Kale is rich in the potent anticancer compounds sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinole. Kale is also high in calcium and vitamin K, which is essential for the absorption of calcium. Kale is also a great source of vitamin C and beta carotene.
According to Paul Talalay, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, sulforaphane enzymes in the body protect cells and prevents their genes from turning into cancer. Sulforaphane is thought to prompt the body to make higher levels of enzymes that protect against cancer-causing chemicals. Most recently, sulforaphane has shown to inhibit breast cancer stem cells in mice, says Duxin Sun, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. One study showed that breast tumor development was significantly reduced in laboratory animals that ate sulforaphane. Other laboratory studies have shown that sulforaphane may help protect against prostate, colon, pancreas, and other types of cancer. “Men who eat plenty of green vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, can lower their risk of prostate cancer by 41 percent” says Jennifer Cohen, PhD, MPH, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) seems to alter estrogen levels and may also raise levels of protective enzymes in the body. Several studies of cancer cells growing in laboratory dishes or flasks have shown it may slow or stop the growth of breast, prostate, and other cancer cells. On his Dec 1 show Dr. Oz stated that I3Cs have “very potent breast cancer fighting abilities”. Cooking, particularly boiling, reduces some of the benefits of kale because the heating process seems to destroy some anti-cancer compounds. However steaming and stir frying do not result in as much nutrient loss, which is why we love the recipe below!
Sauteed Kale with Onion and Garlic
1 bunch kale
1/2 white onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1. Wash, rinse and chop kale into small pieces.
2. Chop onion and sautee over medium heat with olive oil and crushed garlic.
3. Add kale, stir for one minute and then add the broth.
4. Cover with lid to create a steaming effect, cook over medium heat until kale softens.
5. Season with sea salt and pepper.