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Veggie Spotlight: Brassicas

Brassicas are a family of vegetables, also known as cruciferous vegetables. These are some of the healthiest foods available to eat. Brassica vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard greens, arugula, bok choi, and some radishes. These vegetables act as antioxidants, help detox the body, stimulate the immune system, and decrease risk of cancer.

What makes Brassicas vegetables so healthy? It's what they're made of!

  1. Antioxidant Enzymes prevent damage to cells and defend the body from "free radicals", which cause inflammation in the body.

  2. Protein – Vegetables can have protein?? Sure can! Two hundred calories of steamed broccoli will provide you with 20 grams of protein. Compare this to two hundred calories of chicken breast, which has 30 grams of protein.

  3. Fiber – As with other veggies, brassicas have a lot of fiber. Eating 1 serving of brassica veggies provides 25-40% of your daily fiber requirement!

  4. Glucosinolates are a form of phytonutrient, which helps prevent cancer. Research shows that glucosinolates especially lower the risk of prostate and breast cancer. In addition to fighting cancer, glucosinates help balance hormones, detox the liver, and decrease inflammation.

  5. Vitamins and minerals -- brassica veggies are full of vitamin A, folate, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium to name a few!

Keep an eye out for brassica vegetables at your local grocery store or farmer's market this season. They're tasty raw or sauteed, a perfect food for the hot summer months.

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