New research out of the Cancer Research Centre at Southampton General Hospital's School of Medicine in the U.K. has found that watercress, a superfood vegetable, works to reduce levels of the key growth factor that causes tumor growth. According to researchers, regular consumption of watercress works the same as -- if not better than -- conventional anti-cancer drug treatments, except without all the harmful side effects.
"Watercress has the ability to turn off HIF1, a signal sent out by cells calling for blood supply," explains Dr. Nicholas Perricone, an anti-aging specialist, concerning the study. "Scientists have been looking for anti-angiogenesis agents for years because if we can turn off the blood supply, we can kill the cancer. And it looks like watercress can do that."
According to Perricone, when HIF1 levels become irregular and out of sync, precancerous cells that are otherwise harmless begin to get the blood supply they need to thrive and grow. But anti-cancer agents naturally present in watercress protect the body from these malignant cells and ensure that blood only goes to healthy cells.
A previous study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 found that regular consumption of watercress helps to significantly reduce free radical damage to white blood cell DNA as well, effectively improving the body's ability to guard against disease and maintain good health.
Watercress has been used for centuries to treat other ailments like migraine headaches, eczema, anemia, tuberculosis and kidney and liver disease. It contains a wide variety of healing nutrients and, since it is a food and not a drug, it can be safely consumed in large quantities to obtain therapeutic benefit.
Watercress can be added to salads, soups, sandwiches, stir'frys, stews and many other things. It can also be juiced along with other fruits and vegetables in daily juice beverages.
Raw Organic Watercress
For optimal health benefits, eat watercress raw and as fresh as possible. When used in a salad, toss with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar will improve digestion and will allow for better assimilation of nutrients. If you live near a clean stream, you can even grow your own watercress by planting the seeds indoors and transplanting the seedlings into the shallowest part of a gently flowing creek. Harvest leaves when young and tender for the best taste.
Anti Cancer Properties
Watercress is a member of the cabbage family along with other greens such as mustard greens, kale, kohlrabi, and turnip greens. Watercress offers similar health benefits as kale and collards and can be used in the same way.
Watercress and other cabbage greens are among the most highly nutritious vegetables. They provide an excellent source of vitamins B6, C, manganese, and carotenes. Greens in the cabbage family also provide a very good source of fiber, iron, copper and calcium. In addition, the greens are a very good source of vitamins B1, B2, and E.
Greens in the cabbage family have almost three times as much calcium as phosphorus. That is a very beneficial ratio since high phosphorus consumption has been linked to osteoporosis. The high consumption reduces the utilization of calcium and promotes it's excretion. As members of the cabbage family, watercress, kale, collards, mustard greens, kohlrabi, and turnip greens contain the same sort of anticancer properties.
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Watercress Information: History Of Watercress
Watercress Information: Natural News 3/16/2011