One Simple Trick That May Cheat Cancer
If you’ve been reading my posts for some time, I’m sure you know that I like to provide realistic solutions that can be implemented by anyone, despite today’s hectic lifestyles. Here’s a good example: To reduce your risk of cancer, choose vegetables as often as possible.
New research confirms that your mother was right. You should “eat your broccoli” to fend off cancer. Broccoli, and its cousins in the cruciferous family (cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.) are among the most healthful foods on the planet. They’re superfoods because they do more than just supply vitamins, minerals, fiber, and flavor in a low-calorie package. They also contain some of the most potent cancer-fighting compounds in the plant kingdom.
Among these is indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which suppresses the growth of cancer cells through a variety of mechanisms. Among other activities, it persuades these rogue cells to commit cellular suicide. Now scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center have shown that another cancer-preventing broccoli-family compound, DIM, can even prevent radiation poisoning.
The scientists subjected some lab rats to lethal doses of gamma radiation. One group was then injected with DIM for two weeks, beginning immediately after the deadly radiation exposure. All rats in the first group died, as expected. Remarkably, though, rats in the second group—the ones treated with the broccoli compound—fared far better. More than half were still alive 30 days later. Radiation kills blood cells, among other cells, and that’s an undesirable side effect of radiation treatment for cancer.
The DIM-treated rats experienced smaller decreases in blood cell counts, suggesting that DIM could prevent anemia and loss of infection-fighting white blood cells; a condition that often afflicts cancer patients who must undergo radiation therapy. The broccoli compound could be used to help prevent radiation sickness, investigators noted, or it might be used to reduce the side effects of radiotherapy for cancer.
Here are a few easy ways to add broccoli into your daily routine. For those who like juicing; broccoli tastes great when mixed with red beets, a handful of raw almonds, and apples. If you want to eat broccoli with your meal, place the broccoli florets in a cooking pot with hot water (remove from heat) and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. The florets will be softer, but still crunchy, and the beneficial nutrients will not be damaged by over-boiling. If you have a few more minutes, simply steam them.
You can enhance the flavor of cooked broccoli by adding a bit of Himalayan salt, a generous amount of garlic powder (organic if possible), and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. If you like cheese, a few chunks of feta cheese tossed in will close the deal and make broccoli so delicious that you will crave it—and its cancer-fighting nutrients. Mmmm! So yummy, you’ll love it, I promise.
Do you have a favorite way to make broccoli taste great? I’d love to hear from you.
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Fan S, Meng Q, Xu J, Jiao Y, Zhao L, Zhang X, et al. DIM (3,3'-diindolylmethane) confers protection against ionizing radiation by a unique mechanism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 14. [Epub ahead of print]