What are cruciferous vegetables and why are they so good for us?
Cruciferous vegetables belong to the Brassicaceae family of plants. These vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients, typically vitamin A, C and K as well as dietary fiber.
They are unique because they possess sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties. (1)
Why else should we eat cruciferous vegetables?
The body is a complex system that needs essential vitamins and minerals to perform optimally. Many people spend their lives with a lack of energy, bad digestion, irregular moods, foggy brain, and many other symptoms that lead to inflammation and disease. And many people accept this to be ‘normal’!
The easiest way to help improve these symptoms, as we know, is to eat more vegetables and fruits. Natural foods.
Here are 6 cruciferous vegetables to include in your diet to help build and sustain a healthy body.
- Kale, a nutritional powerhouse with high amounts of Vitamin A and C. It also provides fiber, calcium, iron, B6, and magnesium. Delicious stir fried or baked to make crispy kale chips.
- Broccoli provides your body with vitamin C and vitamin B6. My favorite with kale. Steamed, stir fried, or baked.
- Cauliflower has potassium and Vitamin C. Try mashed or make rice by chopping in a food processor.
- Brussel sprouts are full of vitamin C and a source of fiber and potassium. I would not eat these as a kid but love them now, baked or stir fried with tamari sauce.
- Cabbage – red and green, one of the top vitamin C foods on the planet. It also provides vitamin A, vitamin K and iron. Finely chopped raw for a salad or stir fried with onion and garlic for even more health benefits.
- Bok choy is one of the top anti-inflammatory foods. Providing a very high amount of vitamin A and C. Minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and folate. Stir fry with ginger, delicious.
How do these vitamins and minerals support our bodies?
- Vitamin A can help maintain healthy teeth, skeletal tissue and mucous membranes
- Vitamin K regulates bone mineralization by increasing bone density and helps the blood to coagulate.
- Vitamin C provides antioxidants and collagen protein. The body needs vitamin C to help repair wounds and injuries as well as keeping bones, cartilage and teeth strong and healthy.
- Iron delivers oxygen to the cells, which helps the muscles perform well. Lack of iron in the diet could lead to anemia, leading to fatigue.
Knowing why we need these essential vitamins and minerals and where to get them can help inspire us to make the efforts needed to live a healthy, vital life with an able body and mind.
Knowledge is power, power for the body and mind.