Natural protection against cancer: list of vegetables

Victor LitvinenkoLife
Natural protection against cancer: list of vegetables

"To stay healthy, you need to know a lot," the legendary physician and scientist of the Middle Ages Avicenna said. In the era of high technology, we more and more often return to the main source of knowledge, nature. White cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, arugula, spinach and radishes are beloved by many. These vegetables of the Cruciferous family contain a treasure trove of antioxidants that can prevent cancer. Why are these vegetables so beneficial? And why should they be on your plate?

What are cruciferous vegetables?

If you're looking for vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals and have anti-cancer properties, check out vegetables in the cruciferous family. Broccoli, leafy greens and all varieties of cabbage have anti-cancer properties. They are easy to find in supermarkets and markets and are some of the most nutrient-rich vegetables.

They are called crucifers because their four-petaled flowers resemble a crucifix or cross. The rich colors are a testament to how nutrient-rich they are.

"The best rule of thumb for greens, vegetables and fruits is color. The darker it is, the more beneficial nutrients they contain. For example, spinach contains more vitamins and minerals than iceberg lettuce," explains nutritionist Amber Sommer .

Members of the cruciferous family include:

  • white cabbage and red cabbage;
  • arugula;
  • broccoli;
  • brussels sprouts;
  • cauliflower;
  • all varieties of leafy cabbage;
  • daikon radish; horseradish;
  • watercress, iceberg lettuce and all other varieties of salad leaves.

Which is healthier? How do vegetables protect against cancer?

Belonging to the same genus means that cruciferous vegetables share many similar characteristics.

"As a group, cruciferous vegetables have the same health benefits. I wouldn't say anything is 'better' or 'worse.' Each has its own unique composition, so it's important to incorporate the variety into your diet," Sommer says.

Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of compounds known as glucosinolates, which can help fight cancer

Several scientific studies show that a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables can reduce the incidence of various cancers, including breast, pancreatic, bladder, lung, prostate and colon one.

They can also neutralize dangerous substances such as nitrosamines and hydrocarbons found in dried, campfire-roasted fish or meat, smoked meats, marinades and sauces. These dangerous compounds have a pronounced carcinogenic effect.

Fiber, vitamins K and C, folic acid

All cruciferous vegetables contain a lot of soluble and insoluble fiber. Dietary fiber stabilizes blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol and keeps you fuller for longer. Insoluble fiber supports healthy gut bacteria and helps soften and increase stool volume.

Vitamin C is known for its immune-stimulating and wound-healing properties. It also helps protect the eyes, improves iron absorption and promotes healthy skin. When it comes to this vitamin, few people remember that besides citrus and berries, there are also leafy greens.

Just one serving (100-150 grams) of fresh coleslaw or broccoli and cauliflower stew will provide you with a daily dose of vitamin C

Vitamin K is called a powerhouse for bone growth and proper blood clotting. Vitamin B9 (folic acid) aids in the formation of red blood cells and DNA. This is especially important for pregnant women because it can help reduce the likelihood of birth defects. Moreover, cruciferous family vegetables are some of the best sources of vitamin K and folic acid.

How much do you need? A healthy portion

Nutritionists recommend that most people eat about 2.5 cups of vegetables each day, including cruciferous vegetables. In addition to the health benefits, another reason to love cruciferous family vegetables is that they are easy to prepare and combine with other vegetables.

Fresh salads, vegetable stews, casseroles, omelets, soups, smoothies, stewed vegetables: cruciferous vegetables are versatile for the daily diet

All vegetables and greens play an important role in a healthy diet. Dr. Sommer shares another formula: "A healthy diet should include a wide variety of foods. We encourage people to "eat the rainbow."

"Thus, to enjoy the variety of colors and flavors of fruits and vegetables. That way you can be sure that you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals that keep your body healthy. After all, all healthy people love life," said Heinrich Heine.

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