Can Brussels Sprouts Help to Prevent Cancer?


It may not be the most popular vegetable, but Brussels sprouts play an important role in reducing the risk of cancer. With its green, cabbage-like appearance and slightly bitter taste, some people can’t appreciate the charms of this cruciferous vegetable that’s so rich in phytonutrients. Despite this, the research world is taking notice as studies show this underappreciated vegetable has a great deal to offer, at least from a health standpoint.


How might eating Brussels sprouts reduce the risk of cancer? One way this green vegetable protects against cancer is by enhancing enzymes in the liver known as the P450 system that helps the body detoxify and remove cancer causing substances before they exert their bad effects. When these substances aren’t removed they can alter the body’s DNA or genetic material and potentially initiate a cancer. Thus, Brussels sprouts are a natural detoxifier that can reduce the risk of cancer by removing cancer causing chemicals from the body.


Brussels sprouts are also a source of a variety of other phytonutrients that are thought to reduce the risk of cancer including sulforaphanes and indoles which are also found in other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. These substances are believed to play a role in promoting healthy estrogen metabolism which could reduce the risk of breast cancer and also help to prevent prostate cancer in males. Brussels sprouts are high in fiber which could help to promote healthy bowel function and potentially reduce the risk of colon cancer.


Several clinical studies have demonstrated the ability of Brussels sprouts to reduce the risk of cancer. One study published in the journal Carcinogenesis showed that eating three hundred grams of Brussels sprouts a day reduced DNA damage in ten male volunteers by twenty-eight percent.  It’s thought that certain components found in the Brussels sprouts helped to detoxify and remove chemicals that could damage DNA and, potentially, induce a cancer.


Other studies have demonstrated similar benefits in both animals and humans with some studies showing a reduction in bladder and colon cancer risk associated with intake of Brussels sprouts. Animal studies have also demonstrated a reduced risk of breast cancer associated with the sulforaphanes found in Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables.


Adding Brussels sprouts to your diet may be a natural and inexpensive way to reduce the risk of cancer by helping your liver detoxify and remove substances that could damage DNA, making it easier for a cancer to grow and thrive. If you don’t like the way they taste naturally, explore some new ways to prepare this healthy vegetable by looking online. This is one vegetable that should be on your table if you want to reduce the risk of cancer.