Anti-Cancer Foods: Which Crucifers are Best Raw?

Radishes by Peggy Ann Turner editedIf you’ve been following this anti-cancer food blog, you know all about the crucifer dilemma and the recent research solving it: 

Most crucifers need to be lightly cooked to ward off compounds called nitriles, which don’t fight cancer and which compete for production with cancer-fighting compounds that crucifers can also make. Problem is: Heat destroys the enzyme that starts the cascade of actions resulting in those anti-cancer compounds. Solution: Add back the enzyme by eating some raw crucifers in the same meal.

Here’s a list of crucifers that don’t produce nitriles, making them great to eat in their raw state (unless you’ve got a thyroid problem, in which case it’s better to lightly cook crucifers.)

  • red radish 
  • daikon (large white radish)
  • wasabi
  • qing gin cai (a type of Chinese cabbage)   
  • watercress     In fact, watercress should always be eaten raw.  When it’s cooked, it actually produces nitriles, says Australia’s crucifer expert Dr. David Williams.  

Close up of radishes is from artist Peggy Ann Turner’s gorgeous painting. Visit her gallery of food images online, or if you’re in Montreal, you can see all the paintings in her current show downtown (ending May 18, 2014). Contact for details.    

If you’ve got images of food–either paintings or photographs–that you’d like to see featured on this anti-cancer blog, contact me by leaving a reply below.

11 thoughts on “Anti-Cancer Foods: Which Crucifers are Best Raw?

  1. Until recently I did not know I was being poisoned by Canadian food. Now 72, after 66 years of suffering brutal torture of Parkinsonism, caused as a direct result of Canola oil in my food not by choice – I control my brain damage, paralysis, immune deficiencies, excruciating pain and terminal attacks thru 1: Boycotting Canadian food. 2. The miracle of raw Okra that reversed almost all my brain damage! Only functionally well a very short time, and having been poisoned again, which set me back two years, I am very very angry that millions of children will get my disease because of Canola oil and Health Canada’s corruption in collaborating with a Nazi’s fascist founded regime 1947. And worse, no one cares. I have copies of scientific documents that already have disappeared from American libraries of source. They never were in Canada. I can no longer carry this burden of evidence, as I have not the ability to save in a safe cloud for posterity and future generation. If you know of anyone willing to take on this task non-profit for historical purposes please contact me with a mailing address. I can’t send by email, too many and when I try my computer crashes. I suspected since 1995 that high levels of erucic acid were not the only deadly toxic chemicals occurring naturally in Rape seed oil alias Canola oil but since found a copy that proves all Rape alias Canola are also very high in Tannins and Nitriles. Further the research going back to 1951 in Animal research proved that Rape alias Canola causes all the symptoms of my Parkinsonism disease (paralysis, immune deficiencies, bleeding disorders, chemical hypersensitivities, memory loss, brain damage and/or dysfunctions such as I was once wealthy, brilliant and beautiful but wound up homeless on the streets with no memory unable to write for 22 years); but also cause liver damage, hypothyroidism, heart lesions and cancer. Trudi Trahan-upchan


  2. Pingback: Anti-Cancer Foods: Watercress, Indoles and Why You AhR What You Eat | Eat and Beat Cancer

    • Yes, grow radish sprouts and eat them raw. Radishes don’t appear to produce nitriles. The caution with all sprouts is: Be careful growing (or choosing) them because they can breed bacteria. Change the growing water often so it doesn’t become moldy. Smell your sprouts as you grow them to make sure they’re fresh. I recently experienced a spate of diarrhea from some sprouts I bought in the grocery store. Keeping moist plants in an enclosed plastic container may encourage bacterial growth.


  3. Pingback: Anti-Cancer Recipes: Bombshells about Crucifers and Why Red Radishes Rule | Eat and Beat Cancer

  4. Pingback: Episode 023 Shaved Cauliflower Salad | Food Sensitivity Kitchen

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