|Cabbage is high in Vitamin C|
|Cauliflower is even higher than cabbage in Vitamin C|
|Broccoli is even higher than cabbage and cauliflower in Vitamin C and also high in Vitamin K|
They are all members of the Brassica family, are available in your local grocery store and are packed with cancer-fighting nutrients. So why purchase some chemically produced, highly processed food-like substance just because its colorful packaging grabbed your attention? Aren't the following colors more enticing and more sensual than any craftily packaged unhealthy processed, synthetic junk food found lining supermarket shelves?
|Juicing: a quick way to obtain fresh nutrients from fruit and vegetables|
Why celebrate members of the Brassica family? Unlike 85% of the stuff sold in your local supermarket (what's super about all the unhealthy food wannabees in the 'super' market?), brassicas are packed with nutritional value. And they are affordable. Although they do not taste tart they are high in vitamin C. Their fiber content assists in sponging away toxins caught in the lining of your intestines. They contain anticarcinogens: 3,3'-diindolylmethane, sulforaphane and selenium. 3,3'-diindolylmethane also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Indole-3-carbinol, another nutrient found in brassica. helps repair DNA damage and also blocks the proliferation of cancer cells. According to Beare, brassica nutrients indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane aid detoxification by the liver. Brassicas increase the antioxidant glutathione, which helps eliminate heavy (and highly toxic) metals such as lead and mercury. Beare points out that 'low levels of glutathione are associated with accelerated aging'. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are also associated with low levels of glutathione. Interestingly, Beare states that if you are very sensitive to gas and paint fumes, this may be due to the fact that your body is more adept at phase I than phase II of liver detoxification. If this is the case, rather than increase your consumption of brassicas, increase the amount of curcumin in your diet. Curcumin is found in turmeric and slows down phase I detoxification while accelerating phase II.
|Turmeric: a spice from the ginger family. Aids in realigning the balance between phase I and phase II liver detoxification.|
Eating large amounts of raw Brassica family vegetables may exacerbate hypothyroidism and goiter as they contain goitrogens. (Goitrogens suppress the function of the thyroid gland by interfering with iodine absorption and may lead to an enlarged goitre. Avocados stimulate thyroid function so if you like raw cauliflower and broccoli, how about adding some avocado?). Eat slightly cooked Brassica family vegetables instead. Cooking destroys the goitrogens.
In order to obtain maximum benefit from brassicas, steam or briefly stir-fry the vegetables rather than boil them.
Take-home message: boost your anti-carcinogens by including lightly steamed vegetables from the Brassica family in your meals.