The Super-Veggies: Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables have it all: vitamins, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Here's how to get more of them.
Oxidative Stress continued...
And the results? Oxidative stress in the subjects' bodies dropped 22% during
the period when they were eating lots of cruciferous vegetables. But the change
during the multivitamin segment was negligible (0.2%), says lead researcher Jay
H. Fowke, PhD, an assistant professor and cancer epidemiologist for the
Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
More study is needed, but Fowke feels the evidence is pretty strong that
eating cruciferous vegetables is a particularly healthful choice.
"There's no harm to it and consistently, across the line, it's
associated with improved health and a reduced risk of various chronic
diseases," he says in an email interview.
It's best, he says, to eat these veggies raw or only lightly steamed to
retain the phytochemicals that make cruciferous vegetables special in terms of
Diets rich in fish and vegetables (including cruciferous and dark-yellow
veggies) may also help to protect against cardiovascular disease. A recent
study found that such a diet was linked to lower levels of markers of
inflammation in the body. These markers may signal an increased risk of
In another recent study, diets low in cruciferous and yellow vegetables,
wine, and coffee but high in sugar-sweetened soft drinks, refined grains, and
processed meat were identified as possibly increasing chronic inflammation and
raising the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Comparison of Cruciferous Vegetables
Which cruciferous vegetables have the most vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic
acid? The answers are:
- Kale (vitamin A)
- Broccoli (vitamin C)
- Brussels sprouts and broccoli (tied for folic acid)
Brussels sprouts have the most vitamin E (about 9% of the Daily Value) and
vitamin B-1 (15% Daily Value). And it’s broccoli and Brussels sprouts again
that have the most healthy plant omega-3s: A cup of broccoli contributes about
200 milligrams, and a cup of Brussels sprouts about 260 milligrams.
Here's a comparison table of cruciferous vegetables, including the nutrients
for which they contribute at least 10% of the Daily Value. Keep in mind that
about half of the fiber in cruciferous vegetables is super-healthy soluble
Per 1 cup: