Wednesday, March 10, 2021

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Kale and Other Cruciferous Adventures

 "What matters most is your overall way of eating and living."

                                                                                              --Dean Ornish, MD

Kale, cabbage (see above photo from a farmers market in Tennessee while on a road trip with good friend, Ella Chabot, on the left), and other cruciferous vegetables have the power to prevent cancer and diabetes. Below is a list of cruciferous vegetables.  Eating foods from the following list is a powerful step towards great health and disease prevention.

  • Arugula
  • Bok Choi
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli romanesco
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Daikon horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Wasabi
  • Watercress

According to the National Cancer Institute, “Cruciferous vegetables are rich in nutrients, including several carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin); vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and minerals. They also are a good fiber source.  

In addition, cruciferous vegetables contain a group of substances known as glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing chemicals. These chemicals are responsible for the pungent aroma and bitter flavor of cruciferous vegetables.”

Recently I bought some wasabi arugula (talk about pungent!) from one of southern Indiana’s organic farmers and shared it with several people.  Everyone was amazed at the wonderful flavor of this green when used in small amounts as a sandwich garnish.  Next time I am at the farmers market, I will buy more so I can pesto with it.  If you ever see red watercress at the farmers market, be sure and get some.  The red version of watercress has stronger anti-breast cancer properties than green watercress. Cheddar cauliflower (it is the color of cheddar cheese!) is delicious steamed or made into a puree topped with grilled portabello mushrooms.  

Choose your vegetables with care. Buy cruciferous vegetables weekly and eat daily.  Play with your food!

With love and kindness,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect