Cruciferous vegetables are relatively common yet unique veggies that are low in calories and high in nutritional content, offering many health benefits. They help fight against cancerous elements, boost immune system functions, prevent and address inflammations, and strengthen body cells.
Check out the top 10 cruciferous vegetables well-known for their health benefits you can include in your daily diet.
Turnip is an economically significant herbaceous crop vividly cultivated worldwide for its tender growing tops, fleshy roots, forage, and oilseeds. The bulbs are a mixture of purple and white, with a strong aroma and high nutritional and medicinal value. Turnip greens are rich in vitamins C and K, folate, and provitamin, which promote good health. It also helps reduce liver damage, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney stones, brittle bones, and high blood sugar.
Glucosinolates, flavonoids, phenols, isothiocyanates, indoles, volatiles, and sulfur compounds found in turnips have strong antioxidant activity, help maintain liver structure and function, and prevent cancer. Several other constituents in turnips, like quercetin, indole, alkaloids, etc., contribute to their anti-diabetic activity.
As a highly nutritious vegetable, cabbage is a perfect addition to your healthy diet. This low-calorie vegetable contains small amounts of essential micronutrients, including vitamin A, riboflavin, and iron. It is also rich in vitamin B6 and folate, supporting energy metabolism and the nervous system’s regular functioning.
Cabbage’s high fiber and powerful antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals and reduce chronic inflammation. The vegetable also contains vitamin C, which can protect against heart disease, certain cancers, and vision loss. The insoluble fiber in cabbage keeps the digestive system healthy, while anthocyanins help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
Cauliflower is a healthy cruciferous vegetable containing significant micronutrients that you can easily add to your diet. Being an excellent source of dietary fiber, it promotes digestive health and helps reduce inflammation. It also lowers the risk of several illnesses, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It plays a vital role in obesity prevention by promoting a feeling of fullness and reducing overall calorie intake.
The antioxidants in cauliflower have anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, and capability to boost immune health. As a good source of an essential nutrient called choline, it supports brain development and the production of neurotransmitters and promotes a healthy nervous system.
Mustard greens come in several varieties, with the green ones having a solid, peppery, and bitter flavor. These leafy greens offer numerous health benefits, including treatment for coughs and sore throats, support for kidney function, and purifying and strengthening the blood due to their detoxifying nature. They are low in calories and high in fiber and many other essential vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, iron, potassium, and riboflavin.
Frequent consumption of these vegetables is beneficial in stimulating the immune system, preventing oxidative stress, and aiding cancer prevention. They can also boost digestion, bone density, and heart health and are an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and promotes heart and bone health.
Swiss Chard is a nutrient-rich, green leafy vegetable offering impressive health benefits. Its extremely low calories and rich essential vitamins, minerals, and some powerful plant compounds make it a great option for maintaining a moderate weight. As an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, it plays a significant role in the normal formation and functioning of many organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys and blood clotting and bone structuring.
Swiss chard also contains antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin to support eye health and reduce the risk of age-related cataracts or macular degeneration. Its dietary fiber helps maintain cholesterol levels, slowing digestion to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Watercress is a nutrient-dense vegetable high in fiber, vitamins A, C, and B6, and micronutrients like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and copper. Consuming watercress almost has the same hydrating effects as drinking water. The fat-soluble vitamin K content promotes blood clotting and supports bone formation.
Vitamin C in watercress helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to cancer. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants found in watercress, have been shown to reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases and cataracts. Watercress also contains dietary nitrates, which can help improve blood vessel health and lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide in the blood.
Kale is a nutritious leafy green vegetable with low calories but essential micronutrients, antioxidants, and minerals. It supports heart and eye health, weight management, and cancer prevention. Kale contains substances like bile acids that can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Its high water content and low energy density levels aid in weight loss, and its higher dietary fiber helps maintain blood sugar levels in its normal range. Additionally, after consuming Kale, the body converts the beta-carotene contained in Kale into vitamin A, which is necessary for the growth and maintenance of all body tissues.
Brussels sprouts are a type of cruciferous vegetable that resembles mini cabbages. They have a high nutrient profile and are low in calories. They are exceptionally high in fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin C, which promote blood clotting and iron absorption, tissue repair, and immune function. Their impressive antioxidant properties promote overall health and help prevent damage to cells.
A natural, sulfur-based substance called glucobrassicin helps prevent DNA damage that raises the chances of cancer. Brussels sprouts are also essential for forming blood clots, supporting bone growth, and protecting against osteoporosis. They are significant during pregnancy as they are rich in folate and help the formation and development of the brain and spine.
Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable like Kale and Brussels Sprouts, is packed with nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, providing numerous health benefits. The antioxidants in broccoli promote metabolic activities and prevent cell damage from free radicals.
Additionally, the sulforaphane in broccoli boasts potent antitumor properties that help prevent cancer. Moreover, broccoli contains calcium and collagen that work together to maintain healthy bones. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C in broccoli also contribute to a healthy immune system and can help prevent or treat various skin conditions, such as shingles and skin cancer.
Arugula is a cruciferous salad green that offers a distinctive peppery or spicy flavor when added to your diet. Rich antioxidants in arugula help protect your cells from any damage caused by free radicals. Since they contain natural substances like glucosinolates, their bitter taste and strong scent help protect against certain cancers associated with the breast, prostate, lung, and colon.
Arugula may also fight inflammation. As a good source of vitamin K, consuming arugula is particularly good for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. These delicious green leafy vegetables are high in several vital nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, folate, calcium, and potassium.