Incredible cruciferous

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know by now that veggies are a main part of my daily diet. Packed full of super healthy vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, it’s really important to ensure a selection of vibrant veg are on the plate every day to keep healthy and strong.

Whilst all veggies are good, there is one particular group which are superbly good – cruciferous vegetables. This lovely bunch has been attracting a lot of research recently as they have been found to be particularly good in protecting against and even treating many chronic Western health problems.

So what’s in this diverse vegetable family? There’s a lot to choose from – if you’re not too keen on one, you can find another equally good one to add to your essentials list:

Cabbage – including Chinese cabbage such as bok choi and spring and summer greens

Kale – all types    

Brussel sprouts

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Swede and turnips

Watercress

Radish, include horseradish, wasabi and daikon

Rocket

Kohlrabi

Mustard greens and seeds.

What is it about this group that makes them so healthful? For a start, they have fabulous amounts of vitamin C, E and K, and folic acid, as well as contribute a high amount of fibre, which is essential for happy, healthy guts. Dietary fibre contributes to reducing a number of health problems, including high cholesterol and (the obvious) constipation. But on top of that, cruciferous vegetables contain amazing sulphur containing phytonutrient compounds that help the body to resist chronic health problems and stay healthy. The Linus Pauling Institute in America states that active biological compounds found in them can help reduce inflammation, protect cell DNA and can protect against some cancers, which makes eating a portion of cabbage worthwhile!

The great thing about this group of vegetables is that it’s pretty easy to include in the diet every day; all parts of the plants can be eaten (cauliflower is the flower part, turnip the root and leaves) and as many are traditionally found all round the world in different forms, there’s a whole host of different recipes and flavours to try out. So it’s not about having to force yourself to eat a school dinner’s special of soggy, overcooked cabbage every day, but rather start an exiting journey of discovery that’s great for the taste-buds as well as the body.

Here are a few ideas to try out:

One post is too short to share the glories of this wonderful group of veggies – next time I’ll give you some top tips on getting the most benefit out of these veg plus a new recipe to add to the list. In the meantime, why not try one or all of the above – and let me know how you get on!

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