Why & How to Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables

Are you eating your cruciferous vegetables? These super-veggies aren’t fancy, expensive superfoods. You can find them at any grocery store. Learn more about these nutritious veggies and the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables.

Are you eating your cruciferous vegetables? These super-veggies aren't fancy, expensive superfoods. You can find them at any grocery store. Learn more about these nutritious veggies and the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables.

What are cruciferous vegetables? 

Cruciferous vegetables belong to the Brassica genus, meaning that they’re related to cabbage. These are the most common cruciferous vegetables. I bet you have some of them in your crisper right now!

  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • collard greens
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • mustard greens
  • rutabaga
  • turnips
  • bok choy
  • Chinese cabbage
  • arugula
  • horseradish
  • radish
  • wasabi
  • watercress

That’s quite a list to choose from! But why bother adding these veggies to your diet? Let’s look at some of the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables.

What are the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables?

Like most fruits and vegetables, eating more cruciferous vegetables could reduce your risk for certain types of cancers. In the case of Brassica, there’s evidence that these veggies may protect you from:

  • prostate cancer
  • colon cancer (in women)
  • lung cancer (in women)
  • breast cancer

The association between eating cruciferous vegetables and cancer reduction still needs more research. Many of the studies used survey data, which can be challenging, since participants are going off of memory.

What is clear is that cruciferous vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients that we need. They’re especially good sources of:

Like most veggies, cruciferous vegetables are also low in calories, so you’re getting a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. That one-cup serving of broccoli, for example, only contains 54 calories and delivers all of the nutrients listed above.

To put that into perspective, a 54-calorie serving of ground beef provides 5g of protein, but you’re also getting heart-stopping saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, no fiber at all, no vitamins A or C, and only negligible amounts of vitamin K and manganese.

Epidemiological studies suggest that about five servings per week of cruciferous vegetables help you reap their many health benefits, though more research is needed on these servings recommendations. These veggies are super healthy, but you should still practice moderation. There was one case, for example, of a woman who was eating one to 1.5 kg of raw bok choy per day for months, and she developed hypothyroidism and slipped into a coma. A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds, so you’d have to really work to eat that much. Don’t do that.

Cruciferous Vegetable Recipes

Ready to eat more cruciferous vegetables? We’ve got you covered. Try these delicious, plant-based recipes!

Dairy-Free Turmeric and Cauliflower BisqueThis anti-inflammatory blender soup is so easy to make! The earthy tastes from the cauliflower and beans are balanced out with some bright, tangy lemon juice.

greensoup

Broccoli-Arugula Soup – Another delicious blender soup recipe—this one packs a double-cruciferous punch!

Ginger-Sesame Brussels Sprouts – Roasted Brussels sprouts are tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and coated in a spicy-sweet-toasty sauce.

Creamy Kale Pasta Sauce – If you’re not crazy about the taste of kale, hide it in this creamy pasta sauce!

One-Dish Vegan Dinner: Brussels Sprout, Bok Choy and Avocado Salad

Brussels Sprout, Bok Choy and Avocado Salad – Another one-two punch of cruciferous goodness, this salad is as delicious as it is simple to make!

Related at Care2

Image Credits: Top image via Thinkstock. All other images via recipe authors. Used with permission.

128 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y5 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y5 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J5 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J5 months ago

thanks for sharing

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William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thanks.

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W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

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Tanya W
Tanya W1 years ago

Good to know

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Tanya W
Tanya W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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