Collard Greens Cancer Fighter
Collard greens, also called cabbage
tree, or just collard, are an edible vegetable of the cabbage varieties commonly consumed around the world. The
leaves of the plant can be eaten cooked, steamed, or completely raw in salad or juice. In fact, the plant is the
basis for the traditional cabbage soup in France as in other countries such as North Spain, Portugal, and
Fresh collard greens add a spicy note
to salads but it is to be used in moderation because of its high texture and flavor. The leaves can be primed
like spinach and blended well with barley, brown rice, potatoes and legumes. Collard gives its strong flavor to
soups and stews, making it an ideal food for vegetarians. Collard greens are also delicious when topped with
sauce and grated or mashed and served with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or legumes. The fresh young leaves
also incorporate well with omelets and quiches.
Collard Greens and Breast Cancer
Studies conducted so far show that
collard greens are among the top cruciferous vegetables having anti-cancer properties to prevent formation and
reproduction of cancerous cells. It was also found that their consumption, at a rate of at least 3-4 times per
week, is associated with a decrease in breast cancer, lung cancer, as well as gastrointestinal tract (stomach,
colon, rectum) and prostate cancers. However, more studies on collard greens and breast cancer are needed to
confirm the role of the plant in fighting the disease.
Collard Greens and Cancer
Of all vegetables, cruciferous
vegetables are probably the ones with the largest variety of phytochemical molecules with anticancer properties.
They also contain more polyphenols and glucosinolates than all other green foods.
Glucosinolates are natural components
of many pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage, and collard greens, which are are biologically inactive. It is
only when the vegetables undergo physical transformations (chopped, crushed, filled) that they are released and
come into contact with myrosinase (enzyme present in the food) and transformed into sulforaphane, potent
anticancer molecule, which is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Sulforaphane is an organic sulfur
compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts or collard greens. It is formed when
glucoraphanin, organic compound of the glucosinolate family, is converted by the enzyme myrosinase. According to
a study conducted by researchers from MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard
medical school, this potent compound has ability to prevent cancer, relieve the symptoms of autism spectrum
disorders (ASDs). They also have bactericidal antibiotic properties, in particular against bacteria
responsible for gastric ulcers. They play an important role in the protection against stomach cancer, lung
cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer.
If you are not one of the lucky people
who can produce their own vegetables, you have to purchase. When buying, it is important to go organic or choose
collard greens which are not contaminated with insecticide residues or harmful chemical spray. Remember, the
more natural, the better!