Cruciferous Vegetables

Welcome to Supercharged Food News created especially to share amazing superfood facts with you. We hope to make this an exciting and informative area which will be updated weekly with the latest information on natural health, nutrition and diet tips.

For the next ten weeks I will be teaming up with the amazing Carole from EnergySuperfoods.com who is going to give us some insights on how to improve health by diet. Carole has a wealth of knowledge in the areas of:

  • Natural raw, wholefood and organic nutrition
  • Bioavailable natural nutrition and it's benefits 
  • Allergen free nutrient-rich alternatives for those who suffer from reactions to common allergens in everyday foods 

Over the next ten weeks we plan to feature 10 of the most popular superfood groups, one each week. Those selected will be highly nutritious, low in allergens and offer incredible health and nutrition benefits that can easily be achieved by most people.

With Carole's specialty based around superfoods and the benefits offered by them; alkalising, nutrition, weightloss, bioavailable vitamins/minerals, enhanced energy for example, she will be introducing the nutritional facts and benefits of these foods. I am going to share brand new yummy and easy to prepare recipes each week and information about how to incorporate these foods into your diet.

Our first week focuses on a highly nutritious superfood group, Cruciferous Vegetables, the majority of which are green and leafy.

What makes cruciferous greens so incredibly healthy is their potent cancer-fighting compounds, which help detoxify carcinogens in the body and have support within scientific research that they may prevent healthy cells from morphing into cancerous ones. They often offer rich levels of alkalising detoxing nutrition through the high vitamin and mineral content contained within them. One of the highest bioavailable nutrients offered is magnesium, and this is a mineral that certainly boosts energy and increases health though it's nutritional and detoxing properties.

Detoxing promotes the elimination of toxins from our bodies, increasing oxygen within blood cells, cleansing the liver, and improving health and internal energies overall.

The Number one Cruciferous Vegetable is Broccoli - also rich in magnesium and well deserved in it's place as number one on this list. Try to have a good serve of this every day. While eating it raw can be less than ideal to many, semi cooked or lightly steamed is a close second. Cooking it to within an inch of it's life, or boiling it in water (the worst!) simply depletes the enzymes and nutrients and makes it just another soggy pile of veggie waste on your un-nourishing plate.

For Breakfast it can be diced and easily mixed in with scrambled eggs, baby spinach, asparagus and/or smoked salmon, and sprinkled with LSA, for a powerful protein and hunger-busting semi-alkalising meal. (The alkalising will depend on the ratio of green veg to protein).

For lunch, Broccoli spears can be rolled in with your tuna or chicken and salad wrap, or added to your salad and protein plate. Snacking on spears of lightly steamed broccoli, even cold leftovers from dinner the night before works well, with a handful of nuts and a fresh squeezed greens juice.

For dinner it's easy, choose any of the above suggestions or simply add a large steamed serve of broccoli on your plate to balance out the alkalising 80% portion of your meal. If you have a family and they are not all that keen on 'greens' it can easily be hidden in just about any meal diced in meatballs, hidden in sauces, mixed in with bolognaise, diced up in salads, stuffed inside chicken breasts with grated apple and hazelnut/almond meal. The rawer you serve it the better it is for your body. Lightly steam it, dice it and add to the sauces at the last minute, stems spears florets and all.

Below is a list of cruciferous 'greens' or vegetables:

  • Broccoli 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Cabbage 
  • Cauliflower 
  • Collard greens 
  • Kale 
  • Kohlrabi 
  • Mustard greens 
  • Rutabaga 
  • Turnips 
  • Bok choy 
  • Chinese cabbage 
  • Arugula 
  • Horseradish 
  • Radishes 
  • Daikon 
  • Wasabi 
  • Watercress

As mentioned before there are at least a dozen compounds in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables that have attracted scientific interest. Sprouts of these veggies are equally nutritious, but broccoli sprouts particularly so.

Sprouts are the new shoots of the vegetables packed full of powerful enzymes and nutrition as the shoots are in their most nutrient-concentrated growth phase.

Researchers recently isolated phytochemicals called glucosinolates from broccoli sprouts. When chopped, chewed and digested, these compounds change into isothiocyanates, which are powerful compounds that may inhibit cancer.

One tablespoon of broccoli sprouts has as much beneficial sulforaphane as half a kilo (one pound) of full-grown broccoli. Other compounds within this group of vegetables that may be responsible for the cancer-fighting effects of cruciferous vegetables include:

Indole-3-carbinol: A glucosinolate that's formed when the vegetables are crushed or cooked.Research has found that it deactivates an estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth, particularly in breast cells. It's also been found to keep cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body.

Crambene: A phytonutrient. Sulforaphane: A type of isothiocyanate that's been found to increase the liver's ability to detoxify carcinogenic compounds and free radicals. This in turn protects against cell mutations, cancer and other harmful effects.

Broccoli is a powerful superfood for various reasons and a fantastic leader on this week's list as an easy to incorporate popular food that can be juiced, eaten raw and also lightly cooked for maximum taste and nutritional content.

Energy Superfoods stocks Australian grown certified organic freeze dried broccoli sprout powder and recommends mixing it with the greens powders for a daily alkalising and healthy, nutrient rich energy boosting drink. You can read more about the product on this link: http://energysuperfoods.com/superfood-store/alkalising-greens/organic-australian-grown-broccoli-sprout-powder

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