Cruciferous vegetables the most nutritionally, powerfully packed vegetables with the most anti-cancer effects. Cruciferous comes from the Latin word “crucifer” meaning cross bearer. The flowers of these vegetables have four petals in the shape of a cross.
These are the cruciferous:
- Broccolini rabe
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Mustard greens
- Red cabbage
- Turnip Greens
All vegetables contain nutrients and phytochemicals, but cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates. The glucosinolates convert to isothiocyanates when the vegetables cell walls are broken by either juicing, chopping or blending. These isothiocyanates help to remove carcinogens, prevent tumors and kill cancer cells.
The indoles and isothiocyanates in these cruciferous vegetables have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer in several organs in mice and rats, including the breast, bladder, colon, lungs, liver and stomach.
Cruciferous vegetables help to protect against cancer by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the overload of free radicals that are generated by the body. In a study by the National Cancer Institute, participants ate 1 to 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables a day. Their amount of oxidative stress was measured after 3 weeks. Then after a 3-week wash-out period, the study participants took a multivitamin with fiber. Again each participants oxidative stress was measured 3 weeks later. The results found that the oxidative stress in the participants’ bodies had dropped to 22% during the time they were eating the cruciferous vegetables. The change during the multivitamin and fiber segment was minute at only 0.2% says Jay H Fawke, PhD, assistant professor and cancer epidemiologist for the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. He also added that it is best to eat these veggies raw or very lightly steamed. This will retain the phytochemicals that make cruciferous vegetables special in terms of health.
Add cruciferous vegetables to your everyday diet. They are the super veggies!