Do not underestimate the power of having cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet. Cruciferous vegetables contain powerful antioxidants, which may decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. They contain glucosinolates, crambene, indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates, which have been shown to decrease cancer risks.
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Commonly Known Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli and cauliflower are commonly known vegetables that are considered cruciferous vegetables. It is important to note that high heat can decrease the beneficial effects of these vegetables. Instead of boiling, lightly steam, saute or stir-fry these vegetables. If the taste of these vegetables are not pleasing for you, try them with a little bit of garlic, onion or herbs. The flavor can also be complemented by salt and pepper. Broccoli and cauliflower can also make a tasty addition to an omelet, casserole or pasta.
Leafy Cruciferous Vegetables
Kale, cabbage and collard greens are usually easy on the budget and easy to cook. They can be added to stews or soups or lightly sauteed. Try them in pastas or casseroles. You can make them more appealing with herbs, salt and pepper. Steam them for an easy side dish or boost the nutrition of your main dish by adding them chopped during the cooking process.
Special Occasion Cruciferous Vegetables
Bok choy, Chinese cabbage, watercress and arugula may not be used as commonly, but they are also considered cruciferous vegetables. Watercress and arugula can be used in salads. Bok choy and Chinese cabbage can be lightly sauteed in olive oil with a little garlic or can be put in a tasty stir-fry. They can also be used in soups and salads.
Cruciferous Root Vegetables
Some root vegetables are also cruciferous. They include radishes, turnips and parsnips. These vegetables are stronger in taste and can be mixed in a stir-fry with other vegetables or lightly steamed. They make a great side dish or a late addition to soups.