Can Cruciferous Vegetables Prevent Cancer?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for certain. Many would argue that is especially so in regard to cancer. Taking action to alter lifestyle concerns that may increase risks has been shown to make a difference. Eating right happens to be one of the steps many recommended for helping people prevent cancer. One classification of vegetables in particular gets a lot of attention on that front. Nutrient-packed cruciferous vegetables are considered by many to be a cancer-fighting superfood. But, are they really?
The simple truth is the jury remains out on the cancer-fighting abilities of cruciferous vegetables. What is known is that these foods do pack a powerful punch when it comes to compounds and nutrients the body needs to be healthy. These vegetables are dense with antioxidants and are also a strong source of fiber. The classification includes such foods as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, arugula and Bok choy.
As for scientific proof that cruciferous vegetables are cancer fighters, a number of conflicting studies exist. Some evidence points to their benefits in regard to prostate, colorectal, lung and breast cancer. Other studies found no direct association between eating these foods and lower risks.
While it’s true there is no settled science on the link between cruciferous veggies and lowered cancer risks, these vegetables remain powerful additions to any diet. They are rich in carotenoids, vitamins C, E and K. They also are known to contain folate and plenty of minerals the body needs to run efficiently.
The bottom line, researchers say, is that these vegetables are simply a part of a healthy diet. That, in and of itself, can help keep cancer and a host of other illnesses at bay. Will eating lots of broccoli stop breast or prostate cancer? Maybe yes or maybe no, researchers say. But, will the move help support a healthy body? The answer is a big yes, especially when cruciferous veggies are combined with other healthy foods and smart lifestyle choices.