There are numerous studies available that showcase the effects broccoli can have on cancer cells and tumors. Most of them are connected to the compound sulforaphane, which has been found to fight cancer cells while not damaging surrounding healthy cells. The same can be said for the compound lycopene found in tomatoes.
But as effective as the compounds are by themselves, one study published in the Journal of Cancer Research has actually found that when used together, they become a virtual anti-cancer superpower.
The Power of Broccoli and Tomatoes
“When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect,” explained John Erdman, University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor. “We think it’s because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways.”
Erdman and colleagues conducted their research on laboratory rats, implanting them with cancerous prostate cells. Then the rats were fed various diets. Some were fed 10% tomato powder and 10% broccoli powder, while others were given only tomato powder, or only broccoli powder. Some were only given lycopene and some were given the prostate drug finasteride. Finally, the last group was castrated.
The group of rats that experienced the most benefit was those rats who received both broccoli and tomato powders. Their prostate tumors shrunk significantly more than the other groups.
The researchers say that men would need to eat about 1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomatoes to get the same benefits.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 men will die of this type of cancer.
While traditional-medicine will tell you “early detection” is crucial to survival, prevention is an even better solution.
Foods like broccoli and tomatoes are far more affordable than cancer treatment, and a diet that prevents cancer is simultaneously the diet that prevents ailments like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and much more. In other words, eating healthful can help prevent disease – period.
The research linking broccoli alone to cancer prevention and treatment is bountiful, but you won’t likely get a prescription from your doctor to the farmer’s market. This kind of healthcare is the sort you need to take on yourself. Don’t wait to start eating healthfully, you will thank yourself later.