Happy Movember 18th everyone. As you probably already know, Movember, also known as November hehe, is prostate cancer awareness month. As a Mo-sister, I love watching moustaches of all shapes, textures and sizes effloresce around town. Though they confer upon their hosts a creepy look, I am absolutely in love with the cause. Awareness may take upon several forms from prevention to encouraging early detection to research for a cure. That being said, in my humble opinion, prevention is the best medicine.
This summer, I partook in the organization of a fundraiser whereby we wanted to raise as much moolah as possible for cancer research. We promoted the event as best we could and encouraged every single person, and even acquaintance, we knew to come and play a game of “capture the flag” in the park. Players needed to donate 30$ to cancer research through our event to earn “playing rights”. I was let down by a few friends who turned down the invitation, but then ended up siding with them when these same people threw me a curveball, informing me that their choice to not attend was due to the fact that they was “against” raising money for cancer research. They were of the opinion that more money should go into preventing cancer (i.e. through diet) than curing it by means of harsh and chemical therapies. Their words truly resonated with me; modern medicine has come a long and incredible way and it must continue to progress. That said, wouldn’t it be fantastic to spend more money in the prevention sector to prevent people from experiencing the horrible symptoms associated with certain cancer treatments? In actual fact, most health experts agree that around 30% of cancers are preventable with a healthful diet.
Getting back to prostate cancer, it is thought that 1 in 8 men will develop prostate cancer in their life. And it is never too early to start preventing this. Enter cabbage.
One of my all-time favourite professors at McGill, Dr. Joe Schwarcz has written a book in which he writes “a British food critic once suggested that by comparison with boiled cabbage, steamed coarse newsprint bought from bankrupt Finnish salvage dealers and heated over smoky oil stoves is an exquisite delicacy”. Alright, cabbage apparently doesn’t have the best reputation, though it is among the best vegetables for cancer prevention.
Cabbage, along with other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts contain molecules known as indole-3-carbinols (a great BFF (best friend forever)). Put simply, indole-3-carbinols are molecules with a molecular structure greatly resembling cancer molecules or carcinogens. When these molecules are ingested, the body mounts an anti-cancer response, somewhat like a vaccine – hey, if all vaccines were needle-less and tasty, I’d be an avid vaccinnee! It is interesting to note that cabbage may also strengthen bones due to its high vitamin K content and help protect against colon cancer. So, fellow humans, this month (and year round), I am strongly suggesting you to head to your local supermarket and make cruciferous vegetables staple foods you buy regularly.
Mo Recipe: Creamy & Spicy Broccoli and Cabbage Soup
Ho hum. A very hearty and comforting soup indeed for the commencement of yet another Montreal/Alaskan winter. The soup of all soups!
- 1 head of broccoli, in florets
- 1/2 a cabbage
- 1 pepper (red, orange, yellow or green)
- 2 liters vegetable stock
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp mesquite
- Bring all vegetables and spices to a boil in broth.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Blend.
- Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy this mo-delight.
I’m well aware this soup does not look all that appetizing but they say a picture is worth a thousand words so this picture represents a soup that is: heavenly, luscious, flavorsome, succulent, satisfying, cozy. Oh wait, that’s only 6 words – I’ll spare you the 994 other words but only if you try this “sopa” 🙂 …