The fact is that none of us live in a perfect world, and therefore it is imperative that we find easy, accessible, do-able things to help us improve our health. While weekly fasting and hour-long meditation sessions are all well and good, they are certainly not always the most convenient health practices to fit into your schedule. The good news is that there are simple things you can do every day for your health – and eating cruciferous vegetables is one of them.
Cruciferous vegetables, also known as Brassica vegetables, are some of the most nutrient-dense veggies. These veggies can offset a multitude of bad habits…late-night junk-food runs, weekend cocktail hours, or a former smoking habit. While rich in conventional nutrients (vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, fiber), it is actually one exclusive group of nutrients, glucosinolates, that make crucifers worthy of their healthy superstar status. These veggies are so good for you, there is not one doctor in Eastern or Western practice that would not promote their consumption. So for convenience sake, let’s take a look at their top health promoting benefits…
Eternal Youth: Despite what anyone says, we all want a taste from the fountain of youth, and cruciferous vegetables are the way to do it. Containing extremely high levels of antioxidants, they are the perfect way to keep you young both inside and out.
Healthy “Movements”: In order to have a healthy body, and a beautiful physique, we need a healthy digestive system. One of the most basic ways to do that is with the big F. F is for fiber. The good news is that cruciferous vegetables contain 25-40% of your daily fiber requirement in only 100 calories! That is enough to erase any naughty food decisions.
Hello Detox: Unfortunately detoxifying doesn’t always come easily, so we must do what we can to help it along. While we are huge fans of juice cleansing, eating your cruciferous vegetables daily promotes detoxification even when you are not on an official cleanse. Nothing like cleaning up the cobwebs!
Inflammation Buster: Chronic inflammation is no longer just attributed to those with arthritis, but is now believed to be an underlying root cause of a multitude of symptoms and conditions. Therefore inflammation management is one of the key ways to improve health and get rid of stubborn ailments.Working through multiple mechanisms, cruciferous vegetables help to block the inflammatory response, rapidly reducing chronic and acute inflammation body-wide, leaving you cool and collected, ready to tackle anything life presents you.
Hormone Balance: Ahhh… the elusive topic of balancing hormones. With a hefty dose of hormones everywhere we look (plastic, meat, dairy, soy), we have to be on our A-game if we want to prevent imbalance. Fortunately, cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called DIM (diindolylmethane), which has shown in countless studies to effect estrogen metabolism. As a result, it helps the body to get rid of the bad xeno-estrogens that we are exposed to from toxic sources, thus keeping our hormones in perfect balance for a perfect fine-tuned system.
Cancer-Fighters: With over 600 research studies and counting, the verdict is clear: Cruciferous vegetables are some of the most powerful cancer-fighting agents. With claims to combating colon, bladder, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers, there is not much these vegetables cannot do. Their activity is not only attributed to their high antioxidant and fiber content, but more importantly to their glucosinolates (phytonutrient) content, which is simply unavailable to the same extent in any other known food group. Eat up!
- the Cruciferous veggie Family:
Arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, daikon radish, horseradish, kale, land cress, mustard greens, radish, rutabaga, shepherd’s purse, turnip, watercress