We’ve all heard that eating dark leafy greens is healthy. What is the science behind this widely accepted notion?
A recent article published on BBC states that a team of scientists may have discovered why some vegetables – including cabbage, broccoli and kale – can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
“A study at the Francis Crick Institute in the UK found that anti-cancer chemicals were produced as the vegetables were digested.
The research focused on how vegetables alter the lining of the intestines. Researchers investigated a chemical called indole-3-carbinol, which is produced by chewing such vegetables. The chemical is modified by stomach acid as it continues its journey through the digestive system.
“Make sure they’re not overcooked, no soggy broccoli,” said researcher Dr Gitta Stockinger.
Prof Tim Key, from Cancer Research UK, said: “This study in mice suggests that it’s not just the fibre contained in vegetables like broccoli and cabbage that help reduce the risk of bowel cancer, but also molecules found in these vegetables too.
“Further studies will help find out whether the molecules in these vegetables have the same effect in people, but in the meantime there are already plenty of good reasons to eat more vegetables.”
Article written for the BBC by:
BBC Health and science correspondent.