Fight against cancer: Cultivation of broccoli to be promoted in Punjab

  • Surinder Maan, Hindustan Times, Moga
  • Updated: Feb 26, 2015 19:46 IST

The worldwide organisation, World Cancer Care (WCC), will help promote the cultivation of broccoli, an edible green plant in the cabbage family, with the help of Punjab agriculture department, to fight the spread of cancer in the state.

Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, global ambassador of the WCC, said that a high- level deputation will meet Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal as well as Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh for promoting broccoli across the state.

The WCC organised a meeting of progressive farmers in the presence of state-level agriculture and medical experts at Rauke Kalan village under the Nihal Singh Wala subdivision on Tuesday to motivate farmers for sowing broccoli.

Experts say that the unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and pro-detoxification components in broccoli make it a unique food which helps prevent cancer. The link between cancer and oxidative stress, chronic inflammation and inadequate detoxification is so well-documented in a research that any food, helping to fight these three metabolic problems, will lower the risk of cancer.

In the case of broccoli, the research has established that it strongly decreases the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer and ovarian cancer. Regular consumption of broccoli can reduce the risk of all types of cancer.

Dhaliwal, while motivating the farmers at a camp, said that broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin-K, vitamin-C and chromium, folate, fibre, pantothenic acid, vitamin-B6, vitamin-E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium and copper.

"Phytonutrients in broccoli have cancer-preventive benefits. Phytonutrients are the compounds which lower the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers," Dhaliwal added.

Addressing the farmers, agriculture development officer (ADO) Jaswinder Singh Brar said that broccoli is an ideal food in diet. "Both steamy cooked and raw broccoli can make excellent additions to our meal. There may be some special advantages for digestive tract when broccoli is eaten in an uncooked form. Overcooked broccoli becomes soft and mushy, an indication that it has lost both nutrients and flavour. The health benefits of broccoli are very extensive. The department of agriculture is organising a special campaign to make farmers aware of the benefits of broccoli and motivate the farmers to grow broccoli."

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