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May 30

Fight Cancer with Cruciferous Vegetables

Experts reviewed studies of people with different kinds of cancer that also looked at what they ate.  One kind of vegetable seemed to make a big difference.  People who regularly ate cruciferous vegetables cut their risk of colon and breast cancer by almost 17 percent, their risk of kidney cancer by nearly 32 percent, and their risk of esophageal cancer by more than 28 percent.

What is a cruciferous vegetable?  Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and turnips are rich in nutrients and fiber, which previously had been thought to specifically protect against colon cancer.  Now it seems that this group of vegetables might lower one’s risk for other cancers as well.  Cruciferous vegetables contain anti-inflammatory compounds.  Such compounds could be what lowers the risk of many cancers.

Steam cruciferous vegetables to preserve their flavor and nutritional value.  Use a covered dish in the microwave and very little water.  Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil before serving.  Don’t feel like cooking?  Raw cruciferous vegetables with a healthy dip are also a great option.

Developed by Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Department on Aging.