If you want to give your immune system a boost you should consider eating cruciferous vegetables on a weekly basis.
Cruciferous vegetables include: arugula, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale, mustard greens, radishes, rutabagas, turnip greens, turnips, and watercress.
Cruciferous vegetables are a wonderful source of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber and many other important nutrients.
These fabulous veggies are potent cancer fighters due to the presence of phytochemicals and anti-cancer compounds called glucosinolates. Glucosinolates function as a detoxifier and antioxidant in our bodies.
Phytochemicals or phytonutrients give plants their color pigment. Phytochemicals are also chemicals that plants create to protect themselves from insects, pests, UV radiation, and photosynthesis. When we eat cruciferous vegetables which contain these phytochemicals, their protective benefits help protect our bodies and strengthen our immune system.
Some great ways to get these wonderful vegetables into your daily or weekly diet include:
- Raw – blend raw cruciferous vegetables into smoothies, slice or shred and place on top of green salads, enjoy as crudités with hummus, olive tapenade or pesto, mix cruciferous vegetables together and turn into delectable salads.
- Braise – braise cruciferous vegetables in vegetable or chicken stock until tender. Add cruciferous vegetables to your favorite soups and stews.
- Roast – toss chopped cruciferous vegetables with olive oil, coconut oil, clarified butter, or avocado oil, sprinkle with Celtic or Himalayan sea salt and roast in the oven at 400˚ F. until tender and golden brown. Squeeze fresh lemon to add a burst of fresh citrus flavor. You can also turn roasted vegetables into a wonderful soup by blending with chicken or vegetable stock.
- Steam – steam cruciferous vegetables over hot water in a steamer pot until tender. Toss with cultured organic butter, olive oil, or avocado oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Sauté – sauté chopped cruciferous vegetables in coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or organic unsalted butter on top of the stove until tender.
- Stir fry – Stir fry chopped cruciferous vegetables in a blend of coconut oil and a small amount of sesame oil. Add soy sauce or wheat free tamari, garlic, and ginger and cook until done but still tender crisp.
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is! Cruciferous vegetables are some of the most versatile and easiest vegetables to use in your everyday cooking.
I will be posting my favorite recipes featuring these fantastic health promoting vegetables in future posts so check back frequently to get them.
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