Cruciferous vegetables play an important role in the prevention of certain diseases.

Dra. Eulàlia Vidal, coordinator of the nutrition and health advisory board of Ametller Origen.

Tomatoes, carrots, and lettuce are vegetables we all know, but when it comes to cruciferous vegetables, even though we’ve heard the name on more than one occasion, we’re not so sure which vegetables we’re referring to.

Cruciferae or Brassicaceae, as they are known today, are a family of plants in which we find a wide variety of vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Lombard cabbage, kale or kale. broccoli, romanesco, watercress, turnips, arugula or radishes, with many healthy properties and great nutritional value:

  • Energy: the energy content of all of them is low, between 50 and 85kcal / 100g. Brussels sprouts have the fewest calories.
  • Fiber: Fiber is a constant in all vegetables and also in this particular group. Its content is between 3 and 4g / 100g, and Brussels sprouts are, again, the ones with the most content.
  • Vitamin C: Most cabbages provide about 100mg / 100g of this vitamin. In order to make the most of it, it is important to choose cooking with little water (steam, oven or microwave) and little time.
  • Vitamin B9 or folate: This vitamin plays a key role not only in the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida, but also in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
  • Vitamin K: This is a vitamin involved in the blood clotting processes.
  • Carotenoids or Pro Vitamin A: Together with Vitamin C and Vitamin E, these micronutrients help protect cells from oxidative damage.

The interest of these vegetables not only focuses on their nutritional value, but also on their role in the prevention of certain diseases such as certain types of cancer. The fact is that brassicas are rich in chemical compounds known as glucosylates and which contain sulfur, which are responsible for the characteristic odor when we cook them. The moment we eat these vegetables, these components are transformed into others that, according to some research, have been shown to have a protective effect on certain types of cancer. These results should always be included in a healthy diet.

On the other hand, the intake of this group of vegetables is sometimes associated with the appearance of gases, but which are not harmful to health. This effect is due to the fiber they have and the sulfur content. One way to avoid them is to consume small amounts of these vegetables and combine them with others that are not so flattering, chew the vegetables well and, if necessary, go through some digestive infusion.

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