Have you ever wondered what gives broccoli its typical smell while it is cooking.? You can notice the same with cauliflower and brussels sprouts as well. These are cruciferous vegetables and their characteristic smell is because of its sulfur compounds.
Studies reveal a strong link between eating cruciferous vegetables and low cancer risk. One study reported a better survival rate among women with ovarian cancer.
Here are a few more from observational studies:
- Three serving per week of cruciferous vegetables cut the risk of prostate cancer by 33%.
- One or more servings of cabbage per week can cut the risk of pancreatic cancer by 38%.
Just a serving per day of cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of breast cancer by 50%.Tweet
So, where does this protective effect come from?
Simple. It's all in the sulfur compounds.
Research shows that the presence of organosulfur compounds in vegetables have cancer-preventive effects.
4 Ways they inhibit cancer growth
1. Scavenging the enzymes that activate cancer-causing agents
2. Detoxify the enzymes that activate carcinogens
3. Prevent multiplication of cancer cells
4. Initiate automated death of cancer cells
Who needs them?
Everyone benefits by eating plenty of these vegetables. But the ones that will benefit the most are :
- People that are at high risk for cancer
- If your immune system is poor
- If you eat processed food almost every other day
- If your daily menu lacks vegetables
- Those suffering from painful joints
- People that look older than their age (premature aging)
Who should avoid sulfur-containing foods?
Certain people may not be able to tolerate sulfur well and develop inflammatory reactions.
Symptoms include brain fog, fatigue, breath that smells like ammonia, and skin reactions.
A lot of people think that cruciferous veggies should be avoided by those with thyroid problems. That is only true in cases where the thyroid issue was caused by lack of iodine. Turns out, most thyroid patients will greatly benefit from eating them.
Sulfur intolerance is due to genetic reasons, heavy metal toxicity and leaky gut syndrome. Talk to your doctor and follow specific diet changes to cope with the situation.
Which foods contain sulfur?
Sulfur is the most abundant mineral in your body, next to calcium and phosphorus. Following are good sources of organosulfur compounds.
Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, etc. are rich in sulfur.
Allium family: Onions, leeks, shallots and garlic are high in sulfur.
Legumes: Most dry beans, and peas
Fruits: Avocado, banana, melons, grapes, grapefruit, oranges are good sources of sulfur.
Other fibrous non-leafy greens that emit a distinctive odor may also be rich in sulfur. Examples include egg plant, asparagus, and lettuce.
Other sources include chicken, turkey, beef and eggs also provide sulfur. Yet, plant sources are your best source for sulfur. This is because, they provide the organosulfur form. Organosulfur is the most potent and beneficial form of sulfur your body needs.
Ways to eat more of these vegetables
Platter: Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus are great on a vegetable platter. They are enjoyable with a suitable dip.
Toppings: Use cruciferous vegetables in a stir-fry or use it as a topping in pizza
Puree: Make a puree of your favorite sulfur-containing vegetable. You can add this to soups and tomato sauce.
Steamed: Steam and toss it to brown rice to make a colorful lunch meal.
Besides being a rich source of sulfur, these vegetables offer more. They come packed with plenty of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, fiber and other phytonutrients. These help maintain a healthy body weight and also protect you from diseases.
Next time you go do your shopping, be sure to pick these sulfur-rich veggies. They offer far more positive health effects than you think.
Yours in Health,
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