A food technologist, Mr. Ochuko Erinkainwe, says most cancer cases can
be prevented by eating enough
vegetables, noting that it remains the
only natural food that helps to fight the disease.
Erinkainwe spoke with the News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in
Lagos against the backdrop of the World Food Day celebrated on Oct 16.
He said that Nigeria’s vegetable spread had what it takes in the
fight against cancer.
Erinkainwe, the Public Relations
Officer of Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), said that emphasis on World Food Day should on
eating right for healthy living as “food is healing’’.
“Researches have proved beyond
doubt that people who eat more
natural plant foods like vegetables, fruits,
legumes are less likely to be
diagnosed with cancer in their
“Our daily meals count a lot when it comes to cancer risk
factors, what we eat determines how
much immunity we have in our body and also building resistant fluids inside
“If we want to build or design an anti-cancer diet, then we should look at adding much vegetables
to our meals, we should eat plenty of
vegetables every day.
“By this, we will be flooding our systems with protective
substances, this will help a lot, most especially the cruciferous vegetables,’’ he
Erinkainwe said: “Cruciferous vegetables may have the most powerful
This family of vegetables includes
green vegetables, cabbage, onions,
broccoli and some others like cauliflower.
“The mere meaning of cruciferous suggests its
importance. It was taken from the Latin word `crucifer’
meaning `cross-bearer’ for their
flowers, having four equally spaced petals in the shape of a
“All vegetables contain protective
but cruciferous vegetables have a
unique chemical composition.
“They have sulfur-containing compounds which are responsible for their pungent or bitter flavours.
“Vegetables when broken down in the system provide sulfur- containing
compounds — Isothiocyanates
(ITCs) – a compound with proven anti-cancer activities.
“This compound can work in different molecules. They can
additive effects, working synergistically to remove carcinogens and kill cancer cells. It also produces
antioxidants or even
“Many are not aware of the anti-oxidant powers deposited in
vegetables and the most interesting thing is that many whose lives would
have been saved neglected this part.’’
He said that vegetables provided
all kind of healing to the system not just the cancer cure only, they also detoxified the body and help
to keep it in shape and increases immunity.
“Vegetables also help in inhibiting cancer cell growth or
induce cancer cell death; cruciferous
vegetable juice contains ingredient
that has proved to induce fluid that can fight breast cancer too.
“Some vegetables too, apart from the fact that they detoxify the blood, they also establish blood
supply and increases the excretion of
certain dietary toxins not needed by our systems.
“Regular intake of vegetables, most especially in-between
cruciferous vegetables has a potent antioxidant against breast, lung,
prostate, and colorectal cancers.
“This has been reported, but
cruciferous vegetables are far
“These observations in cell culture and animal studies have
been confirmed by epidemiological
studies drawing connections between
cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer incidence,’’ Erinkainwe
On the potency of cruciferous
vegetables, he said that studies had
shown that they were twice as
powerful as other plant foods.
“In population studies, a 20 percent increase in plant food intake generally corresponds to a 20
percent decrease in cancer rates, but a 20 percent increase in cruciferous vegetable intake corresponds to a 40 percent decrease in cancer.