Earlier today we posted about research presented at our conference on how to boost a cancer-fighting compound from broccoli called sulforaphane. You can read about that here.
For sulforphane to form in well-cooked broccoli, University of Illinois’ Elizabeth Jeffery talked about the research on eating broccoli with raw foods containing myrosinase. So what foods should you eat with your broccoli? Dr. Jeffery gave us some options, including arugula, chinese cabbage and… drumsticks?!
If you choose to eat red and processed meats, just how often do you bite into that bologna sandwich or hot dog? What type of pork and beef do you eat? Is it low fat? What brand?
These are the kinds of answers that studies need in order to better understand how processed meat increases the risk of cancer, says Amanda Cross, speaking at our research conference today.
Cross, a scientist at Imperial College London, noted that the research clearly shows even small amounts of processed meat — and high consumption of red meats — increase risk of colorectal cancer. A study by Cross also suggests that processed meat increases risk of lung cancer; while diets high in red meat risk increase risk for esophagus and liver cancers.
Historically, the questionnaires used in studies of dietary intake only asked a couple questions on how much red and/or processed meats people typically ate. Now the science needs more.
When it comes to processed meat, researchers are looking closely at nitrate and nitrite. These chemicals, added to many processed meats, lead to potential carcinogens known as N-nitroso compounds. For burgers and other red meats, grilling and broiling them well-done can form heterocylic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hyrdocarbons (PAHs), also potential carcinogens. Continue reading
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can lower risk of cancer, and it’s worth concerning yourself with how you cook them, says Elizabeth Jeffery, PhD, a scientist who spoke this morning at our annual research conference.
Her studies suggest that steaming your broccoli for three to four minutes until it turns a bright green will boost its cancer-fighting compounds.
Broccoli contains lots of compounds studied for their cancer-fighting abilities. One of the top contenders is sulforaphane. Sulforaphane isn’t found naturally in broccoli: it forms when other compounds in broccoli come together: glucosinolates and the enzyme myrosinase.
But microwave or boil your broccoli too much and it can destroy its myrosinase. Destroy that — sulforaphane can’t form. Continue reading