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Cruciferous veggies: why are they beneficial?

Cruciferous vegetables are part of the cabbage family (also called Brassicas). They are known to play an important role in cancer prevention. Several research studies have shown a connection between regularly eating these vegetables and a lower risk of cancer.

These vegetables contain phytochemicals called isothiocyanates. These powerful phytochemicals are associated with a reduced risk of cancer by enhancing the body’s ability to detoxify. This may help prevent various cancers and Crohn's Disease, which is caused by gut inflammation.

Brassicas contain compounds that can be utilized by gut bacteria. For example, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by certain bacteria, and dietary fibre can be fermented by a range of species.

These veggies grow in all different colours, shapes and sizes. Most cruciferous vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamin K. Dark green cruciferous vegetables contain phytonutrients and are a source of vitamins A and C. Brassicas will help you feel full and satisfied without overeating because they provide fibre and are low in energy.

Eating a serving of these vegetables every day can help lower the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. It’s best to eat cruciferous vegetables either raw, steamed or lightly sautéed to retain their nutrients.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Arugula, Bok choy (pak choi), Broccoflower, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe (rapini), Brussel sprouts, Cabbage (all varieties), Cauliflower, Collard greens, Daikon, Horseradish, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard greens, Radish, Romanesco, Rutabaga, Tatsoi, Turnips, Wasabi and Watercress.

Tips on ways to include them more in your habits

Arugula: pizza topping, pesto, salad

Brussel Sprouts: coleslaw, roasted, steamed

Cauliflower: a substitute for rice, pizza dough, steaks of cauliflower

Cabbage : soup, coleslaw, braised

Kale : pesto, salad, kale chips

Article featured on the Nutrioso blog

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