Eat more broccoli. Boost your health. Our bodies are programmed to fight off infection and cancer. The immune system is like a protective force field. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables fuel that force field. Consuming a large variety can provide protection against infection and cancer. Cruciferous vegetables include
- Brussels sprouts
Broccoli contains flavonoids with protective effects against the development of many neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”right” source_author=”Joel Fuhrman, MD” source_title=”Eat to Live” full_quote=”The consumption of raw green vegetables has the most consistent and powerful association with the reduction of cancer of all types. Cruciferous vegetables are not only the most powerful anti-cancer foods in existence; they are the most micronutrient-dense of all vegetables.” ” short_quote=”Cruciferous vegetables are not only the most powerful anti-cancer foods in existence; they are the most micronutrient-dense of all vegetables”]
All vegetables contain protective micronutrients, but cruciferous vegetables have unique phytochemicals (naturally occurring chemical compounds) with proven and powerful immune-boosting effects and anti-cancer activity. These anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents can
- enable a potent immune-system stimulator to attack microbes such as viruses
- heighten the immune system’s resistance to viral infraction
- work together to enhance defenses against bacterial infection
- boost natural cellular defenses with their natural anti-microbial effects
Over 120 of these phytochemicals have been identified that seem to have strong anti-cancer effects. They work synergistically to remove carcinogens and kill cancer cells.
- Some have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
- Some detoxify and remove carcinogenic compounds.
- Other phytochemicals give each cell its own protective shield, so destructive toxins cannot do damage.
“Cruciferous vegetables are twice as powerful as other plant foods. A 20% increase in cruciferous vegetables intake corresponds to a 40% decrease in cancer rates. As cruciferous vegetable intake increases, breast, lung, prostate and colorectal cancers decrease. One or more servings of cabbage a week reduced the occurrence of pancreatic cancer by 38%.” Joel Fuhrman MD, Super Immunity
They contain specific phytochemical – glucosinolates. When they are chopped, blended or chewed, the cell walls break down. This causes chemical reaction converting glucosinolates to isothiocyanates (ITCs)—compounds with a variety of potent anti-cancer effects. Because different ITCs can work in different locations in the cell and on different molecules, they can have combined additional effects. They work together to:
- reduce inflammation
- neutralize oxidative stress
- remove carcinogens
- inhibit angiogenesis (the process by which tumors acquire a blood supply), and kill cancer cells
Here are 5 delicious, nutritious recipes to help protect your brain and strengthen your immune system:
- Side Dish
Edamame Guacamole – Epicurious
Supercharge your guac – and your body! – with nutrient-dense broccoli + 9 additional plant foods
Broccoli Detox Soup – The Awesome Green
Creamy, delicious, nutritious with 9 plant foods
Crunchy Healthy Broccoli Salad – Color My Food
Broccoli Pesto Pasta – Home Grown Friends
Broccoli pesto gives pasta boost of mighty nutrients. Variations:
- Add shrimp or chicken for macronutrient balance
- Use quinoa instead of pasta and make a Quinoa Pesto Bowl
- Add snap peas, green beans, or sliced red pepper or texture contrast and additional micronutrients
Oven Roasted Broccoli – One Happy Housewife
- Add it to your roasting pan when making meatloaf or pork tenderloin
- Double the recipe to add leftover roasted broccoli to grain bowls, salad or frittatas
For More Empowerment
These micronutrients are non-vitamin, non-mineral components that support the defensive and self-repairing abilities of the human body.
Fiber is a critical nutrient. But the standard American diet is dangerously deficient in fiber. Fiber deficiency can cause many health problems.