Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables of the family Brassicaceae with many genera, species, and cultivars being raised for food production. Such as cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and similar green leafy vegetables.
Notably, the cruciferous family of vegetables has generated a lot of interest in the health world due to their cancer-fighting compounds. But, this leads many gardeners to wonder what are cruciferous vegetables and can I grow them in my garden.
Good news! You probably already grow at least one (and likely several) types of cruciferous veggies. And surely, it has been said that one of the basic human needs is variety.
On the other hand, I think that holds true in eating, too. And, eating a variety of vegetables is really good for our bodies as well. So, here’s a plan: Let’s try to bring in some new cruciferous vegetables and try an easy squeezy way to make them.
We do not want to be in the kitchen for a long time on a beautiful day (unless, of course, you are like my foodie friends who love to do that. But, before that; let’s define them.
What are the Cruciferous Vegetables?
Generally, cruciferous vegetables are cool weather vegetables and have flowers that have four petals so that they resemble a cross. They belong to the Cruciferae family, which mostly contains the Brassica genus, but does include a few other genera.
By all means, cruciferous vegetables have been shown to prevent cancer cell growth. Of all of the various health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, the most common theme among them is their power to protect our bodies against many different types of cancers.
These cruciferous cronies are also noted for fighting cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes.
All this good stuff sounds like something God would do. Obviously, that means it is broccoli, broccoli, broccoli, broccoli, …blah, blah, blah, blah. Or let’s consider kale…or not…I think we are a bit kale-d out over here (and some don’t really kale for it). But, I still sneak it in smoothies.
Examples of Cruciferous Vegetables
There are many different kinds of cruciferous vegetables. Most of us know the more famous ones like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, radishes, and even kale.
Yet there are so many others in the cruciferous category. And, now our old friends that we know and love are more available in beautiful colors such as purple, lime green, and orange.
But, here is what happens to me and maybe this sounds familiar to you, too. I get in a rut. I like broccoli, and so does my family. Not forgetting, it is easy to find organic broccoli at a store and cook it quickly, too. What else do you consider as part of cruciferous vegetables?
A yummy, nutty leafy green, it can be put in salads and is referred to as the “salad rocket” as it adds a kick of flavor. For sure, it contains the main Vitamins of A, C, and K.
2. Bok Choi
I like this one in stir fry meals I prepare at home, has a really dark green leaf on a white celery-like stalk. I also use it raw in salads, too. In fact, Bok Choi is known to have high Vitamin C content with one serving providing about 75% of the Recommended Daily Intake.
3. Daikon Radish
These are nice in a salad or shredded in a slaw. They are sweeter to me than a traditional red radish. It is thought to help combat viral and bacterial respiratory infections.
I have chopped these up and put them in soups and stews. It can be shredded, too, and put into a salad or slaw. Remarkably, it is known for having over 100% of the RDI for Vitamin C.
5. Mustard Greens
These can be spicy green. Probably good in salads or stir-fried in with other vegetables. Also high in Vit K, mustard greens have about 420 micrograms per cup. That is pretty high and a whopping 525% of the RDI.
In reality, these can be cut up and roasted with olive oil and garlic, yum. It is a root vegetable and is good for adding minerals into your diets such as magnesium, manganese, and calcium.
Then again, like rutabagas, you can cut them up and roast them, or serve them mashed like a potato. Equally, turnips are similar to rutabaga, but when cut are white, while rutabaga is more yellow inside. And by the same token, turnip greens are also great as a source of Vitamin K and can be used as a green in salads.
This crucifer green can be used in salads and also stir-fried into things. For your information, it is said to also help with respiratory inflammatory diseases such as bronchitis.
What Is Clean Eating?
Be that as it may, when the word cruciferous is paired with the word vegetable, it does not sound fun. It sounds like the word crucifies …yikes.
I get this picture of a bunch of vegetables marching down a path, each carrying a cross. That would be an interesting VeggieTales movie! Well, the words crucify and cruciferous are a bit related. The prefix, cruc-, has its origin in Latin and means cross.
In recent times, clean eating has become more than the norm. For one thing, people are trying to keep up with their dietary plans outlook. Edging out causes and culprits affiliated to unhealthy, unbalanced, and junk food eating behaviors.
Above all, a clean and healthy eating lifestyle has some good points. It’s a balanced diet that focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein.
Whereas, diet plans range from 1200-1800 calories. And, which is the low end of calories to sustain energy, satisfy hunger, and help weight loss.
After all, clean and healthy eating can not only boost your health but also help you appreciate foods’ natural flavors. In addition, it supports sustainable agriculture and environmentally sound food practices.
You can read and learn more about the Benefits of Clean Eating.
In most cases, the leaves or flower buds of cruciferous vegetables are eaten, but there are a few where either the roots or seeds are also eaten. Cruciferous vegetables are unique because they are rich in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates.
Above all, which supports detoxification and indole-3-carbinol which greatly reduces the risk of breast, colon, and lung cancer. And generally speaking, clean eating doesn’t have anything to do with food being clean or dirty. Or even, it doesn’t conclude to the fact that your house is neither in order nor you are not equally clean.
It is important to realize, it simply involves choosing minimally processed, real foods that provide maximal nutritional benefits. In other words, selecting ethical and sustainable foods is also a part of clean eating. With the main idea being, consuming foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Finally, I hope that you enjoyed reading through this among many other Blog Topics and Articles.
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