Sunday, June 12, 2011

Broccoli and advances in cancer research

The young bride is a great cook, and for many years we have eaten lots of fish, fresh vegetables and occasional red meat: she also loves broccoli which, as a child, I used to detest. Now I have two good reasons to enjoy my cruciferous veggies: one is because she makes it taste so delicious and the other is because of the increasing evidence to show that it helps reduce the risk of some cancers.

 In 2008 a couple of American researchers reported evidence that eating raw cruciferous veggies – broccoli and cauliflower fall into this group – lowered the risk of developing lung cancer in smokers and former smokers: and the range of risk reduction was fairly significant ranging from a 20 to 55%. Despite that impressive figures however, the researchers stated that the evidence was still not strong enough to make a Public Health recommendation.

Now scientists have uncovered one of the chemicals in broccoli that plays a part in this preventative puzzle. Sulphoraphane, a phytochemical found in high quantities in cruciferous vegetables has for the first time been shown to selectively target and kill cancer cells whilst leaving normal cancer cells healthy and unaffected. However,  "Just because a phytochemical or nutrient is found in food doesn't always mean its safe, and a lot can also depend on the form or levels consumed," said Emily Ho, a principal investigator in the Linus Pauling Institute. "But this does appear to be a phytochemical that can selectively kill cancer cells, and that's always what you look for in cancer therapies." In fact Sulphoraphane is already in clinical trails in the management of both breast and prostate cancer.

So get out the recipe book and start adding broccoli creations to your diet, and just to give you a kick-start, here’s one from Marg Johnson!

Serves four:

Broccoli, Anchovies and chilli Tagliatelle

1 head broccoli – cut into small florets
44g dried tagliatelle
¼ cup olive oil (best quality)
4 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
1 to 2 red chillies – chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley roughly chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Simmer the florets until they are just tender. Drain them and keep to one side. Cook the pasta in salted water until just tender. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil and add the anchovies. Allow them to melt into the il and then add the chilli, pepper and the broccoli. When all is hot, add the drained pasta and mix all together. Then remove from the heat and fold through most of the parsley and cheese. Serve topped with the rest of both.
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Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious! Can I put in an order for Thursday night? ;)

bronnie said...

I'd like a serve too, without the anchovies and would have to probably shred the broccili for the kids. Do you think that will still work? xo

Dr Duncan Jefferson said...

Try both of them and see which one you prefer D

nicky said...

I eat a lot of cruciferous veggies...mainly broccoli and kale. How much is too much?

The recipe you posted looks easy and yummy and I'm going to try it this week.


A Cajun Down Under said...

This is great news. The only veggie I can get my girls to eat is broccoli so we have it nearly every night. I'll try the pasta. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yum! Thanks for the new, amazing recipe including some of my fave veges! Funnily enough, during Uni (way back in 1994) I had a job as an assistant in a doctor's office. He was a very progressive doctor and, based on his own research and anecdotal evidence after tracking the results with his patients, came up with a super-power-packed smoothie. His recipe used juiced broccoli, cauliflower, white cabbage, apple and carrot blended with tofu. I liked to add some ice and a handful of mixed berries to make it sweet. I guess he certainly was ahead of his time!

Louisa said...

Wow, this is great to know. My husband is an ex-smoker, and thankfully loves his veges. Do they have to be eaten raw?

Dr Duncan Jefferson said...

In the lung cancer research the study used raw broccoli. I call this sort of information the "1 to 2 per-centers" as they are not cure-alls, but will give you a bit of an advantage to help live a healthier life

Sass said...

This sounds amazing-
I'm making this for our dinner tonight!
Broccoli is my all time favourite veggie, i love it cooked or raw.

pilatesbylisa said...

I love this post, I recently wrote about my diet on my blog and love my veggies, you've just given me even more reason to enjoy! Thanks! :)