When I was a kid, my true pet hate was ‘healthy food’.
Why? Because I thought it tasted disgusting & to be honest, I thought I was super cool by refusing to eat the stuff that mum & dad wanted me to! (Real rebel hey!?)
Salads, no thank you….
Vegetables… hell noooo!
…In fact… I wouldn’t even go near fruit!
Not surprisingly, my sugar & carbohydrate addicted self (yeah, that was the only stuff I would eat) ended up incredibly overweight, exhausted & even worse – just lacking any drive or..well… life, really.
Crystal on the other hand was on a whole new level of ‘lacking life’.
And if you’re familiar with her backstory, you’ll know that constant chronic migraines, anxiety, leaky gut syndrome & no period was just the beginning…
So suffice to say, when we began our health journey & started researching just how important wholefoods are to our bodies, we wanted to find the HEALTHIEST wholefoods out there! Like… the HOLY GRAIL of nutrition.
And we found it.
Also known as Cruciferous vegetables.
You know how Kale was crowned superfood of the century? Well Kale’s whole family are just as (or even more) incredible for your body.
Brassicas, or Cruciferous Veggies are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet (I wasn’t kidding when I wrote the subject line!)
Vitamins A, C, K, E, B vitamins, Folate, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc & Fibre are just some of the things you’ll find in these incredible foods (& by the way, each & every one of these is super important for your health).
Cruciferous vegetables are also packed with some serious body-loving health benefits like…
- Stronger eye sight
- Improved bone density
- Younger looking & smoother skin
- Healthier teeth & gums
- Improved brain function
- More energy
- Reduced signs of ageing
- Lowered blood pressure
- Better digestion & metabolism
- Improved gut health
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased ability to detoxify the body
- Hormonal balance
- The ability to kill cancer cells
But it’s those last 3 benefits that really impressed the pants of us…
In fact let me break it down in a little more detail for you, because I reckon your pants will come off too (hold on, forget that… Bottom line… you’ll be impressed!)
Here we go…
Sulforaphane; The ultimate detoxifier
Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a phytonutrient with some pretty powerful detoxifying abilities.
In fact, a study showed that people living in the most polluted areas in China were able to excrete 60% of the benzene found in their bodies after just one day of taking sulforaphane. Benzene is a toxin found in exhaust fumes which is a known carcinogen.
In short… Cruciferous vegetables = insanely powerful detoxifier!
Balance your hormones with DIM
Unfortunately, a common issue in our world today is hormonal imbalances.
Especially oestrogen dominance. Things like conventional fruit & veg, conventional meat, conventional dairy, soy, conventional skincare & the (birth control) pill can result in oestrogen dominance as they contain similar chemical structures to oestrogen & can mimic it in our body.
This can lead to all types of misery such as weight gain, missing periods, PCOS, infertility & gynecomastia (man boobs)…
So what can you do about it? Well, cruciferous vegetables contain another awesome compound called Diindolylmethane or DIM.
DIM actually allows the body to break down & metabolise oestrogen, helping your body achieve & maintain a proper hormonal balance. This is so incredibly important, yes, even for men!
Isothiocyanates; Cancer’s nemesis.
Isothiocyanates are another incredible compound found in brassicas or cruciferous vegetables. These compounds have been studied for years now, & the effects they have – particularly on cancer cells – are nothing short of miraculous. A study showed that cruciferous veggies can reduce the risk of lung, stomach, rectal, colon, prostate & ovarian cancer by up to 70% in some cases.
70%!!! I’m not kidding!!!!
It works by neutralizing pro carcinogenic cells, stopping them from becoming active carcinogens, as well as by reducing the damage caused by already active carcinogens in the body.
Now the cool thing about all of these compounds… Sulforaphane, DIM, Isothiocyanates, (& there are plenty more where they came from) is that they are actually there as a defense mechanism for the plants, as a way to ward of predators. Think of them as nature’s pesticides!
But the REALLY cool thing about these compounds, is the effect they have on us. When we consume these compounds, they trigger what’s called a cellular stress response, aka a ‘hormetic’ response or hormesis, which basically means that after being exposed to low levels of toxicity from these plant compounds, our cells actually come back stronger & healthier.
Pretty amazing hey?
Okay so now to the really big question…
What are these Cruciferous veggies we speak of?
Here’s the list:
So which ones are you going to load up your plate with???
P.S If you wanted some extra brownie points on your plate, you could pick the purple ones (purple cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, purple kale, purple mustard greens etc.) as they contain anthocyanins, the compound found in blueberries, which also has powerful anti cancer properties too!