Why You Should Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables – Healthy Eating Tips
Article source: Natural Cures not Medicine
Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Here’s why we should be eating more of them.
Cruciferous, or brassica, vegetables come from the cruciferae or brassicaceae family of vegetables. The most well known are:
* brussel sprouts
* bok choy
* chinese cabbage
but also horse radish, wasabi, watercress, arugula and radish are also cruciferous vegetables.
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, in October 1996, published a review of all previous research which had been carried out on this family of vegetables. They concluded that over 70% of the previous studies proved a link between eating cruciferous vegetables and their resulting protection against cancer.
The research has shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the lung, breast, liver, colon, uterine lining (endometrium) and cervix, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. And studies that track the diets of people over time have found that diets high in cruciferous vegetables are linked to lower rates of prostate cancer.
Research in China which involved thousands of women found that there was an increase in the survival rate of those who had suffered from breast cancer in those women who ate plentiful amounts of cruciferous vegetables. Infact they concluded that three years following a breast cancer diagnosis, the women who did eat more of these tasty and versatile vegetables reduced their risk of dying for any reason by 67% compared to those who did not include them in their diets.
They also contain antioxidants, which protect cells within our bodies from damage caused by exposure to free radicals – a significant factor related to ageing, diabetes, heart disease,as well as cancer. Additionally, they are a rich source of fiber, vital for a healthy digestive system. These fibres slow down sugar absorption which is another factor in protection against diabetes.
Some people do suffer sensitivity however in the form of excessive gas or abdominal pain but the benefits can be wide ranging.
Jay H. Fowke, PhD, an assistant professor and cancer epidemiologist for the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. says of eating these particular vegetables that “consistently, across the line, it’s associated with improved health and a reduced risk of various chronic diseases….it’s best, to eat these veggies raw or only lightly steamed to retain the phytochemicals that make cruciferous vegetables special in terms of health.”
Buy local and organic wherever possible and follow these suggestions for how best to include in your diet:
Broccoli should be eaten when it is still a rich green color and contains an astonishing 200% of the RDI of vitamin C helping with the absorption of iron and calcium. It is a known diuretic , can ease fever and has been shown to help protect against cancer of the colon.
In addition it is a source of potassium and folic acid and has double the amount of vitamin B and C when compared with most citrus fruits.
Don’t just eat the florets as the stems are super rich in minerals. Lightly steam or include the florets raw in salads. They are a great addition to smoothies too.
Cauliflower is a rich in calcium, iron, vitamin B and C, potassium and carotenoids too.
Eaten raw it can help with bleeding gums. But the florets, stems and leaves can be eaten either raw, lightly steamed or boil for a few minutes in slightly salted water. Try crumbling over a salad for a nice crunch.
Cabbage helps with constipation, fever, ulcers, and liver problems. It has been shown to reduce chance of tumors and can ease arthritis if used as a compress. It is high in calcium, potassium, iron, carotenoids (vitamin A), folic acid and B vitamins, mainly B3.
Rinse cabbage leaves first to ensure no insects are hiding away and lightly boil or steam. A drop or two of lemon juice or vinegar to the water first will minimize any loss of vitamins. (Hint : some people dislike the smell of boiling cabbage- add a slice of fresh bread to the pan to absorb any odors) Cabbage leaves can be added directly to a juicer too.
Brussels sprouts fight bacteria and are especially good at preventing diabetes. They help constipation and lower fevers. They are super charged with vitamin C, iron, carotenoids and potassium.
Generally smaller sprouts are the sweetest. Steam or place on a lightly salted baking sheet in the oven.
Much remains to be learned regarding cruciferous vegetable consumption and the link with cancer prevention, but the results of some epidemiological studies suggest that adults should aim for at least five weekly servings of cruciferous vegetables.
Article source: Natural Cures not Medicine
Image source: Amerikanki
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