Anti-Cancer tip #1: Eat your brussel sprouts

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Newsflash!! Furman likes Brussel sprouts! I kid you not. After 7 years of failed attempts Furman finally announced that he liked the Brussel sprouts he had at Blue Dragon Gastropub in Boston. This proves the adage that people need to try eating many vegetables 8-10 times to acquire a taste for them. This is especially true for children. I know it’s a pain to try and make kids do anything but it will really help them in the long run. I have to warn you they don't have them on the menu any more at Blue Dragon but I love Joanne Chang's version too.

On another note, Brussel sprouts and all the cruciferous vegetables were originally cultivated for their medicinal properties. Turns out they are really good for you. People with a diet high in cruciferous vegetables have a much lower risk of developing different cancers including breast cancer, bladder cancer and prostate cancer. In one study of almost 48,000 health professionals people who ate more than 5 servings of cruciferous vegetables a week (mostly broccoli and cabbage) had half the risk of developing bladder cancer than those who did not. In a study of 5000 Swedish women, those who ate one or more servings of cruciferous vegetables a day were linked to a 40% drop in the risk of developing breast cancer.

Cruciferous vegetables contain the largest variety of phytochemical compounds with anticancer activity of all edible plants. They contain several polyphenols and have high concentrations of glucosinolates. It is very complicated to explain how these compounds work, at least for me, but apparently the glucosinolates help other compounds in our cells to convert into sulfofurane which is a powerful anti-cancer molecule. They help slow the development of cancer by preventing carcinogenic substances from causing damage to cells. And the stars of the show are Brussel sprouts with 237 mg/100 grams. Phew! I hope you got that because I will have forgotten this explanation by tomorrow.

And now for the good stuff. The recipes. Click on the photos below.

The Buttery's Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad

For study references see Foods to Fight Cancer by Richard Béliveau, PhD (Cancer researcher)