Jinnene Foster

Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Wellness Blog Writer

cruciferous vegetables are healing

Healthy Eating, Self-Care

Why cruciferous vegetables are healing game changers (with recipes)

|Posted by Jinnene|

Broccoli. Cauliflower. Cabbage. Brussel Sprouts. These are all part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Many of them are colorful, some of them are pungent in taste, and pretty much all of them are a boon to any healthful eating plan.

But have you ever wondered why cruciferous vegetables are healing in scope? Check this out:

What healing elements are found in cruciferous vegetables?

Sulforaphane is a phytochemical component found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and arugula.

This glorified plant constituent has been linked to digestive healing, as well as overall heart health.

Known as an antioxidant to ward off cancer-causing agents (free radicals), sulforaphane has also been shown to serve as an anti-inflammatory, which can help protect against a number of diseases and their effects.

But regardless of the scientific findings surrounding this healthy plant-based chemical substance, it’s useful to consider the practical applications of eating vegetables for those of us on the go.

Do you wish you could eat vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, but don’t have the time or know-how to prepare them? Try the simple recipes listed at the end of this article, or scroll down to check them out straight away.

Make no mistake: vegetables can be fun to eat!

But despite this, disease runs rampant in the United States.

So this causes me to question: could we do well to take in more plant-based foods like cruciferous vegetables, in order that we may enjoy stronger immunity?

What are the challenges of eating healthfully?

While I love the recipes I share with you here, I realize how difficult it can be to eat vegetables regularly.

For instance, many individuals have sensitive digestive systems. As such, in order to comfortably digest more fibrous foods like cruciferous vegetables, we have to cook them to aid in pre-digestion.

And so, we’re back to that concern of constantly being on the go.

Yet, by the time we get home for dinner, we may be so depleted and hungry that our bodies crave salty or fatty foods that will offer quick calories, like pizza or frozen burritos.

How can I bring mindfulness into eating?

But let’s consider a mindful approach. It might not be possible to make a change with your diet immediately, but it could help to consider how these foods make you feel when you actually do eat them.

After so doing, pause for a few breaths to assess: how do you feel each day, in general? Do you have enough energy to get through your daily tasks?

If not, do you feel that your diet could be altered in the long run? Are you open to making changes, however small those changes may be at first?

As I sit here and breathe, I consider the physical outcome for me of eating lightly cooked broccoli, and a meal of raw fish or lean protein like chicken makes me feel.

Confident. Proud. Energized. Clear in mind, and able to complete tasks more easily than when I consume heavier foods.

Finding a nutritional balance that will work for our busy lifestyles is certainly an ongoing journey, one that improves one step at a time.

I hope you’ll start with these recipes, and learn for yourself how cruciferous vegetables are healing game changers–

Broccoli, garlic and ginger:

The grocery list:

1-2 cups of fresh broccoli florets

½-inch cube of fresh ginger, or ½ tsp of ginger paste

2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped

3 tbsp of olive oil

The process:

Wash broccoli florets. Chop garlic and ginger into thin shavings. Mix oil, garlic, ginger in a small bowl. Pour dressing over broccoli. Enjoy.

Broccoli or cauliflower stir-fry (tofu optional):

The grocery list:

16 oz. of chicken or tofu

¼ cup of low sodium soy sauce or teriyaki sauce

2 cups broccoli florets

3 tbsp olive oil

½ small onion

2 garlic cloves

2 carrots

Dash of salt, pepper, fennel, rosemary, curry, thyme, cinnamon, or whatever seasoning you prefer

The process:

Wash all vegetables and pat dry. Heat oil in skillet. Cut chicken or tofu into small pieces. Cut garlic, onion, and carrots to the size of your choosing. Stir protein into the oiled skillet for 5-10 minutes, or until browned. Stir in vegetables, garlic, spices, and soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. Cover skillet for 5 or so minutes until the vegetables and protein are tender. Enjoy.

Cauliflower coconut curry and vegetables:

The grocery list:

16 oz. of canned garbanzo beans

16 oz. of canned coconut milk

2 tbsp of red curry paste

2 cups cauliflower florets

3 tbsp olive oil

½ small onion

2 garlic cloves

2 carrots

½ cup of frozen peas

Dash of salt, pepper, fennel, curry, lemon verbena, thyme, cinnamon, or whatever seasoning you prefer

The process:

Wash all vegetables and pat dry. Heat oil in skillet. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. Cut garlic, onion, and carrots to the size of your choosing. Stir vegetables into the skillet for a couple minutes until covered in oil. Add red curry paste, garbanzo beans, and coconut milk. Cover skillet for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Enjoy.

Roasted brussel sprouts with garlic and lemon:

The grocery list:

1 pound of brussel sprouts

2 cloves of garlic

½ to 1 full lemon

4 tbsp of olive oil

Dash of salt, pepper, garlic salt, lemon verbena, or whatever spices you prefer

Cooking sheet with aluminum foil on top

The process:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash sprouts. Cut sprouts into quarters. Sprinkle sprouts evenly onto the cooking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on the sprouts. Squeeze ½ lemon on top of sprouts, and add garlic and spices. Use up to 1 full lemon if you like tangy foods. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the sprouts are the level of crisp that you prefer. Enjoy.

Hopefully, you’re starting to see how cruciferous vegetables are healing game changers. Even if you don’t check out these recipes and you liked this post, you can check out further readings on wellness here.