Cruciferous Vegetables and Breast Cancer

Importance of Cruciferous Vegetables

For many people out there the thought of vegetables is accompanied by disdain.  Vegetables are commonly pushed to the side of the plate and eaten last, but did you know that cruciferous vegetables may help to reduce the risk of breast brussel sproutscancer related death?

A recent study conducted at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention not only found that cruciferous vegetables can help with breast cancer, but also that the more you eat the more beneficial they can be. Some of the more common cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, kale, collard greens, and cabbage, and of course there is a wide variety of benefits that accompany the consumption of these vegetables and these include:

  • Cruciferous vegetables may help to fight heart disease.  They are rich in Vitamin C and beta carotene, and research has shown that they can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.  They may also help to reduce the risk of death from coronary artery disease.
  • Research has also shown that cruciferous vegetables can help to limit the occurrence of stroke.
  • Cruciferous vegetables also support healthy vision.  As the body ages the eyes generally deteriorate, and this can lead to poor eye sight.  Cruciferous vegetables contain lutein, which is a carotenoid that provides eye support.  These vegetables may help to fight cataracts and also help to slow down age related macular degeneration.
  • Cruciferous vegetables are also great for the immune system.  They work to promote healthy immune and inflammatory response, and they are also rich in antioxidants.

Cruciferous vegetables have long been consumed to help reduce the risk of cancer, and their antioxidant power helps to protect cellular DNA from cancer causing agents.  They also help to fight the development of malignant cells, and they contain indoles and isothiocyantes.  These are beneficial phytochemicals that may further help to fight cancer.  This recent study done at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention specifically studied how cruciferous vegetables affected the survival rate in women with breast cancer.  The Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention researched 4886 Chinese women who had varying stages of breast cancer from 2002 to 2006.  The study showed that eating cruciferous vegetables after diagnosis lowered the mortality rate and helped to fight a recurrence of the disease.  The women who ate the most cruciferous vegetables had a 62 percent reduction in mortality and they were also 35 percent less likely to have recurring cancer.

It is important to note that the Chinese generally eat much more cruciferous vegetables than Americans.  The Chinese diet tends to be heavy in Chinese cabbage, turnips, and other greens.

Breast cancer is a disease that kills thousands of women every year, but eating a healthy diet that is rich in cruciferous vegetables may offer some help.  Cruciferous vegetables have numerous benefits, but a recent study has also shown that they can reduce the risk of mortality in those with breast cancer.  Cruciferous vegetables may also help to limit the recurrence of breast cancer.  If you’re at risk for breast cancer increasing your consumption of cruciferous vegetables can be a great way to provide your body with support.

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