Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

Four new studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research provide a list of foods that offer a strong defense against the development of certain cancers.  These foods have different compounds that fight off chemicals that promote cancer in our body.

1.- Broccoli Sprouts – contain sulforaphane which effectively fights a dangerous bacteria found in the stomach called H. Pylori.  This bacteria creates a chronic inflammation which can lead to stomach cancer. Research at John Hopkins University found that broccoli sprouts were a lot more effective than alfalfa sprouts.  

In addition, more research from Dartmouth Medical School showed that sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts also protects our skin from the damaging effects of the sun.  In this study, the skin of mice were coated with highly concentrated amounts of sulforaphane, and then the rodents were exposed to UV light five days a week for 11 weeks.  While the mice that did not have the sulforaphane coating all developed skin tumours, the amount of tumours was reduced by 50% in the sulforaphane-protected mice.

2.- Cabbage – Eating sauerkraut, raw or slightly cooked cabbage 3 x week or more can significantly reduce risk of breast cancer.  The highest risk reduction, in fact, was seen in women who ate high amounts of cabbage in their teens.  It is believed that it is thanks to the compound glucosinolate that is found in high quantities in the cabbage.  This compound decreases the amount of DNA damage caused by different carcinogens that we are exposed to. 

3.- Garlic – Garlic has a compound called diallyl sulfide which also protects the DNA in the body’s cells from the damage that causes tumour formation.  It is a great idea to add a coat of garlic to your burgers and steak to help fight off the carcinogen that comes with grilling.

So how about enjoying a garlic, broccoli sprout and sauerkraut gluten-free sandwich…mmmm…. Food for thought!