Cruciferous vegetables mostly come from the Genus Brassica which is part of the mustard family. They are high in Vitamin C, B vitamins, fibre, iron and phytochemicals.
Why should I eat cruciferous vegetables?
Diets which include a daily intake of this vegetable group are associated with lower rates of cancer. Cruciferous vegetables can also reduce levels of the bacteria ' H.Pylori', which is found in the stomach of people with indigestion (gastritis) and stomach ulcers. Research is ongoing and there are mixed results, but cruciferous vegetables may improve the health of nerves and blood vessels after a brain injury such as a stroke.
But be careful. Eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables can be harmful to certain people.
If you are pregnant, have an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism), or if your diet is already low in iodine, then you should NOT eat this vegetable every day. This is because cruciferous vegetables contain a substance called 'thiocyanate' which reduces the production of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine.
What are cruciferous vegetables?
- If you are healthy, then try and eat a portion of cruciferous vegetables at least once a week.
- If you are recovering from cancer or going through chemotherapy, then speak to your doctor about eating one serving of different cruciferous vegetables each day.
- If you have thyroid disease of any kind then speak to your endocrinologist.
- If you are pregnant you should avoid eating these vegetables every day.
- Cooking time 10 minutes
- Preparation time 15 minutes
One whole cauliflower
One small onion sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
1/2 tsp mixed ground spice
1 tsp Turmeric (optional)
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper( optional)
1 tbsp Tamari Soy sauce
Olive oil 2-3 tbsp
1/2 Cup of hot water
- Cut off cauliflower branches and wash in water.
- Wash, then slice carrot.
- Slice onion and fry gently on medium-high heat for 3 minutes in the olive oil
- Add garlic and all the spices ( not the tamari or pumpkin seeds) and fry for 2 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the cauliflower, hot water and tamari sauce, then cover. Turn up the heat to high until boiling, then turn down to medium and leave for 5 minutes.
- Next turn off the heat and leave the lid on for another 3-5 minutes.
- Wash the parsley, then garnish with the pumpkin seeds and parsley and serve.
- You can eat this with fish or a soft cheese.
Healthy Cooking tips
- Tamari: I have used Tamari sauce because it is a useful source of probiotics, which can help support the good bacteria in your gut. If you cannot buy Tamari, then soy sauce will do; but only use 1/2 a tablespoon, as it contains more salt. Tamari sauce does not contain gluten, in case you have coeliac disease.
- Turmeric: Most recognisable as a dry yellow powder, turmeric is a root vegetable like ginger. It is sometimes called curcumin. It is fat soluble and contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties. It is often used by herbal doctors to manage pain in osteoarthritis. Making this spice a regular addition to your cooking is a good healthy habit. What ever you are cooking, use an onion as the base with olive oil, then add some garlic and heat before adding the the turmeric, salt and pepper. You need to use fat such as olive oil, to ensure absorption of the active ingredients.
- Cayenne pepper: Also an anti-inflammatory. If you have indigestion I suggest omitting it from this recipe.
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TRUONG, T., BARON-DUBOURDIEU, D., ROUGIER, Y. & GUENEL, P. 2010. Role of dietary iodine and cruciferous vegetables in thyroid cancer: a countrywide case-control study in New Caledonia. Cancer Causes Control, 21, 1183-92.