How Cruciferous Veggies Prevent Cancer

Cancer is among the most dreaded ailments that claim thousands of human lives every year across the globe. With time, medical science has come up with newer and advanced ways to treat and fight cancer. From expensive medications to radiation therapy, cancer victims try out the options and lifestyle changes and diet can also play a crucial role here. In fact, a number of study findings indicate that cancer affected lot and those who are prone to develop various cancer forms can gain benefits by eating certain types of foods. Eating cruciferous vegetables can be of great help in battling diverse cancer variants, as per several study findings.

Cruciferous Vegetables

The Major Cruciferous Vegetables That Have Cancer Fighting Property Include:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Watercress
  • Red cabbage

Reasons To Include Cruciferous Family of Vegetables In Your Diet

As it is, cruciferous vegetables have a compound called glucosinolate-which is partly responsible for the spicy and bitter taste. The anti-cancer effects of these vegetables include:

  • Detoxification of carcinogens
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Prevention of damage to DNA
  • Stopping spread of cancerous cells
  • Balancing hormonal shifts

Apart from the impact of eating these vegetables on cancer forms, you need to remember their benefits for health and immunity. Replete with antioxidants and key vitamins and minerals, you stay healthy by eating these vegetables.

[ Read: How Yoga Can Help Breast Cancer Patients ]

What The Study Findings Show?

kale salad

Below listed are a number of study findings that show how cruciferous vegetables can be your choice to fight existing cancer or thwart the onset of the killer ailment.

  • A recent study published in Annals of Oncology shows that eating cruciferous veggies can help bring down your risk of cancer by 32 percent or so. The study authors put stress on eating vegetables like broccoli, bokchoy and cabbage. The Researchers in Switzerland and Italy compiled data from many previous studies carried out on different cancer forms. They reached the conclusion that people in taking cruciferous vegetables weekly has reduced risk of developing esophageal, kidney, breast cancers.
  • A recent study shows eating cruciferous vegetables help your body prevent relapse of some cancers, apart from delaying or reducing onsets. It was conducted by a South Dakota State University professor. The study author MoulDey and her colleagues discovered an enzyme in these vegetables get activated when they are chewed. The impact of PEITC on mice has been positive and human study needs to be carried out. The fact that PEITC kills cancer stem cells makes the study significant. These cells are mostly resistant to available therapies.
  • A recent Chinese study has shown women eating cruciferous vegetables daily have 50 percent less risk of contracting breast cancer. The study also showed women with breast cancer can get longer life by eating these vegetables and prevent recurrence. The study, led by Sarah J. Nechuta involved near about 5000 Chinese women, afflicted with breast cancer of varying stages. This study finding was presented atthe Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research’.
  • A study carried out at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute shows that cancer-fighting compounds in these veggies not only thwart cancer spread they also work on cells that are at early stage of activity. This was observed in prostate cancer cases. The compound sulforaphane does not affect healthy prostate cells-which is beneficial. Study authors found out that sulforaphane stops HDAC enzymes that play role in cancer cell development.
  • Apart from these studies, numerous previous study findings have corroborated the view that eating more such vegetables prevent risk of developing cancer and enhances the lifespan of cancer patients.

Things To Know Before You Start Eating Cruciferous Vegetables For Cancer Prevention


While eating cruciferous vegetables may be helpful in fighting cancer and improve longevity of affected lot, a few points should be kept in mind. A lot depends on the way the vegetables are cooked and eaten. They can be cooked in myriads of ways, but most people prefer eating these veggies in curries, soups or salads. Researchers are of the view, heavy cooking involving deep frying destroys the anti carcinogenic compounds in these vegetables. Light boiling and sautéing are the best methods you can resort to. It is even better if you combine the boiled vegetables with raw and chopped vegetables. Prolonged refrigeration of such vegetables can also lead to reduction in the amount of such cancer fighting compounds. Not all cruciferous vegetables contain the same amount of cancer resisting compounds as well.

Most study findings have indicated people should eat more broccoli and Brussels sprouts to enhance their risk of contracting major cancer forms. Eating these vegetables can reduce the risk of contracting breast, Colon and other forms of cancer. However, not all people have identical genetic setup to benefit in the same way from cruciferous vegetables.

What’s your favorite cruciferous veggie? Be a part of discussion in the comments!