Cruciferous, vegetables of the Mediterranean diet

Tip elaborated by Ametller Origen, BBHI collaborating entity in the field of nutrition.

Cruciferous vegetables are mainly harvested during the winter season and are famous for providing beneficial substances for health.

But what are cruciferous vegetables? They are a very large family which includes different types and species, among them broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, turnips, etc.

Nutritional properties

Each vegetable provides some specific vitamins. For example, cabbage stands out as a source of vitamin K, and also contains folates and vitamin C, or kale is a powerful antioxidant because of its high content of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It is also rich in calcium that helps prevent the loss of bone mass and osteoporosis.

Cruciferous vegetables share virtues. Generally, this group of vegetables contains a high number of natural compounds that give specific benefits, including glucosinolate. According to several studies, introducing cruciferous vegetables in one’s weekly diet helps reduce the risk of cancer, thanks to the glucosinolate they contain.

But beware, cruciferous vegetables can be harmful for people with thyroid hormone abnormalities. These vegetables contain anti-nutrients that slow down the uptake of iodine to the thyroid and promote the appearance of goiter. Therefore, if you suffer from this alteration, it is recommended that you always eat cruciferous vegetables cooked and only occasionally.

How to enjoy these vegetables

To maintain the maximum amount of nutrients when cooking these vegetables it is important that the cooking time is short. Therefore, if you cook them steamed, baked, etc., try not to overcook them.

There are many imaginative ways you can prepare this large family of vegetables. Kale can be eaten in the form of baked chips, cabbage can be stir-fried in a wok and turnips added to a stew.

When to eat them

The best time to consume these vegetables is during the winter months when they will be in season, cheaper and their intense flavor will be better and more enjoyable to the palate.


Links to mentiond studies:

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