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Brassicas! | Sustainable Diets

The Sustainable Diets Blog

Eating, Wellness, Gardening, Recipes and Loving our Planet. By Teri Underwood.


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Brussels sprouts are one of the popular members of the Cruciferous vegetable family, commonly called “cabbage family vegetables or Brassicas”. Brassicas are nutrient dense—rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain unique plant chemicals important to good health, for example, Isothiocyanate. Studies show that this substance can change the way estrogen is metabolized or broken down in the body. This in turn may help decrease the risk of hormone or estrogen related cancers such as breast and uterine. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women who ate Brassicas daily had a significant reduction in inflammatory markers. Brassicas contain a nutrient needed to detoxify drugs, food additives, environmental toxins, and toxic by-products of gut bacteria.

The following vegetables are included in the cruciferous/cabbage family vegetables:

Beet Greens
Bok choy
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage (Chinese, Red, Green)
Collard greens
Mustard, Mustard seeds
Rapini (Broccoli rabe)

Eating cabbage family vegetables either raw, lightly sautéed, or steamed is best to retain the full array of nutrients.

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