There’s little doubt that what a person eats plays a role in whether or not they get cancer. Some foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, contain natural chemicals that stop the growth of cancer cells in the laboratory, and, at high enough concentrations, they might prevent cancer from developing in the first place. Now, a new study shows that eating watercress helps to stymie breast cancer growth in women unfortunate enough to have this disease.
Benefits of Watercress: Eating Watercress for Breast Cancer
According to research from the University of South Hampton, a natural compound in watercress helps stop breast cancer growth. This compound, called phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) blocks the action of another protein that recruits new blood vessels to breast tumors – to supply them with the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow and spread. Eating watercress could certainly have its benefits.
Researchers tested the power of PEITC by giving breast cancer survivors a bowl of watercress and measuring their blood levels over 24 hours. Even after a single meal of watercress, these women experienced higher levels of this chemical in their blood, and, most importantly, PEITC blocked the protein needed to recruit more blood vessels to actively growing breast tumors. Even a relatively small amount of watercress could have the capacity to thwart breast cancer growth.
Eating Watercress to Stop Breast Cancer: It Has Other Anti-Cancer Benefits Too
There’s more good news about watercress. According to other research, eating watercress reduces DNA damage – a forerunner to all types of cancer. It’s also a good source of carotenoids – natural compounds that play a role in cancer prevention.
Eating Watercress for Cancer Prevention: The Bottom Line?
There’s still more to be learned about the role PEITC plays in cancer prevention; but you can’t go wrong eating more of this healthy vegetable that’s so rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. To get the full anti-cancer benefits of watercress, eat it raw rather than cooked since heat destroys the PEITC. Add it to your next salad and enjoy the many health benefits of eating watercress.
Science Daily website. “Watercress May ‘Turn Off’ Breast Cancer Signal”