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A landmark study published in Food Chemistry pitted 34 vegetables in vitro against eight types of human cancer cells: breast cancer, brain tumors, kidney cancer, lung cancer, childhood brain tumors, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer. Taking breast cancer, for example, seven vegetables (eggplant, bok choy, carrot, tomato, endive, and fennel) appeared useless, suppressing breast cancer cell growth no more than the control, six veggies (orange bell pepper, english cucumber, radicchio, jalapeño, potato, and beetroot) nearly halved cancer growth, but five crushed cancer growth completely: cauliflower, brussels sprouts, green onion, leek, and garlic.

Most top cancer-preventing vegetables belong to one of two superfood families: cruciferous vegetables and the allium family, which includes garlic, leeks, and onions. Of dozens of vegetables, garlic came in first against cancers of the breast, brain, lung, pancreas, prostate, and stomach, and second after leeks against kidney cancer.

Comparing the effects of garlic and other vegetables on the growth of cancer cells and normal cells, researchers found that the same garlic dose that blocked nearly 80 percent of cancer cell proliferation appeared to have no effect against normal cells. Similar results were found for the other allium and cruciferous vegetables. In other words, vegetables are selective; they destroy cancer cells but leave normal cells alone.

Garlic and other allium family vegetables appear to have special properties beyond being chemopreventive. For example, garlic has also been found to lower blood pressure, regulate cholesterol, stimulate immunity, and improve artery function. What’s more, the best available balance of evidence suggests that garlic may even prevent occurrences of the common cold.

The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.

Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.

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