Coinciding with the World Day Against Colon Cancer, the Laboratory of Phytochemistry of the Department of Food Science and Technology CEBAS-CSIC, which collaborates actively with the Asociación +Brócoli, reco-mmended eating broccoli at least once a week, as its high fiber content can help to prevent nearly half of the colon cancer cases, which amount to more than 41,000 new cases registered in Spain each year.
Colon cancer has the highest incidence in Spain, as it affects 1 out of 20 men younger than 74 and 1 out of every 30 women. However, the country's average survival stands at five years (64%), seven points higher than in the rest of Europe (57%).
A balanced and varied diet that includes leafy greens and vegetables like broccoli may help forestall the onset of the disease, due to its high content of nutrients beneficial to the body, such as fiber, which reduces the danger of malignant tumors by about 50%, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
On the other hand, glucosinolates, which our bodies transforms into isothiocyanates and indoles and flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin and anthocyanins), all components of broccoli, decrease swelling; a risk factor for cancer. They inhibit enzymes that are activated because of carcinogens and stimulate other enzymes that are disabled because of them. "This means that, through different actions on cell metabolism, they reduce the growth of cancer and drive apoptosis processes or self-destruction of this pathology," stated Diego A. Moreno, a researcher at the CEBAS-CSIC.
In addition, the carotenoids (beta-carotene) in broccoli, such as natural antioxidants, also promote communication between cells to reduce tumor growth, and its vitamin C helps support the patient's immune system.
Farewell to saturated fats, hello to green leafy vegetables
Patients with colon cancer should limit consumption of high saturated fat and sodium, as recommended by the National Cancer Institute, as well as tobacco and alcohol. The team of researchers from the CEBAS-CSIC suggests eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, and a combination of green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, kale, arugula, and cabbage, which some European countries' doctors advise patients take to prepare and better bear the treatments for the disease.
Colon cancer symptoms
Colon cancer is a malignant tumor from the cells of the mucosa of the large intestine and its glands that can grow locally (it invades all the layers that form the wall of the alimentary canal), lymphatic (from the nearest lymph to the farthest) or hematogenous (through the blood it spreads to the liver, lung, bone and brain).
The most common symptoms of this disease are the appearance of blood in the stool, anemia (accompanied by shortness of breath, tiredness, palpitations or dizziness), change in the rate of bowel movements, which are also smaller, a sense of incomplete evacuation, abdominal pain, and weight loss.