Health Benefits from Eating Cruciferous Vegetables


Bowl of Cruciferous Veggies

Are you getting the daily recommended amount of vegetables you need? Better question: are you eating enough of the dynamic group of vegetables known as cruciferous? The US Department of Agriculture recommends covering half your plate with produce like fruits and vegetables for greater health. All fruits and vegetables are not created equal, and most sources suggest you stay away from starchy vegetables as much as possible but fill your plate with the others. Cruciferous vegetables are one type you should learn to love.

 

Fiber-Rich Cruciferous Group of Vegetables

The cruciferous group of vegetables are dark-green veggies. Health agencies are pushing Americans to try to eat several servings of these fiber-rich and nutritious vegetables each week. Cruciferous vegetables include:

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage
  • bok choy
  • arugula
  • kale
  • radishes
  • turnips
  • horseradish
  • wasabi
  • collard greens
  • watercress
  • brussels sprouts

Why is it so important that you get plenty of these veggies? Cruciferous veggies have no shortage of good stuff. They are an excellent source of fiber; vitamins C, E, and K; lutein; beta carotene; and folate. What's more, according to the National Cancer Institute, these vegetables have been linked to lower risk of cancer in four common diseases: breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. The phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables can actually alter human hormones, detoxify certain compounds, and block other compounds from binding to DNA and causing cancer. Even the genetic effects of cancer may be dodged by eating your share of these dark green vegetables.

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Atop the Good List 

While any cruciferous vegetable on your plate is a good option, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are absolute winners when it comes to being great sources for vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, and healthy plant omega-3's. Add a few cruciferous vegetables to your diet along with fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources like fish, meat, eggs, nuts, and bean for optimal health and wellness.

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