Cruciferous veggies in the raw may offer the greatest benefits when it comes to prevention of bladder cancer, according to a new study put out by the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. The study looked at raw and cooked cruciferous vegetable intake among 275 individuals with bladder cancer and 825 without. Those who consumed at least three servings of raw crucifers per month were significantly less likely to develop bladder cancer.
This certainly isn’t the first time that cruciferous vegetables have been associated with cancer prevention, says study author Yuesheng Zhang, Professor of Oncology at the Roswell Cancer Institute. Crucifers—broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, arugula, and the like—contain significant amounts of health-boosting phytonutrients, including isothiocyanates, which have shown bladder cancer–blocking potential in a number of studies. It’s important to note, however, that isothiocyanates may be destroyed by cooking, so go raw—and eat often. “The finding was three servings a month or more has a dramatic impact on bladder cancer risk,” says Zhang. “I think that would be the minimum; more would be better.”