Apparently eating more servings of broccoli turns on the genes that fight prostate cancer says a new study.
The study comes from Richard F. Mithen, PhD, of the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England.
“It is important to stress that we did not directly measure cancer incidence,” says Mithen. “But the gene changes we saw were consistent with a reduction in prostate cancer risk.”
This is good news as prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after lung cancer, affecting one in six men in the U.S.
Overcooking broccoli decreases the nutritional value.
Did you know that cutting the florets into smaller pieces and the stems into thin slices and letting them sit for 5 to 6 minutes before cooking will enhance their cancer protective properties? Cutting broccoli into smaller pieces breaks the cells and activates an enzyme called myrosinase. The myrosinase converts some of the sulfur-containing chemicals found in broccoli (call glucosinolates) into other sulfur containing chemicals (called isothiocyanates) which research has shown to contain cancer preventive properties not found in the glucosinolates . Studies have actually pinpointed specific mechanisms, like changes in cellular genetic processes, which are involved in increasing cancer protection.
Broccoli is way underestimated as far as nutritional value. It contains Vitamins B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6, B9 (Folate), Vitamin C and A, and calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
While this new information does give exciting information on the health potential of broccoli, National Cancer Institute researcher Richard B. Hayes, PhD, says the new research strengthens, but does not prove, the hypothesis that a healthy diet can protect against prostate cancer.
Source: CBS News
So while it looks like a broccoli a day may not keep the prostate cancer away it certainly does trigger anti cancer agents in the body. And that is a good thing.