Transcript: #1 Anticancer Vegetable
That doesn’t mean some veggies aren’t better than others. Some of these vegetables target multiple cancers at the same time. So, using this groundbreaking new data, let’s play “which is healthier?”.
Imagine you’re standing in line at one of those custom made-to-order salad places, where you get to choose your lettuce, choose your toppings, then choose your dressing. Let's assume you don’t have a strong family history of any particular cancer, and so, aren’t trying to hone in on avoiding one tumor over any other.
First, let’s choose our lettuce. Boston, endive, radicchio, romaine, or spinach? Which is healthier? Out of the five, spinach is #1 against breast cancer—remember, the farther down, the better it is at slowing down these cancer cells. #1 against brain tumors, #1 against kidney cancer, #1 against lung cancer, and pediatric brain tumors—that's why we need to feed our kids spinach! #1 against pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer.
Now it’s not #1 overall; there are 16 vegetables more powerful at stopping stomach cancer growth than spinach. But out of those five salad greens, spinach wins out across the board, against every cancer type tested.
What if the salad place said they were out of spinach, though? Which comes in second, out of the four left to choose from? For breast cancer, radicchio is #2. Against brain tumors? Radicchio. Kidney cancer? Radicchio. Radicchio, romaine, radicchio, radicchio, and radicchio. So, overall, out of those choices for greens, radicchio is second healthiest.
Back to the menu. Next, we get to choose four toppings. Now, there’s a long line of people behind you, all staring at us to make our choice. We don’t have time to ponder and pick the four absolute best, but we can at least make a guess as to roughly where on the graph they are.
Yes or no? According to this amazing new data, do carrots slow down cancer cell growth rates more than 50%? Yes or no? The answer is no. No, no, no, no, no, no, and no. So, shredded carrots aren’t going to make our top toppings choice.
What about shredded beets? Yes or no? Yes. Super yes! Brain tumor? Just beet it. Kidney cancer is a no; close to 50%, but not quite there. But then yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. So, overall, yes for beets.
Are we putting cucumber on our salad? As tasty as they may be, no. For most cancers it suppressed tumor cell growth less than 50%.
What about tomatoes? No tomatoes, either.
What about a potato? You can actually choose potatoes for your salad. Yes or no? No potatoes, either.
Wait a second; no iceberg lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes—that’s all people eat! That’s the problem. Even people eating their vegetables, aren’t really eating their vegetables. The majority of veggies people commonly eat have little effect.
Cutting to the chase: the line at the salad place is now out the door at this point. In this study, there was one clear winner. One vegetable that completely 100% stopped cancer growth in seven out of the eight tumor lines. One of the most important findings of the year. Which vegetable was it? Was it bok choy? Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, fiddlehead ferns, garlic, kale, or red cabbage?
#1 against breast cancer? Garlic. #1 against brain tumors? Garlic.#2 against kidney cancer: Garlic. Lung cancer? Garlic. Childhood brain tumors? Garlic. Pancreatic cancer? Garlic. Prostate cancer and stomach cancer? Garlic. So might I suggest a garlicky salad dressing?
But wait. Is it just that garlic is toxic to all cells? Yes, it stops the growth of cancer cells, but maybe it stops the growth of healthy cells, too? That wouldn’t be good. They tested for that. The black bars are the cancer cells; the white bars are the normal cells. As you can see, garlic slams cancer cells, but doesn’t touch normal cells, and the same thing with pretty much all the vegetables. They’re selective; they go after the cancer cells, but leave the normal cells alone. Veggies are amazing.
Now, if you didn’t pick garlic, and instead chose one of those others, you probably weren’t far off. The two best families of vegetables for cancer prevention are the cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and the allium family vegetables—like garlic, onions, and leeks. Let me just run through this one last time to highlight this important concept.
Starting from the beginning. Cruciferous vegetables in green; allium family vegetables in yellow. So what I want you to notice is the clustering of colors over to the right side, which illustrates the power of these two superfood classes of vegetables—whether for breast cancer, brain cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, or brain cancer.
Interestingly, you’ll notice that bok choy is often the kind of odd one out—apparently the least healthy of the cruciferous vegetables. Pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and finally, stomach cancer. So you know all those recipes that start with garlic and onions, and then throw you in some greens? That is the way to eat.
The researchers conclude: “The inclusion of cruciferous and Allium [family] vegetables in the diet is essential for effective dietary-based chemopreventive [or cancer-preventive] strategies.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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