Cruciferous vegetables are one of the healthiest vegetables you get eat. Here are some points to what makes them healthy. They contain:
- An abundance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Cruciferous vegetables are known to contain a rich source of vitamins C, E, and K, folate, and minerals.
- Carotenoids: carotenoids are primary known as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. They provide several nutritional benefits and are changed into vitamin A during the digestion processes. Vitamin A is known to help prevent cancer and heart disease. Carotenoids have also shown some clinical results in helping to prevent certain types of cancer. This molecule also has several antioxidant characteristics.
- Fiber: cruciferous vegetables are also a rich source of fiber. It also helps keep blood sugars and appetite in check. Some studies show that fiber can help prevent heart disease and diabetes.
- Glucosinolates: glucosinolates are compunds that are broken down by chewing. These compounds break down into active molecules such as indoles, nitriles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates. Many of these molecules have been studied for anticancer effects. Some have been found to stop cancer growth in different organs of small mammals. Studies in humans have been inconclusive so far.
These healthy vegetables tend to be dark green and leafy. Cruciferous vegetables include but are not limited to broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy. Share your favorite vegan dishes that have these veggies!
What are carotenoids? http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/vitamin-supplements/what-are-carotenoids.htm
Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/diet/cruciferous-vegetables