Saturday, March 12, 2016

Do You Eat Your Broccoli?

Do you eat your broccoli?  How about other brassica veggies like cauliflower, or dare I say Brussels sprouts?  Scientists have shown that eating broccoli, or any of its brassica family members, three to five times per week a week lowers the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer.  Emerging research now indicates that the super veggie even lowers the risk for liver cancer.

            Liver cancer is on the rise due to the obesity epidemic in the United States.  In fact, obesity increases the risk for liver cancer.  Obese men in particular have a 5-fold greater risk for liver cancer.  Diets high in saturated fats and added sugars, both of which are stored in the liver, can contribute to a downward spiral of weight gain that turns to body fat, non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

            The newly published study looked at cancerous liver tumors and what effect, if any, broccoli contributes to the growth.  As it turns out, broccoli not only reduced the number of cancer nodules, but the veggie actually protected against the formation of a fatty liver.  The study’s author noted the optimal way to obtain broccoli’s cancer-fighting compound is to consume it freshly chopped or lightly steamed.  Try adding some broccoli or another brassica vegetable to your next meal; it’s an option nearly everywhere!

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