Ward off cancer with kale, a superfood with anti-cancer nutrients (recipe included)
06/24/2021 / By Brocky Wilson / Comments
Ward off cancer with kale, a superfood with anti-cancer nutrients (recipe included)

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable loved by health-conscious eaters for its nutrient profile, health benefits and exceptional flavor. Considered the “queen of greens,” this leafy superfood is chock-full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help prevent cancer.

According to a 2009 review, compounds in kale get converted into anti-cancer nutrients when ingested or when the kale plant is under attack. Researchers found that these nutrients help prevent tumor growth in several areas of the body, including the breasts, prostate, mouth, colon and kidney.

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Nutrients in kale fend off cancer

Cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli are rich sources of the compounds isothiocyanates and indoles. Both isothiocyanates and indoles form when a molecule of water breaks down glucosinolates, which are compounds found in cruciferous veggies. This breakdown is catalyzed by enzymes released by the plant or found in your digestive tract. It produces compounds like isothiocyanates and indoles.

Some isothiocyanates and indoles found in kale have potent anti-cancer properties. For example, studies show that sulforaphane helps prevent cancer by releasing antioxidants and detoxification enzymes that protect against carcinogens. The compound also reduces the size and number of various types of cancer cells, including those in the prostate, breasts, colon, skin, bladder and mouth.

An indole called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is also a potent anti-cancer compound found in kale. A 2019 study found that I3C promotes a tumor-suppressing protein called PTEN. This protein’s activity usually decreases when you have cancer, but I3C restores its full power.

What is the best way to cook kale?

How you cook is just as important as what you eat because certain cooking methods, such as frying and roasting, can destroy the nutrients in vegetables.

The best way to cook kale is to steam it. Steaming makes it taste less bitter and retains higher levels of antioxidants and minerals than boiling, microwaving, pressure cooking and vacuum cooking.

You can also eat raw kale to get more of its anti-cancer nutrients. Just wash it under running water and let it come to room temperature before eating. Also, toss in crushed garlic and rub a high-quality oil, such as olive oil, onto its leaves to enhance its enzymatic activity.

Kale recipe for cancer prevention

Try this kale salad with carrot ginger dressing to reap the anti-cancer benefits of this superfood. This salad recipe is super healthy and flavorful. The roasted chickpeas add crunch, a rainbow of root veggies gives it vibrance and the delicious carrot ginger dressing ties it all together.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

For carrot ginger dressing:

  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted carrots, from 3/4 cup raw carrots
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup water

For salad:

  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed and leaves torn
  • 1 batch roasted chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 small red beet, grated
  • 1/2 watermelon radish, very thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

For the dressing and chickpeas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the carrot pieces in their own corner on the baking sheet to roast alongside the chickpeas. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and the chickpeas are browned and crisp.
  3. Set the roasted chickpeas aside. Transfer the carrots to a blender and add the olive oil, rice vinegar, water, ginger and salt. Blend the dressing until smooth and chill in the fridge until ready to use.

For the kale salad:

  1. Put the kale leaves in a large bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Add a few pinches of salt. Use your hands to massage the leaves until they are soft, wilted and reduced in the bowl by around half.
  2. Add the carrot, beef, watermelon radish, half of the cubed avocado, cranberries and pepitas. Sprinkle a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss.
  3. Drizzle generously with the carrot ginger dressing. Top with the remaining avocado and drizzle more dressing. Add the roasted chickpeas and sprinkle sesame seeds. Season to taste and serve.

Kale is an incredible superfood packed with anti-cancer nutrients. Eat more of this cruciferous veggie as part of a balanced diet to reap its impressive health benefits.

Sources:

NaturalHealth365.com

Nature.com

JOMFP.in

MedicalNewsToday.com

TAndFOnline.com

LoveAndLemons.com

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