Broccoli. Cauliflower. Brussels sprouts. These are some of the vegetables you probably hated as a kid or tried to feed to the dog when your parents weren't looking. As it turns out, they’re also some of the best veggies to fight against disease as an adult.
Brassicas are a family of vegetables, known to for their disease-fighting substances. Like all veggies, they’re low in calories, fat, and sodium. They’re also a good source of fibre, and contain a variety of other essential vitamins and minerals. You may know them better as cruciferous vegetables, which they’re commonly called.
They also contain phytochemicals, which occur naturally in plants and have a variety of health benefits for our bodies. One of the best-known of these benefits in brassica is their apparent cancer-fighting properties. These vegetables contain glucosinolates, sulfur-containing phytochemicals and studies have shown that consumption of brassicas could reduce the risk for multiple types of cancer. Boiling these vegetables can reduce the compounds that give this healthy effect, but steaming, microwaving, and stir frying don’t appear to do so.
With all of that in mind, here are the 10 brassica vegetables you should regularly include in your diet, along with a recipe for each one. Eat up!
This hot superfood is a nutritional powerhouse, with high amounts of vitamins A and C. It also provides fibre, calcium, iron, vitamin B6, and magnesium, and has very few calories. Raw baby kale is a great addition to any salad, but you can also try this green lightly sauteed in a pasta dish.
Cauliflower has a reputation for being boring, but it’s actually a very versatile vegetable (and the new kale of 2014!). Try it mashed or roasted to benefit from the potassium and vitamin C it contains. Or re-purpose it to make pizza crust.
Few vegetables are as maligned as Brussels sprouts, but have you had them roasted? Believe us: they caramelize and they’re delicious. Brussels sprouts also healthy, full of vitamin C and a source of fibre and potassium.
If you hated broccoli as a kid, try it as an adult. Broccoli tastes great in stir fries and raw with hummus. It also provides your body with some vitamin C and vitamin B6.
If you get a veggie delivery box, chances are you've been surprised by this turnip-looking thing (it's also called German cabbage or turnip cabbage sometimes). Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked, and contains fibre, potassium, and vitamin C.
Another root! Turnip is a great choice for soups and stews, either chopped or pureed. They’ll give your meals a jolt of vitamin C and fibre. You can also eat the vegetable’s greens, which is full of calcium.
These dark green veggies are popular in southern cooking and are super nutritious. Collard greens are packed with fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.
You probably think of a yellow squeeze bottle when you hear the word 'mustard,' but mustard greens are a great vegetable to start adding to your salads. They give a spicy kick along with vitamin C and potassium.
There are many varieties of cabbage, and they can be eaten raw or cooked. This leafy veg has lots of fibre, along with several other essential vitamins and minerals.