Saturday, August 26, 2006

Vegetables and Anti Cancer-(part 1)

How it combats cancer: Research has revealed that a chemical component called indole-3-carbinol can combat breast cancer by converting a cancer-promoting estrogen into a more protective riety. The phytochemical sulforaphane raises the levels of certain cancer-fighting enzymes that defend the body from cigarette smoke, fumes, pesticides & other known carcinogens.

Diet tips: Broccoli leaves actually contain more beta-carotene (i.e. pre-Vitamin A) than the florets - use leaves in purees, soups, stir-fries. To preserve broccoli’s valuable nutrients, steam or microwave, being careful not to overcook. Avoid garnishing broccoli with fatty cheeses and creams instead,squeeze on some lemon juice or sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs.

How it combats cancer: Its plentiful store of vitamin C works as an antioxidant and may also reduce absorption of cancer-causing nitrosamines from the soil or processed foods. Papaya contains folacin (also known as folic acid), which has been shown to minimize cervical ysplasia and certain cancers.

Diet tips: Choose papayas that are at least half yellow in the store - fully green ones were probably picked too soon and won’t ripen properly. You can serve papaya in fruit salad, add it to a garlic-and-spinach pasta mixture, or just eat it on its own, letting the juice dribble down your arm.

How it combats cancer: Garlic’s immune-enhancing allium compounds block carcinogens from entering cells and slow tumor development. Diallyl sulfide, a component of garlic oil, has also been shown to render carcinogens in the liver inactive. Studies have linked garlic - as well as onions, leeks, and chives - to lower risk of stomach and colon cancer.

Diet tips: Add raw garlic to salads, use it fresh in marinades and sauces;
rub freshly cut garlic around the insides of salad bowls and over chicken
and fish fillets. Avoid dried or powdered garlic, which is less
concentrated - and less effective

How it combats cancer: Research has shown that indoles, nitrogen compounds found in kale and other leafy greens, may help stop the conversion of certain lesions to cancerous cells in estrogen-sensitive tissues. In addition, isothiocyanates, phytochemicals found in kale, are thought to suppress tumor growth and block cancer-causing substances from reaching their targets.

Diet tips: A cruciferous vegetable, kale requires quick cooking - blanching or steaming - to preserve its nutrients. When you’re done, save the nutrient-rich cooking liquid for soups or sauces. You can also use whole large leaves to wrap fillings or to layer in lasagna.


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