Nutritionists will often tout the benefits of cruciferous vegetables in terms of health, weight loss and overall well-being. However, the average individual might still be slightly confused as to what these natural foods actually entail. If you have been looking to adopt a well-rounded diet or to simply add more cruciferous foods to your daily regimen, it pays to answer a handful of important questions. Let us quickly examine the unique qualities of these vegetables.
What Exactly are Cruciferous Vegetables?
Cruciferous foods are simply certain foods which fall within a specific “family” of vegetables. Take a look at this cruciferous vegetables list to appreciate some of the most common types:
- Brussels sprouts.
- Collard greens.
While some associate these foods with leafy green vegetables, we can see that other species such as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts fall within the list. Therefore, there are many different tasty options at your disposal.
What Effects do Cruciferous Foods Have Upon the Body?
Some of us are already aware that cruciferous vegetables may be able to stave off some forms of cancer. This is arguably one of the main benefits of broccoli and cauliflower. However, there are other reasons why it is a good idea to consume plenty of cruciferous vegetables.
Not only are these substances rich in a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals, but they are powerful sources of omega-3 fatty acids (fats that promote cardiovascular health). As cruciferous vegetables are also high in fiber, they can be used to lower cravings for unhealthy food throughout the day.
Studies have likewise shown that these types of vegetables contain high concentrations of substances known as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and these chemicals are actually what gives specific vegetables their dark green color.
Finally, cruciferous vegetables may help individuals to lose excess weight (due to the levels of fiber mentioned above). A single serving may contain up to 20 per cent of one’s daily recommended fiber intake.
Can These Vegetables be Consumed on a Daily Basis?
The good news is that there are no risks associated with a daily consumption of cruciferous vegetables. In fact, some research suggests that consuming between two and three servings each day may be able to protect individuals against heart disease and even slow down the aging process.
It is still wise to choose a variety of these vegetables in order to avoid becoming bored with their taste. For instance, cruciferous sprouts can be eaten one day while on the following day, steamed broccoli garnished with garlic could provide a much-needed burst of flavor.
Is There Anyone Who Should not Eat Cruciferous Vegetables?
Although the benefits of cruciferous vegetables cannot be denied, there are still specific cases when they should be avoided. Experts recommend that anyone who has been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) should not consume cruciferous vegetables. This is due to the fact that certain substances may interfere with how the thyroid gland processes iodine.
Another rather rare possibility involves anyone who may be allergic to cruciferous vegetables. While reactions are generally mild, issues such as bloating and upset stomach may occur from time to time. Those who experience such symptoms should try to narrow down which specific vegetable may be causing problems and if possible, to substitute it for another cruciferous alternative.
Part of a Balanced Diet
Cruciferous vegetables have been consumed for thousands of years and yet, only recently have we begun discovering their amazing health benefits. These are even more pertinent if you happen to be dieting at the present. It is important to provide your body with the proper vitamins and minerals so that it remains healthy even when depleted of calories. Furthermore, these rich sources of fiber can represent excellent ways to stave off pesky food cravings that might otherwise interrupt your daily routine.
If you are already experiencing the effects of the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon, there is no time better than now to begin incorporating such vegetables into your diet. To learn more about the benefits of cruciferous vegetables, do not hesitate to speak with a dietician, a nutrition specialist or your primary health care provider.