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Broccoli vs. Oral Cancer

Broccoli vs. Oral Cancer

Broccoli vs. Oral Cancer

Sulforaphane May Help Prevent Carcinogen-Induced Oral Cancer 

We just can’t say enough about the wonders of broccoli. It’s delicious and versatile. It’s low in calories and high in nutrients. And it’s undoubtedly good for health. We’ve seen before that broccoli may help in the fight against liver, prostate and breast cancers and a 2016 study published in Cancer Prevention shows promise for oral cancer protection too. 

Laboratory research from the University of Pittsburg found sulforaphane, a phytochemical in broccoli, was able to lower the number and size of tongue tumors in mice. A follow-up trial in humans strengthened the evidence. Ten participants drank a sulforaphane-rich beverage made from varying amounts of broccoli sprouts. Cheek swab analysis showed an increase in activity of cancer-fighting enzymes in most participants after drinking the beverage. 

Though phytochemicals are 20 to 50 times more concentrated in broccoli sprouts than the mature vegetable, you can still get a dose of sulforaphane by eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Here are a few easy ideas: 

  • Toss cooked broccoli with whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce. 
  • Make cauliflower rice: pulse florets in a food processer and lightly sauté. 
  • Shred Brussels sprouts to make a slaw
  • Add cabbage to soups
For a quick and flavorful side dish, try Broccoli and Parmesan Gratin!

Published November 1, 2016 

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