Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vegetable/ Herbs in Our Garden Can Prevent Cancer (part 1)

Do you know which plants in your garden can prevent cancer?

Top 20 Cruciferous Vegetables We Should Grow In Our Garden

Broccoli sprouts or broccoli can reduce the risk of stomach ulcers, and prevent stomach cancer. The scientists at Johns Hopkins University found that broccoli sprouts contain 20 to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature broccoli. That means a few tablespoons of broccoli sprouts contain as much sulforaphane as is found in a pound of mature broccoli. It also helps reduce the risk for cancer of the esophagus, bladder, skin and lung, among others.[1]

Besides broccoli[2], cauliflower[3], brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables also contain phytonutrients that can prevent the onset and halt the progression of colon, breast, prostate, thyroid, cervical, and other cancers.

Watercress is an exceptionally rich source of potent cancer-fighting isothiocyanates, including the much-studied compound known as phenethyl isothiocyanate, or PEITC. It suppresses production of an enzyme that facilitates the spread of breast cancer to other tissues.[4]

So, what are those 20 cruciferous vegetables we should grow?

1. Arugula

2. Beet greens

3. Bok choy

4. Broccoli

5. Broccoli sprouts

6. Brussels sprouts

7. Cabbage

8. Cauliflower

9. Chinese cabbage

10. Collard greens

11. Daikon

12. Horseradish

13. Kale

14. Kohlrabi

15. Mustard greens

16. Radishes

17. Rutabaga

18. Swiss chard

19. Turnips

20. Watercress.

Other than cruciferous vegetables, these are some of the "must have" plants in our garden:

· Sweet potatoes contain many anticancer properties, including beta-carotene, which may protect DNA in the cell nucleus from cancer-causing chemicals outside the nuclear membrane.[5]

· Rosemary provides vitamin D and synergistic support in cancer prevention. According to researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center, it also improves memory, relieve muscle pain and spasm, stimulate hair growth, and support the circulatory and nervous systems[6]

· Carrots - a component of carrots called falcarinol may be able to prevent cancer.[7]

· Garlic has immune-enhancing allium compounds (dialyl sultides) that appear to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help break down cancer causing substances.[5]

· Mushrooms - There are a number of mushrooms that appear to help the body fight cancer and build the immune system - Shiitake, maitake, reishi, Agaricus blazei Murill, and Coriolus Versicolor.[5]

· Turmeric (curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, is believed to have medicinal properties because it inhibits production of the inflammation-related enzyme cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), levels of which are abnormally high in certain inflammatory diseases and cancers, especially bowel and colon cancer.[5]

· Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that attacks roaming oxygen molecules, known as free radicals, that are suspected of triggering cancer.Herbs and vegetables really help to shield us against daily toxic compounds such as unhealthy food, air, water, and environment pollution, and protect us from cancer. So, the best way is to take action in our garden, grow some healthy vegetables, our health in our hands. Hope all the gardeners can live longer and have a healthy life :-)

Free books from National Cancer Institute
(if less than 20 copies -
totally free, no shipping cost)


  1. This is an excellent and invaluable post on guiding us towards making good choices for our health as we plan our vegetable gardens. Thanks for this. I am going to send out a link on Twitter.

  2. Thanks for promoting health literacy on Twitter, and taking another step to reduce risk and prevent cancer.

  3. I need to plant tons more of these-and actually eat them too I guess:)

  4. Yes, me too. My plan is to grow more healthy vegs and harvest it, so I don't have any excuse for not eathing health food ;-)

  5. Oh, I am surprised to see Bok Choy in this list. Now I know :-) I take bok choy, cabbage and chinese cabbage a lot. Nice to know that they can help us to prevent cancer.

  6. Steph, good for you to have such a healthy diet. I don't really know how to cook bok choy or cabbage, any good recipe to share ;-)

  7. Ha ha... most of the time I scald bok choy and then, dress them with a little garlic/onion oil and soy sauce or oyster sauce. As for cabbage, I like to stir fry them with garlic and season it with soy sauce. Always the Chinese way of cooking for me :-)

  8. Steph- Thank you so much! I love garlic and onion, I'll try it.


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