In many past articles, we’ve discussed the failures of conventional cancer treatment—and the urgent need for safer, more effective solutions.
There are certainly some exciting possibilities, many of which were discovered some time ago and are only now gaining limited acceptance. There are technologically advanced modalities like Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski’s antineoplaston therapy, a relative to chemotherapy that shows great promise for controlling tumors.
However, because it offers a non-toxic and effective alternative to chemotherapy (one of the most lucrative medical treatments in the world), antineoplaston therapy is being brutally suppressed.
You’ve probably also heard about the cancer-healing potential of “superfoods” like turmeric and ginger, around both of which a veritable mountain of research is being amassed. A growing number of health experts believe that these and other cancer-fighting foods are the future of cancer treatment.
But none of this means that we should disregard the “normal” foods that comprise our diet, in favor of fancy superfoods and cutting-edge, hard-to-pronounce medical interventions. Researchers are beginning to find that, when it comes to healing cancer, you needn’t go further than good old-fashioned veggies (yes, the one your mom always made you eat when you were young).
Studies demonstrate that some veggies can kill cancer stem cells, the nearly indestructible “mother cells” that control the growth and proliferation of tumors.
Cruciferous vegetables in particular, like broccoli and watercress, show great promise as dietary cancer fighters. Studies demonstrate that they even can kill cancer stem cells, the nearly indestructible “mother cells” that control the growth and proliferation of tumors.
In fact, in the same groundbreaking study cited above, researchers at South Dakota State University found that 75% of cancer stem cells in a Petri dish died within twenty-four hours of being exposed to phenethyl isothiocynanate (PEITC), a metabolite of cruciferous vegetables.
Putting theory into practice
These researchers believe that PEITC could exhibit the same stunning anti-cancer properties inside the body, as well.
Here’s how it works: when you eat cruciferous vegetables, the enzymes in your mouth and digestive tract combine with certain compounds within the plants to create PEITC. Once in the system, PEITC kills cancer stem cells by depriving them of sustenance. It accomplishes this task by stopping the signal cancer stem cells send in order to recruit more oxygen and nutrients from nearby tissues.
Other studies have confirmed that PEITC demonstrates anti-tumor activity in breast cancer models, prevents lung cancer in smokers, and shows great promise in the treatment of other types of cancer, both on its own and as an adjunct to conventional treatment methods.
These are monumental findings, for a number of reasons.
Many cancer researchers believe that targeting cancer stem cells is absolutely essential for ensuring full recovery. And sadly, conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy often leave many surviving cancer stem cells in their wake.
The remaining cancer stem cells are then left as “ticking time bombs” within the body. They have the ability to regenerate cancer cells, which often return stronger and more resistant to treatment.
These conventional cancer treatments also decimate the immune system, so the body is left dangerously vulnerable to this recurrence of treatment-resistant cancer.
For this reason, the success with which cruciferous vegetables target cancer stem cells is an absolute godsend—both for safely treating cancer and for preventing its recurrence.
This isn’t the first that medical scientists have seen of the anti-cancer potency of crucifers. One study of many, published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated that watercress reduces lymphocyte DNA damage and raises blood antioxidant levels, which enables the body to fight cancer more effectively (and helps prevent the disease in the first place).
And this study featured real people instead of Petri dishes: participants were given a bowl-full of watercress to eat everyday for eight weeks.
Professor Ian Rowland, who led the project, provided optimistic commentary on their results:
“Blood cell DNA damage is an indicator of whole body cancer risk, and, the results support the theory that consumption of watercress is linked to an overall reduced risk of cancer at various sites in the body. The nature of the study group also means that the results are applicable to the general population eating a normal diet.”
Ways to enjoy these green, anti-cancer powerhouses
All you need to do to enjoy these same benefits is to integrate these delicious vegetables into your diet—and luckily, there’s a nearly endless variety of ways to do so. Watercress, broccoli, kale, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, argula, radishes, and Brussels sprouts all fall into the cruciferous category.
Watercress, broccoli, kale, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, argula, radishes, and Brussels sprouts all fall into the cruciferous category.
While watercress and broccoli appear to be the most potently cancer-fighting, you can’t go wrong with any of these nutrient-dense foods—and keeping lots of variety in your diet will keep things interesting (these veggies can’t do their work if you only eat them once in a blue moon).
Personally, we put kale in just about everything—smoothies, salads, scrambled eggs, stir fry dishes, soups, and more. Watercress makes an absolutely delectable addition to any salad (add some radish too for a crunchy spice). Bok choy makes a delicious Asian-style soup, and Brussels sprouts are surprisingly tasty when steamed or baked (despite their poor reputation amongst children).
Find new recipes that excite you, or work crucifers into your old favorites. These powerful veggies will work wonders for your health, whether you’re struggling with cancer or just trying to prevent it ahead of time.