You already know that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower are chockfull of cancer-fighting compounds.
But, according to recent research, watercress is yet another green with potent anti-cancer effects. Here's exactly how this peppery green helps prevent certain cancers.
Watercress increases the antioxidants in your blood, which can help you prevent a number of cancers
Research has identified watercress as a powerhouse green vegetable that has great potential for cancer
management and prevention. Scientists explain that it works to protect you from cancer
by increasing the levels of antioxidants that prevent DNA damage in your blood.
The most recent research on watercress as a cancer-fighting green suggests that by eating it, you can significantly lower your chance of breast, prostate
and colon cancers. What’s more, watercress also helps counteract the process in which cancer grows and spreads.
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Like broccoli, watercress contains glucosinolates – a type of phytochemical that produce isothiocyanates, which are compounds with cancer-fighting properties. Research shows that these compounds may be especially beneficial for preventing breast, prostate
, colon, lung, head and neck cancers.
Watercress may help manage growth of cancerous tumours, too. When a tumour
outgrows its own food or blood supply, it signals surrounding tissue to deliver more nutrients and oxygen. Watercress contains unique compounds that shut off this signal.
Chewing watercress produces a compound that can kill cancer cells in 24 hours!
What’s even more interesting is that new research on watercress as a cancer-fighting food shows that this green, along with broccoli, can help keep any kind of cancer at bay.
When you chew these vegetables, they produce a compound known as phenethyl isothiocyanate. Studies have found that you can achieve sufficient cancer-preventing levels of phenethyl isothiocyanate through diet alone!
This information may be especially beneficial to those of you with cancerous tumours. This is because conventional cancers treatments like radiation or chemotherapy may cause tumours to disappear, but they don’t kill the cancer stem cells. Moul Dey, an associate professor at SD State University in South Dakota in the USA, explains, “These cells are frequently resistant to conventional therapies.”
“These tiny cells are very difficult to detect in a tumour
,” Dey points out, adding that for a very long time, scientists had no idea they even existed. “It’s like finding a needle in a haystack!”
While cancer stem cells usually only make up about 5% of a tumour, they’re very powerful. These cells can spread cancer to other locations in the body and even regenerate the original tumour.
Dey and his colleagues treated cervical cancer steam cells with phenethyl isothiocyanate and found that 75% of the cells died in just 24 hours. Dey’s team noted that even lower concentrations of phenethyl isothiocyanate were effective and produced similar results.
The next time you’re grocery shopping, remember to fill up your trolley with watercress and broccoli to give your body what it needs to fight cancer cells!