Benefits of Cauliflower and Broccoli
First of all, cauliflower, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can provide you with cholesterol lowering benefits. They are particularly helpful if they are cooked by steaming. The fiber related benefits do a better job binding to bile acids in your digestive tract when they are steamed. This binding with the bile acids allows the bile to be excreted more efficiently and this results in lowered cholesterol. Raw vegetables have this binding effect as well but not quite as much as steamed vegetables. It is important not to over steam you vegetable (5 minutes) or cook them till they are mushy as they lose much of the value and taste.
The cruciferous vegetables have a large impact on your bodies ability to detoxify. Researchers continue to identify key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucorafinin, gluconasturtiian and glucobrassinin, are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients are found in special combination in these vegetables. This dynamic trio is able to support all 3 steps in the detoxification process including activation, neutralization and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates are the detox regulating molecules made from glucosinlates. Research shows they help control the detox pathways at the genetic level.
We continue to read that vitamin D deficiency is almost epidemic. A large amount of any nutrient supplemented can create a deficiency in other nutrients. Cruciferous vegetables also supply vitamins K and A which helps keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually high level of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotenes and vitamin K.
Broccoli is also a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Research has also shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy related substances to our body. Kaempferol also yields an anti-inflammatory benefit. So cruciferous vegetables can be included in most hypo-allergenic diets.
Now I know some of you just aren’t going to eat cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, kale and other cruciferous vegetables that are so good for you so you should know there are options. Nutri-west, the supplement company we work with makes several products made from sprouted sources of these vegetables and sprouted vegetables provide 50-100 times more energetic value than the vegetable itself. Our products are called Total Veggie (pill form) and Total Green (protein powder form) and most other supplement companies make something similar so I know you can find the right supplement available if you just can’t find your way to eat your cruciferous vegetables.