A number of epidemiological studies have suggested that brassica types of vegetables offer the human body protection against cancers of the alimentary tract and lungs. Cruciferous vegetables have proven to be great dietary sources of glucosinolates.
This refers to compounds that contain sulfur found in cruciferous vegetables. They are responsible for the bitter flavor found in such vegetables and a pungent smell that most people aren’t fond of.
These vegetables are great for your health, and people who do not take them are missing out greatly on important nutrition. Below are some of the factors that make these vegetables good for your body.
What Are Glucosinolates?
Glucosinolates are mostly found in diverse varieties of green and leafy vegetables. These important compounds are found in vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, rutabaga, bok choy, radishes, and collard greens.
If you are not yet a fan of eating these vegetables, it is high time you took them as they stand to benefit your body in a number of ways. These vegetables, apart from providing your body with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, they also offer natural plant chemicals.
These chemicals are important in our bodies due to the great health benefits they have to offer.
Why Are Glucosinolates So Good?
Natural plant chemicals like glucosinolates are important as they bring about great health benefits when they are broken down into important active compounds. These active compounds include nitriles, indoles, isothiocyanates, and thiocyanates, which have been studied and found to have some great potential benefits.
A number of studies carried out have shown that taking a diet that has lots of cruciferous vegetables helps in lowering the risks brought about by definite types of cancer. This is related to the effectiveness of compounds such as indoles and isothiocyanates formed from the natural plant chemicals.
Glucosinolates derivatives are able to stop cancer as they encourage the cancer cells to destroy themselves. They also suppress the genes that result in the creation of new blood vessels, which have been found to support the growth and spread of tumors.
In addition, these important organic compounds also help in reducing the carcinogenic effects of a number of environmental toxins. They are able to achieve this by boosting the production of detoxifying enzymes that deal with the environmental toxins.
They offer protection to the DNA by preventing oxidative damage that is usually caused by these toxins. The prevention of these changes from occurring also stops the development of cancer.
Reduction Of Cancer Risk
Glucosinolates have been found to have the ability to affect the expression and functioning of genes, which is referred to as an epigenetic effect. This means that they supply long-lasting and wide-ranging changes to the functioning of genes.
Human research has found that the intake of natural plant chemicals is closely related to reduction of the risks posed by common cancers. For instance, in the case of prostate cancer, the risk involved is cut down by 32%.
Broccoli sprouts help in preventing the development of stomach cancer as they help in destroying the H. pylori bacteria. It is therefore important to eat all the cruciferous vegetables listed above as well as turnips, wasabi, kohlarabi, horseradish, and watercress.
Stopping “Hormone-dependent” Cancer Cell Growth
Cruciferous vegetables have been found to stop the “hormone-dependent” cancer cell growth. For instance, the indole-3 carbinol is the cruciferous vegetables’ component that has been widely studied.
A number of studies on it have shown that it helps in the fight against cancers of the prostate, breast, colon, reproductive tract, and blood. In the reproductive tract type of cancers, the indole-3 carbinol helps in preventing tumor developments by benefiting crucial ratios of the estrogen metabolites.
Indole-3 carbinol and sulforaphane decreases the amount of the cancer stimulating estrogen, and this has worked well in cases of breast or thyroid cancer.
Phenethyl isothiocyanate is another important natural metabolite that has been proved to have the ability to down-regulate the androgen receptors. This minimizes prostate cancer stimulation by testosterone. Diindolylmethane (DIM) is usually produced from body fat after the ingestion of the glucosinolates that originate from the cruciferous vegetables. It helps in the prevention of the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors found in reproductive tract and breast cancers.
How To Maximize The Protection We Get From Cruciferous Vegetables
In order to get the most cancer prevention from vegetables, you should not cook them at very high temperatures. Microwaving, boiling, or steaming usually decreases the bioavailability of important cancer-fighting compounds.
You should also ensure that you chop and chew the vegetables well in order to reap the maximum benefits. You should only cook the vegetables lightly as high temperatures reduce the glucosinolate conversion rates to form active molecules by up to 300%. Raw diets are the most effective when it comes to the prevention and reversing of cancer.
Naturally, you should go for the organic cruciferous vegetables as they may have different glucosinolate content due to the prevailing conditions. Taking a wide variety of these cruciferous vegetables could be a great idea as they may contain diverse sets of the chemoprotective natural plant chemicals.
Fresh produce is the best to take as it offers the body system with a great way of detoxifying itself. This is informed by the growing threat presented by the environment toxins on a daily basis to cause hormonal changes in our bodies.
Fresh and natural cruciferous vegetables will supply your body with the required means to get the necessary solutions towards life-threatening conditions and diseases like cancer.
A number of studies have proven that the bioactive components found in cruciferous vegetables have brought about certain beneficial effects on the biomarkers of processes related to cancer in people.
Cruciferous vegetables form part of a healthy diet, especially the dark-green vegetables that are rich in glucosinolates. High consumption of vegetables generally helps in protecting your body against a number of diseases which include some cancer types.
A lot of research studies have concluded that people who consume large amounts of cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of developing certain types of diseases than people who do not eat these vegetables.