The Benefits of Broccoli: Lowering Cancer Risks

We’ve all been told to eat our vegetables at one point in our life. Why? “Because they’re good for you.” Well, why are they good for you? A lot of reasons actually, and they’re pretty neat! For example, carrots are rich in Vitamin A, and can help prevent leading causes of blindness. Placing a slice of cucumber on the roof of your mouth can actually combat odor-causing bacteria and give you fresher-smelling breath! And maybe most impressively, one of the benefits of broccoli is that it helps fight cancer.

… At this point, you might be reading that back and blinking to see if the words change. Seems like a fairly large claim, doesn’t it? Luckily, we have the research to back that up.

In order to understand the benefits of broccoli and how they assist your body to fight cancer, we have to understand how exactly cancer is created in the body. So here’s how it works:

It’s a well-known fact our body is made up of millions and millions of cells, and those cells have our DNA, which contains our genes that make up growth, development, bodily function, and essentially everything that makes us “us”. Now the cells in our body have a short life span, so in order to make more cells, the DNA has to be copied, and every time DNA is copied there is a slight chance of an error. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it just means the new strand of DNA might not be an identical copy from its former self. We call that a mutation, and become permanent changes to your DNA structure. Every day you’re technically waking up in a new body! That’s kind of cool (or scary) to think about!

A lot of mutations happen randomly and are deemed harmless as “passenger genes,” but sometimes mutations can stem from harmful matters. Things like using cosmetics with toxins in them, smoking, or dealing with chronic inflammation due to the fat around our organs can lead to mutations called “driver genes”, and over time those can cause DNA damage and lead to cancer. Thankfully, our body naturally has a way of combating that! “Tumor suppressor genes” are within all of our cells, and their job is to make sure these mutated cells “self-destruct” before they can grow into cancers. It’s like the fail-safe for your body… but what if it’s those guys who get mutated? If you have the unfortunate luck of having a tumor suppressor gene mutated, you’ve lost one of the key elements at stopping tumor growth. Your fail-safe fails.

And this is where broccoli saves the day. Cruciferous vegetables such cauliflower, kale, and especially broccoli, all have properties in them that have the potential to boost previously-silenced tumor suppressor genes. With these genes up and running again, your body can get back in the fight. If your body was Rocky Balboa, broccoli would the coach on the sidelines, pushing him to never give up against the “Ivan Drago” of cancer.

So the next time you question the benefits of broccoli or eating the vegetable, just remember broccoli’s on your side! The Lee Clinic is a medically-approved Ideal Protein location, and has tons of resources to help you understand your body’s wants and needs. We also specialize in toxin-free cosmetics that’ll have you looking your best without the harm that other beauty regiments might include. And to every cancer patient and survivor out there, you have no idea how many people are rooting for you, especially here at the Lee Clinic. Just remember; Rocky wins in the end.