Cruciferous, for your health!
Do you know the vegetables from the cruciferous family? Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, watercress, turnips, red cabbage, kale, collard… Although these vegetables have long been sneered at by children everywhere (perhaps even yourself), it is impossible to overlook the impressive nutritional qualities of these vegetables and the health benefits they provide. When properly prepared, they can be a real treat. Moreover, they are a real fountain of youth.
First, cruciferous are very rich in phytochemicals which, like rustproof, protect our cells from the oxidizing activity of carcinogens. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts, in particular, are the two varieties of crucifers which abound in the most. Broccoli sprouts, which can be found in natural food stores, contain about one hundred times more phytochemicals than mature broccoli! However, you must be sure to chew the sprouts completely in order to fully benefit from the natural abundance of phytonutrients this vegetable has to offer.
Therefore, the cruciferous are very rich in soluble fiber, which slows down digestion and promote satiety, while slowing the elevation of blood glucose. Vegetables from the cruciferous family are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium, folic acid and iron. No wonder why they are so famous!
Note that the anti-cancer compounds contained in these vegetables are water-soluble and sensitive to heat. When you cook them avoid cooking them with lots of water and for a long period of time. Opt for raw or a quick cooking technique, such as steamed or wok, for example.
Adding cruciferous vegetables to your diet is not complicated. Add more broccoli, cauliflower or kale to your vegetable stir fries or for an Asian twist, add some Bok choy. Add colour to your salads with some shredded red cabbage and add a little crunch to your sandwich by adding some broccoli sprouts. Also be sure to always integrate broccoli and cauliflower to your dips.
By Marilyne Petitclerc