The Super-Veggies: Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables have it all: vitamins, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Here’s how to get more of them.
Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale are attributed to the fact that these foods contain substantial quantities of the phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, specifically two isothiocyanates called sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Research indicates that sulforaphane has the ability to increase the capacity of the liver to detoxify harmful, cancer-causing compounds.
In addition to helping your body protect itself from cancer, cruciferous vegetables are also believed to help prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, two debilitating diseases that can lead to vision impairment and blindness. These vegetables also contain a vast array of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for optimal health.
Include the following in your diet in raw and slightly cooked forms and eat a variety of them
If you need help getting started, try the following suggestions:
1. All of the crucifers are wonderful when lightly steamed. For a little extra pizzaz, sprinkle steamed broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, or kale with lemon and sesame oil
2. Steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and kale make a delicious addition to marinara (tomato) sauce.
3. Purée cooked broccoli and cauliflower, then combine with seasonings of your choice to make a simple, yet delicious, soup.
4. These vegetables can also be enjoyed raw. When you prepare a vegetable tray, be sure to include broccoli, cauliflower, and chopped sections of red cabbage.
5. Sauté cauliflower with garlic, minced ginger and tamari. For cauliflower with a vivid yellow color, boil it briefly with a spoonful of turmeric or generous pinch of saffron.
6. Cabbage leaves are a great way to re-inspire leftovers. Spoon some leftovers onto the center of a cabbage leaf and roll into a neat little package. Bake in medium heat oven until hot. Enjoy your easy and healthy version of stuffed cabbage, a traditional eastern European dish.
7. Add watercress, radishes, arugala and shredded cabbage to your favorite green salad
Note: Cruciferous veggies have been know to cause gas in some folks, so start slow if you have eaten them in a while and chew well…
Have a healthy day