Cabbage Family Vegetables

Cabbage Family Vegetables: Overview

Alternative Names: Cruciferous Vegetables, Brassica Family Vegetables.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage (all members of the same family), have a number of important detoxifying compounds in them.

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Source

Extracts from these vegetables, such as diindolylmethane can be taken supplementally, allowing a therapeutic dose to be achieved without consuming large amounts of the vegetable.  The amount of active ingredients in broccoli, for example, is unpredictable based of freshness or whether it is grown organically or not.  Sprouting broccoli seed can reliably produce 50 times the amount of active ingredient by weight as the vegetable.

Function

One of the compounds in cruciferous vegetables, sulforaphane, induces a range of detoxifying enzymes.  Another compound, called indole-3-carbinol, works synergistically with tamoxifen in fighting breast cancer.  Indole-3-carbinol is the only compound known that shifts the type of estrogen that predisposes one to cancer (16-hydroxy-estrone) to the 2-hydroxy-estrone which is a biologically less powerful estrogen metabolite.  A number of studies in animals and humans show this effect is readily demonstrable by eating broccoli.

These vegetables also contain diindolylmethane, a much more powerful phytochemical which is actually just two indole-3-carbinol molecules attached chemically to each other.  It is perhaps 10 times more effective.

These agents seem to stimulate the production of protective enzymes such as glutathione that detoxify carcinogens.

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Cabbage Family Vegetables:

Cabbage Family Vegetables can help with the following:

Digestion

Gastric/Peptic/Duodenal Ulcers

Try 4 ounces of fresh raw cabbage juice 4 times daily.

Reproductive

Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Cruciferous vegetables interfere with estrogen's ability to bind to breast tissue.

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Cabbage Family Vegetables can help prevent the following:

Tumors, Malignant

Cancer, General

Cruciferous vegetables will reduce the risk of cancer in smokers, and most likely non-smokers as well.

Colon Cancer

Vegetables from the cabbage family (cruciferous vegetables) may reduce the risk of colon cancer.  [The National Cancer Institute booklet, "Diet, Nutrition, & Cancer Prevention: A Guide to Food Choices"]

Lung Cancer

Chemicals found in broccoli, cabbage, bok choy and other cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables may protect against lung cancer, according to a new study conducted jointly with US and Chinese researchers.  Although the chemicals did lower cancer risk by 36% in this study, smoking alone increases lung cancer risk by as much as 10 times.

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KEY

Moderately useful: often helps with; often prevents
Moderately useful:
often helps with; often prevents