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April 18, 2021

Cruciferous Vegetables! ..Crucifer--whaaat?!

Have you ever heard of cruciferous vegetables? You have, but maybe not by that name! Cruciferous vegetables belong to the Cruciferae family, which mostly contains the Brassica genus, but does include a few other genuses. In general, cruciferous vegetables are cool weather vegetables and have flowers that have four petals so that they resemble a cross. 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.

Here is a list of cruciferous vegetables:

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Broccoli romanesco
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Daikon
  • Garden cress
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Komatsuna
  • Land cress
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard – seeds and leaves
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnips – root and greens
  • Wasabi
  • Watercress

You’ve probably heard of most of those and you may even eat them on a regular basis! Why are cruciferous vegetables important?

While these veggies grow in all different colors, shapes and sizes, they share several nutritional benefits. Most cruciferous vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamin K. Dark green cruciferous veggies also are a source of vitamins A and C and contain phytonutrients — plant-based compounds that may help to lower inflammation and reduce the risk of developing diseases. Cruciferous vegetables also are rich in fiber and low in calories, a combination that will help you feel full and satisfied without overeating.

How much should you eat?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, adult women should eat 2.5 cups of vegetables per day, while adult men should have 3 cups. One cup of cooked or raw broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower counts as 1 cup of vegetables. Two cups of leafy vegetables, like kale or arugula, count as 1 cup from the vegetable group.

The takeaway

Cruciferous vegetables are not only low-calorie and nutrient-dense, they’re possibly beneficial in fighting diseases. If you’re trying to lose weight or simply add healthier options to your diet, try many diverse recipes incorporating cruciferous vegetables to hit your recommended daily serving.

A couple of weeks ago, in our Hybrid Nutrition class - we did a cruciferous week! We tried to incorporate more into our daily diet and learned more about the importance of including them! Check out our nutrition classes if you would like to learn more about this and many other nutrition things!

Do you think you eat enough Cruciferous vegetables?

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