Colorful, nutritious and savory the cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, should not be missed from our diet. More and more studies over the last few years have shown the benefits of cruciferous vegetables against cancer.
What are cruciferous vegetables?
They are part of the Brassica plants and include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage or kale, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, cardamom etc. Studies have shown that they are rich sources of many vitamins, carotenoids and fibers. In particular, they contain vitamin C, E and K, folic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin as well as many other minerals and trace elements. Their slightly bitter taste and spicy flavor are attributed to glucosinolates, sulfur-containing chemical compounds. Sulforaphane is one of the most studied components of cruciferous vegetables, which is mainly found in broccoli and may act against cancer.
What are the benefits and how do they work
The active and beneficial substances of the cruciferous vegetables are released during food preparation, cutting, chewing and digestion. In contrast, much of the nutrients are destroyed by cooking. Several studies have shown that consumption of cruciferous vegetables produces in the intestines chemicals that have strong antioxidant and anti-cancer effects, as they inhibit the development of cancer in experimental animals. Experimental studies suggest several possible ways in which these compounds can help prevent cancer, such as:
- They help protect cells and DNA
- They help to inactivate carcinogenic substances
- They have antiviral and antibacterial activity
- They have anti-inflammatory properties
- They cause cell death (apoptosis)
- They inhibit the formation of blood vessel (angiogenesis)
- They inhibit the migration of tumor cells (metastasis)
Higher consumption of these vegetables can protect against certain diseases, including certain cancers. So put these vegetables in your diet abundantly and shield your body against cancer.