March 11, 2011
This "old" superfood has
ways to fight cancer
There's a lot of press and advertising about supplements that will protect you against cancer. And some that will help you fight cancer if you already have it. I have no problem with that. Some of these supplements, such as resveratrol, are worth their weight in gold when it comes to fighting cancer. But there's something more fundamental that you have to pay attention to if you really want to fight cancer. It's actual food.
Take broccoli, for instance. I've mentioned broccoli before, so it's not new. But there's new and exciting information on it, information that could spare you from this terrible disease.
As you may know, I now consider broccoli a superfood. It's packed with phytochemicals that protect you against cancer. And it can even fight cancer. One of these phytochemicals is sulforaphane. University of Michigan researchers have now shown that this compound actually targets cancer stem cells, the cells that are doing most of the dividing and conquering in dangerous tumors.
Scientists injected sulforaphane into mice with cancer. Their tumor stem cells took a big hit. Their cancers were unable to generate new tumors. Lab cultures of cancer cells saw reduced stem cells when exposed to the compound. While some stem cells are great for healing, these are stem cells you do not want!
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True, the researchers used more sulforaphane than you might get by eating broccoli. However, the point for most of us is prevention. Increasing your intake of cruciferous veggies is one way to get these powerful compounds into your body. Prevention usually does not take nearly as much of the substance to fight off cancer as it does to treat after the tumor has established itself.
Researchers around the planet are rushing to capitalize on broccoli extract compounds for cancer. I personally don't think you need them.
Instead, I suggest eating cruciferous veggies on a regular basis. These include kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. If you are at risk for cancer or have it, get broccoli seeds and sprout them or buy organic from your health food store. Eat as much as you can. The sprouts have the highest concentration of the beneficial chemicals.