Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, collards, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, horseraddish and watercress may aid in the protection against certain types of cancers. These veggies contain anti-oxidants and are high in fiber, minerals and vitamins, and other elements that boost your immune system.
Research has been showing that these vegetables may have anti cancerous properties. A review published in October 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that 70% or more of the studies found a link between cruciferous vegetables and the protection against cancer. These anti cancerous properties come from phytochemicals called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates stop carcinogens by stimulating the body to produce enzymes that detoxify carcinogens, they speed up the removal of carcinogens from the body, they don’t allow carcinogens to be activated as well as counteracting the poisonous effects of the ones that have been activated, and they disrupt the growth and division of cancer cells. They have been shown to protect against colon, stomach and respiratory cancers. Studies have shown that consumption of these “super veggies” reduce the risks of cancers of the GIT and respiratory system. Many cruciferous vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound that affects sex-hormone metabolism involved with the progression of prostate, breast and ovarian cancer.
Watercress contains a powerful compound called (PEITC- phenethyl isothiocyanate) which is not only cancer-preventive in nature, but specifically blocks the nicotine in cigarette smoking from causing lung tumors in animals.
So treat yourself to a salad, a stir fry, or coleslaw and prevent cancer while eating a crunchy and healthy snack.
Buying and cooking tips:
EAT SOME OF THESE EVERY DAY:
To avoid the strong sulfur smell, avoid overcooking these vegetables.
Add raw broccoli and cauliflower to your veggie platters and salads for an added crunch and a big nutrient boost.
Chop cruciferous veggies and add them to soups, stews and casseroles.
If your broccoli has yellow in it or is limp and soft, it is likely to be old. Don’t buy it. Look for firm florets with a dark green or bluish hue on the top. They typically contain more vitamin C and beta carotene than florets with lighter green tops.
Ingredients: (Serves 1)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. olive
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp. dried basil or oregano or 1 Tbsp. if using fresh herbs
½- ¾ cup finely chopped kale or baby bokchoy
Watercress for garnish, optional
Beat eggs, salt and pepper, and basil or oregano in a small bowl. Heat a frying pan, over medium heat and add ½ tsp. oil and greens, cooking until greens have wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Turn onto a plate. Add remaining ½ tsp. oil to frying pan and return to heat. Add eggs and let set for a moment; then stir while cooking for about 1 minute. Return greens to pan; mix and stir eggs and greens until cooked to your liking. Serve immediately, garnished with optional watercress.
Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Toasts by Martha Stewart.
Ingredients: (Serves 8)
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped.
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped.
2 bunches broccoli (about 3 1/4 pounds), stems and florets chopped separately (1cm) pieces.
7 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock.
1 teaspoon coarse salt.
1 cup skim milk.
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
50 gm extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated or crumbled (about 1/2 cup).
8 thin slices crusty baguette.
Directions: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion, garlic, and broccoli stems; cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Add stock and salt; cover, raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Add broccoli florets; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, until florets are just tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove soup from heat, and let cool, about 10 minutes. Fill a blender no more than halfway to puree soup in batches until smooth. Return soup to pot; stir in milk and cayenne. Cook over medium heat until heated through (do not boil).
Heat broiler. Divide cheese among bread slices; toast under broiler until melted and golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds. Divide soup among bowls. Top each bowl with a cheese toast, and serve.
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