Cancer Fighting Vegetables

Did you know that cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, are associated with a decreased risk of several types of cancers? Why not start the NEW YEAR out on a healthy note by pledging to eat some of Mother Nature’s potent anti-cancer veggies on most days of the week?

Cruciferous or the cabbage family of vegetables is a true class of superfoods that have it all when it comes to vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals, fiber and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Cruciferous vegetables are actually members of the Brassica family, widely cultivated with many genera and species. The alternate name, Cruciferae, is Latin for “cross bearing,” named for the shape of their flowers—which resemble a cross!

What really makes the Brassica family of vegetables superbly medicinal are two sharp-tasting phytochemical compounds buried within them, called sulphoraphane and diindolylmethane. These plant chemicals have demonstrated the ability to activate enzymes in the body that act to detoxify carcinogens before they can do cellular damage. Sulphoraphane has also been shown to cut off the circulation of nutrients to the tumor hence helping to treat existing cancer. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, cruciferous vegetables have been shown to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining, cervix, lung, colon and liver.

Here is a list of cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables, try to eat some every day: horseradish, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, Rapini (broccoli rabe), cabbage, turnip root greens, rutabaga, kale, mustard seeds, arugula (rocket), watercress, radish, daikon, and wasabi.

Roasted Cancer-Fighting Vegetable Medley

Using a bag of pre-washed, precut veggies makes this nutritious side dish simple to make and fast!

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: ¼ of the recipe, 99 grams or ~ ½ cup)

  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag of “Eat Smart” vegetable medley (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots), available in the supermarket produce section
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, soy sauce and black pepper. Whisk together until blended. Add in bag of vegetables and garlic and stir to coat. Spread veggies in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast vegetables for ~ 10 minutes until browned. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of the recipe or ~ ½ cup):

Calories: 124, Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 202 mg,

Carbohydrate: 13 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 3 g

Check out another article related to healthy eating: “5 Immune Boosting Foods that Keep Viruses Away

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