a British food critic, steamed, coarse, boiled newsprint purchased
from a bankrupt Finnish salvage dealer compares favourably in taste
to boiled cabbage. Well, you know what? I'd go for the cabbage and
I think you should as well. Why? Because it contains indole-3-carbinol,
a fascinating anti-cancer compound.
story on that. Some cancers are estrogen-driven, which means
that estrogen can be metabolized in the body into cancer causing
compounds. The one that we worry about is called 16 hydroxyestrone.
While estrogen is converted either to that or into a safe material
called 2 hydroxyestrone. It turns out that indole-3-carbonol, the
substance found in cabbage induces enzymes that take estrogen down
the safe path as opposed to the dangerous path. Well, what evidence
do we have that it is worthwhile playing around with levels of indole-3-carbinol?
In a study where women were given supplements of this chemical,
and their urine was monitored for the 2 hydroxy and the 16 hydroxyestrone
levels, which reflect body concentrations, it turned out that the
more indole-3-carbinol they ingested as a supplement, the less of
the dangerous estrone metaboli they had in their body. That's
for dietary supplements, but what about eating foods that are high
Well, here an
Israeli study gives us some meaningful results. A group of women
agreed to eat large doses of cabbage, and cauliflower, broccoli
and brusselsprouts. And they had their urine monitored. As levels
of the indole-3-carbonol climbed levels of the problematic estrogen
metaboli fell. Further more we know in laboratory studies when you
take human breast cancer cells and bathe them in cabbage juice they
multiply less frequently. So it certainly is worthwhile to increase
the amount of cruciferous vegetable that we take in our diet. But
how do we do it?
You don't want
to over cook it. Cabbage will smell and some of the nutrients are
lost. So what I normally do is take the cabbage and shred it and
fry it in a small amount of olive oil until it turns a little bit
brown. Separately boil some noodles, drain them and take the fried
cabbage and put it over the noodles, sprinkle on some salt, sprinkle
on some pepper and you have a great anti cancer simple meal. Taste
good. Almost as good as my mother's cabbage strudel used to taste.