Disease Proof

Tomato-Broccoli Power!

Like tomatoes? What about broccoli? Ever eat them together? Well if you have, you’re doing your prostate a service. Because according to a new study eating broccoli and tomatoes together is more effective at protecting against prostate cancer than consuming them separately. Don’t believe me? Robert Preidt of HealthDay News explains:
University of Illinois researchers fed a diet containing 10 percent broccoli powder and 10 percent tomato powder to a group of rats that had been implanted with prostate cancer cells. Other groups of rats received either tomato powder or broccoli powder alone; a supplemental dose of lycopene (the red pigment in tomatoes believed to be an anti-cancer agent); or finasteride, a drug prescribed for men with enlarged prostates. Another group of rats was castrated.

After 22 weeks, the researchers found that the combined tomato/broccoli diet was the most effective at prostate tumor reduction. Of the other treatments, castration was the only one that came close to being as effective.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’ll happily choose tomatoes and broccoli over wearing a cone around my head for two weeks. Ouch! Okay, so the power of tomatoes and broccoli shouldn’t surprise you. After all they’re both in Dr. Fuhrman’s Fab Five:
Greens: Make steamed greens with a cashew butter cream sauce. Kids love it. We blend raw cashews and a few dried onion flakes with some soy milk and make a great sauce for chopped kale or broccoli.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a wonderful food in their own class. Whether you consider them a fruit or vegetable, it matters not. Slice them into pita pocket sandwiches. Mash some almond butter with a fork into some tomato sauce to add to the vegetable-tomato-sprout avocado pita pocket. What a great school lunch.
And, let’s not forget Dr. Fuhrman considers tomatoes and broccoli two of the best foods for health and longevity:
Top Seven Foods for Good Health and Longevity
  • Black raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Flax Seeds
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli sprouts
Oh man, all this talk about tomatoes and broccoli has made me hungry. How about you? Check out this Italian-inspired creation from Disease-Proof Your Child, it certainly packs a tomato-broccoli punch:
Vegetable Lasagna

1 pound firm tofu
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cups diced carrots
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
1 cup unsalted tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 cup chopped scallions
1 package whole-wheat lasagna noodles, boiled per package instructions
1 cup shredded soy cheese.

Blend the tofu, lemon juice, tahini, shredded coconut, nutritional yeast, and parsley in a good processor and put aside. Blend all the vegetables with the tomato sauce and the oregano, Italian seasoning, and scallions to make a thick veggie paste. Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a large casserole pan. Make layers of cooked lasagna noodles by spreading tofu mixture on top of the noodles, then another layer of noodles, and then the veggie mix. Put the last layer of noodles on top, sprinkle the shredded soy cheese on the top, cover the top of the dish, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serves 4.
And for more on broccoli’s anti-cancer prowess, take a look at this Georgetown University Medical Center press release from last year:
Although the health benefits of eating your vegetables—especially cruciferous ones, such as broccoli—aren’t particularly new, this study is one of the first to provide a molecular explanation as to how eating vegetables could cut a person’s risk of developing cancer, an association that some population studies have found, says the study’s senior author, Eliot M. Rosen, MD, PhD, professor of oncology, cell biology, and radiation medicine at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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Sara - January 19, 2007 3:05 PM

Here's a dish we like. 1 bunch broccoli, 1 largish onion, 1/2 bulb garlic, 1 1/2 cups (or one can) chickpeas, 1 (14 1/2 oz.) no-salt diced tomatoes (or cut up whole ones), 1 medium green pepper, 1 cup mushrooms (optional), oregano and thyme to taste, Mrs. Dash (optional), and Italian seasoning (optional). Cut broccoli tops into florets and cut up useable parts of stalks. Cut up onions and peppers and mince garlic. Saute onions in a little water. Then add garlic, chickpeas and broccoli stalks. Then add peppers. When mostly done add broccoli tops, tomatoes and seasonings. Mushrooms go in near the end. Cook until vegetables are done.

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