Prostate cancer kills one man every hour in Britain.

March is prostate awareness month, so I’m doing a series of posts on how you can reduce your risk of prostate cancer.  My first tip is…

Eat your greens!  Sorry, but granny was right on this one – cruciferous veg like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, rocket, bok choi and watercress really are very good for you.  But definitely don’t nuke them in the microwave or boil them to oblivion because not only with they taste horrible, you’ll deactivate their anti-cancer powers.

They contain compounds known as glucosinolates.  When you chop them or shred them, an enzyme called myrosinase is released.  This reacts with the glucosinolates to form isothiocyantes and indoles, which have anti-cancer properties.  Studies have shown that men who ate the most cruciferous veg had the lowest risk of cancer.  Aim for a minimum of 3 portions a week, and ideally one a day.

But the enzyme myrosinase is destroyed by intense heating, and glucosinolates are water soluble which means they leach out into cooking water.  So ideally eat them raw in salads, or cook them lightly in a stir-fry or by steaming, but make sure they keep their crunch.

Try this – it’s quick and easy – just 3 steps – all you need to be able to do is chop and stir:

Warm bok choi salad with fresh chilli and ginger

1.  Chop some bok choi (aka pak choi) into quarters – one or two per person and put it in a steamer to cook for 5 minutes max.

2.   Stir together the dressing ingredients:

  • 25g grated root ginger
  • 1 finely chopped red chilli
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Grated zest of an orange or lime: use the finest grater and only grate the orange bit, not the white pith underneath or it will be bitter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • A few gratings of pepper and a pinch of salt

3.  Pour over the cooked bok choi and serve.  Goes nicely with griddled tuna or salmon.


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