by: Elizabeth Renter
July 27, 2012
Brassicas are a family of vegetables, including broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and others, that have been shown to possess an array of incredible health benefits. While their health benefits are widely known, now scientists have found that the active component within them that works to prevent heart disease may also help in the prevention of prostate cancer.
Leafy Greens Essential in the Prevention of Prostate Cancer
Sulforaphane is said to interact with genes involved with cancer development. This component is widely available in Brassicas and has numerous health benefits.
According to The Telegraph:
“The chemical called sulforaphane seems to counteract a fault with the gene called PTEN which is involved in prostate cancer. The gene normally stops cancer from developing but in certain cells it is missing and this is when the disease can begin. However sulforaphane seems to dampen the effect of these cells that are missing PTEN and prevent them from triggering cancer growth. The study was conducted by a team at the Institute of Food Research at the Norwich Research Park, using prostate tissue from men and cancerous cells from mice.
Leafy green like broccoli have also been shown to be great additions to a healthy heart diet plan. These veggies also come with numerous health benefits in addition to helping in the prevention of prostate cancer. These leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, known for protecting the cells from free radical damage. and are also rich in enzymes known to reduce the risks of breast and uterine cancer.
“Sulforaphane works by turning on a protein in the arteries that works to protect them against clogging. Certain areas of the heart are more prone to blockage. In these areas, a protective protein known as Nrf2 is inactive. Sulforaphane activates it.”
So how can you get more sulforaphane in your diet? By including green veggies as part of your daily regimen, of course. Eat more salads and don’t just use iceberg lettuce (the nutritional equivalent of an ice cube) – instead, use spinach. Additionally, if you like shredded lettuce on your Mexican food, try cabbage instead. Use nutritionally-potent kale in your smoothies and throw greens in any and all soups and stews.