Yes! Broccoli can help detoxify the body and research shows that it can reduce breast and prostate cancer. Indoles and isothiocyanates are phytochemicals that give broccoli these superpowers. In particular, indole-3-carbinol helps the liver metabolize estrogen more effectively and is protective against hormone dependent cancers like breast and prostate.
Research from the University of Illinois found that broccoli’s anti-cancer properties could be boosted even further when the veggie is paired with spicy foods that contain the enzyme myrosinase such as horseradish, mustard or wasabi. And it is not just broccoli but all its siblings in the cruciferous vegetable family: cauliflower, arugula, and cabbage to name a few.
Breast Health and Estrogen Metabolism
Breast health is much more than a mammogram every 1-2 years. While mammography is an invaluable tool for early detection, we know there is more to the story. Toxins are produced as the liver metabolizes estrogen. These toxins are significant contributors to the development of breast cancer. This is where the cruciferous vegetables come into play.
When we make a hormone, we have to use it, then move it out. Estrogen methylation is a critical step in the protective mechanism of estrogen metabolism. Optimal methylation can only occur with a diverse microbiome, optimal gut health, understanding genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and minimizing nutrient deficiencies.
In addition, there are toxic estrogens in the environment that can contribute to breast cancer. It is estimated that when a woman leaves her house in the morning for work, she is wearing up to 122 different chemicals! Many of these are endocrine disruptors and can increase her risk of breast cancer.
If you want to learn more about breast cancer prevention, join us on Saturday Oct 19 at SOL at 2:00pm. We would love to see you there!