What are Cruciferous Vegetables?
Cruciferous vegetables include all the vegetables of the Brassicaceae family, such as cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, rutabaga cabbage, brussels sprouts, collard greens, watercress, kale, and similar leafy greens. The primary characteristics of cruciferous vegetables include impressive nutrient and vitamin concentrations, as well as high levels of glucosinolates and antioxidants.
Cruciferous Vegetables Benefits
The many benefits of cruciferous vegetables include their ability to fight against the spread of cancer, optimize thyroid function, and aid in weight loss, among others.
Cruciferous vegetables have been linked to a lower risk of cancer, thanks to the isothiocyanates present in many of these foods, which can inhibit cancer growth in the case of lung and colorectal cancer.
A 2016 study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham also advocates the ability of cruciferous vegetables to help in preventing cancer.
Furthermore, the National Cancer Institute says that these vegetables can help protect your cells from DNA damage, induce apoptosis, and inhibit tumor progression.
Thyroid Gland Health
If you suffer from hyperthyroidism, these vegetables do contain goitrogens, which will inhibit the intake of iodine by the body, which are necessary for the production (excess or otherwise) of thyroid hormone.
According to a 2016 meta-analysis report published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation, consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially berries, green and yellow leafy vegetables as well as cruciferous vegetables, can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
These vegetables tend to be low in calories, but high in nutrients, which means you satisfy your body’s needs, without compromising your caloric goals, thus helping with weight loss.
Research has found that the active ingredients in this family of vegetables can reduce the inflammatory response in the body, thus helping those who suffer from conditions like arthritis, gout, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and headaches, among others.
One of the main ingredients in these vegetables is indole-3-carbinol, which can produce less potent forms of estrogen in the body, thus helping to normalize hormonal levels.