The Starfish Project

The combined effort of our whole family.

Isothiocyanates, huh? (Cruciferous Vegetables)

leave a comment »

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Cruciferous Vegetables
While fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, the consumption of vegetables is more helpful in reducing cancer because they contain much higher amounts of cancer-protective compounds— especially green vegetables.  Among these green vegetables, the cruciferous family has demonstrated the most dramatic protection against cancer.

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage) contain a symphony of phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects.  Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens.

These vegetables also contain indole-3- carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity. Important recent studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables and the compounds they contain can do the following: 

  • halt the growth of breast cancer cells;
  • dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer;
  • prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells;
  • inhibit the progression of lung cancer. 

What makes these studies even more fascinating is the discovery of the gene/diet interaction, which has shown that high intake of greens and cruciferous vegetables provides the food factors necessary to interact with—and prevent— genetic defects from creating disease. This gene/diet interaction activates a battery of many genes, initiating DNA repair and other protection mechanisms.

These cellular repair and detoxification mechanisms are most powerfully induced by eating a mixture of both raw and cooked cruciferous plant foods. Some of the compounds are water soluble and heat stable, and absorption is increased when cooked, for example, in a soup. Other critical ITCs are heat sensitive and are better transmitted in the raw form.

Source:  Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Nutrient Rich Blog

Advertisements

Written by Tracey

August 20, 2008 at 11:55 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: