8 Ways Eating Cruciferous Vegetables Can Change Your Life

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

One of the first directives we receive from our parents when we are children is to “eat your vegetables.” We quickly find out that some vegetables are easier to consume than others. Sweet, starchy vegetables seem to appeal to the palate more than the bland or bitter types.  And all vegetables have their nutritive benefits as they each contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. This brings us to the good news and the bad news about cruciferous vegetables, also referred to as Brassica vegetables. The good news is they contain the most health benefits of all the vegetable groups. The bad news is that they are the least favorite in the taste department.

Some of the vegetables that make up the cruciferous group include:

  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Kohlrabi

The reason this food group has been the focus of much attention in recent years is because of a phytochemical called sulforaphane. Studies as recently as 1992 that were carried out at John Hopkins University discovered the many benefits of sulforaphane with the results garnering a mention in The New York Times.

Here are some ways eating cruciferous vegetables can keep you healthy.


1. Helps prevent many types of cancer

Sulforaphane has been recognized for its properties as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It was found through a preclinical study that this compound, when combined with curcumin and aspirin, was just as effective as chemotherapy in treating pancreatic cancer. In addition, sulforaphane was found to successfully treat and help prevent the following kinds of cancer: lung, prostate, breast, bladder, stomach, skin, and colon. Cauliflower was found to help treat and even prevent prostate cancer. The extract of broccoli sprouts was found to eliminate the chances of neck and head cancer survivors from having a recurrence. Women who survived breast cancer went on to lower their risk of dying during the three-year period after their diagnosis by 27% to 62% as opposed to women who did not eat cruciferous vegetables.

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