Why cruciferous vegetables should be on your plate all year round

Why cruciferous vegetables should be on your plate all year round

Did you know that cruciferous vegetables are literally superfoods for your hormones?

We all know we need to eat more vegetables. But not all veggies are made equally. Some groups like the cruciferous family are the super heroes of the veggie world!

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What are cruciferous vegetables?

These vegetables belong to the Brassica family and include;

  • broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • kale
  • bok choy
  • radish (and horseradish)
  • rocket
  • watercress
  • turnip
  • maca
  • Swiss chard
cruciferous vegetables
cruciferous vegetables

Nutrient profile

Fibre; did you know that one hundred calories' worth of cruciferous vegetables (about 5-6% of a daily diet) provides about 25-40% of your daily fibre requirement?

Nutrients; Vitamin A, C, K, folic acid and more

Phytonutrients; as impressive as they are in terms of their conventional nutrient content, these vegetables are even more renowned for their phytonutrients, including antioxidants, glucosinolates, sulphoraphane and Indole-3-Carbinol.

Health benefits

During recent years, cruciferous vegetables have dominated research in the area of phytonutrients due to their amazing health benefits.

  1. Cancer – many studies have found a link between cruciferous vegetables and protection against cancer, including breast, endometrium, cervical, lung, colon, liver, prostate
  2. Mental health – animal studies have shown promising links to improving depression
  3. Heart – research is showing that sulforaphane helps to reduce inflammation of the arterial walls and relieve hypertension
  4. Antioxidants – There are almost 300 studies referring to the benefits of these vegetables and antioxidants.
  5. Inflammation – several studies have associated a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables with lower inflammatory markers.
  6. Oestrogen balance – Indole-3-Carbinol has been shown to help regulate oestrogen activity and metabolism.

The humble Brussel sprout is mainly limited to Christmas dinner, but cauliflower has had a resurgence in recent years due to it's versatility. Here are some of my favourite ways to eat these amazing veggies!

Brussel sprouts with bacon
 Brussel sprouts with bacon

What's your favourite cruciferous veggie recipe?

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