Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Cancer causes cells in specific parts of your body to grow and reproduce uncontrollably. These cells can then damage healthy tissue as well as your organs. According to Cancer Research UK, this condition claims more than 166,000 lives in the UK each year. The Clinical Director and Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh from Medicine Direct named a small vegetable that could help.
The food that could help boost longevity by reducing the risk of developing cancer is Brussels sprouts.
Mr Abdeh said: “Brussels sprouts are a wealth of fibre and nutrients that can have a beneficial impact on your health for a wide range of reasons.
“However, the phytochemicals compounds found in this type of vegetable can be useful in staving off cancer.”
The pharmacist explained that phytochemicals help promote the body’s antioxidant and DNA defences, boosting healthy cell signalling.
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“Phytochemicals are known for being able to prevent the growth of tumours and also inhibit the production of hormones that are related to the formation of cancer,” he added.
What types of cancer can Brussels sprouts help stave off?
Mr Abdeh said the small green vegetables may help prevent a variety of cancers, including lung, stomach, prostate, breast, kidney and bladder cancer.
Four of these types – lung, prostate, bladder and breast cancer – are some of the most prevalent types of this condition, according to National Cancer Institute.
The pharmacist added that other so-called cruciferous vegetables can also help cut the risk of developing cancer.
Apart from Brussels sprouts, cruciferous vegetables describe the likes of kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
Phytochemicals are not the only Brussels sprouts component beneficial for our health.
The controversial food is also packed with fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium.
The pharmacist added: “Brussels sprouts contain a sulphur-based compound called glycosinolate glucobrassicin.
“Research has found that this compound may play a part in preventing cancer by stopping DNA from being damaged, which can increase the risk of cancer.
“Additionally, research suggests sprouts can prevent new blood vessels from growing within tumours.”
How many Brussels sprouts do I need to eat?
The Medicine Direct expert recommends implementing a regular dose of Brussels sprouts to get all the “potential anti-cancerous properties” of this vegetable.
As your diet should be varied, Mr Abdeh explains that alternating between sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can be the optimal option.
“Brussels sprouts can count towards one of your five a day. When eaten on rotation each week with other cruciferous vegetables, you will be able to reap the benefits properly,” he added.
The pharmacist added: “To get the benefits of Brussels sprouts, you should avoid boiling them.
“This can eradicate many of the vital nutrients they contain, as well as turn their taste bitter, which is very unpleasant to a lot of people.”
Thanks to their high vitamin content, Brussels sprouts make a great choice for our overall health.
Mr Abdeh explained they can lower the risk of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
This ability makes them a superfood for boosting longevity, as these three conditions belong among the leading causes of death, reports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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