of cancers that are sensitive to estrogen. Broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which is a potent breast cancer preventive agent. The Institute for Hormone Research from New York conducted a study on women. They were divided into two groups, one group eating a high-fiber diet and the other a high I3C diet. The women eating the high I3C diet showed higher levels of a cancer-preventive form of estrogen.
There is no harm in adding to your diet several portions of broccoli per week. On the contrary, you will help your body fight the cancerous factors. You will also experience increased daily energy and well-being, as well as a feeling of satiety and satisfaction.