Broccoli to the rescue

As a part of the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, scientists examined whether there’s a link between those who ate cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, watercress, rocket etc) before being diagnosed with lung cancer and their survival chances. 

The analysis showed that high cruciferous vegetables intake was significantly associated with higher lung cancer survival – women with the highest intake (over 100g per day) were 31 per cent more likely to recover than women who ate the least. And the survival rates were even better for women who never smoked and ate even more cruciferous vegetables – they were 42 per cent more likely to recover.

The reason why cruciferous vegetables might offer extra protection from cancer are their naturally occurring substances called glucosinolates, which in the body are turned into several compounds known to inhibit cancer growth. 

Wu et al., 2015. Pre-diagnostic cruciferous vegetables intake and lung cancer survival among Chinese women. Scientific Reports. 19 (5) 10306.