5 benefits of adding cruciferous vegetables to your diet
The cruciferous or cabbage family is the family of vegetables consisting of broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale and (of course) cabbage.
The health benefits of these vegetables have long been touted, but it is only within recent decades that the full health benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables have really been understood.
Here are five reasons why you should start adding more cruciferous greens to your diet today:
- Cruciferous vegetables help lower cancer risk
A large percentage of studies conducted into the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables have shown that they are an effective dietary supplement for cancer prevention. Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals. These are natural chemicals that stimulate enzymes that neutralize carcinogens before they have the opportunity to cause cell damage in the body. A suggestion: blanch a few florets of broccoli each morning in some hot water and eat with your morning meal.
- Cruciferous vegetables are high in fibre
Gastrointestinal problems arise when your diet is low in fibre. Low fibre is a risk factor for developing cancers of the stomach and lower digestive system. Cruciferous vegetables are high in fibre, so eating a regular portion will help maintain your digestive health.
- Cruciferous vegetables are thought to reduce oxidative stress
Oxidative stress, a systemic imbalance between different oxygen compounds in the body, is associated with conditions such as cancer as well as degenerative brain disease. Cruciferous vegetables are thought to reduce oxidative stress, thus providing additional protection against unwanted medical conditions.
- Cruciferous vegetables help to prevent cardiovascular disease
Studies have also shown that cruciferous vegetables may help to reduce inflammation in the body which can contribute otherwise to the onset of cardiovascular disease. Having a regular helping of cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli is thus thought to be good for your heart.
- Cruciferous vegetables are high in vitamins
While kale is high in vitamin A. Broccoli is high in vitamin C and Brussels sprouts are particularly high in vitamin E. Just one cup of steamed broccoli provides 33% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. This important vitamin aids good vision and a strong immune system.
What’s your favourite healthy cruciferous vegetable?