would you want to know about it?
The good news...there is! And, this probably won't come as a shock when we tell you they are vegetables! And, this special group contains EXTRA cancer fighting powers.
Drum roll please --
Mountains of research have shown this vegetable family to be effective in cancer prevention, and when cancer is already established, to reduce cancer progression by as much as HALF. Now, that is impressive!
How does this humble family of vegetables have that kind of power?
They contain their own unique set of cancer-reducing phytonutrients (including sulforaphane and glucosinolates) that are unavailable to the same extent in any other food group. These powerful substances have a unique way of fighting pathogens and pollutants by boosting detoxifying liver enzymes. Additionally, they have substantial amounts of fiber and omega-3s, making cruciferous veggies a truly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detox powerhouse.
For these reasons, experts recommend that we eat at least one serving of cruciferous vegetables...
Not just once a week, or even three times a week, but you read it right...DAILY!
You probably enjoy a good coleslaw from time to time, and perhaps serve broccoli with dinner once a week, and maybe even cauliflower another night during the week. But, that is not enough! We’d like to show you how simple it is to keep this heroic group of cancer fighters pulsing through your body consistently, by eating it EVERY SINGLE DAY!
First of all, who’s who in the “cabbage family” besides the most obvious, cabbage?
- Cabbage (all varieties)
- Broccoli (including broccoli sprouts to top salads)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Radishes (even horseradish)
- Bok Choy
- Turnips and Turnip Greens
- Mustard seed, Mustard Greens (and mustard powder)
- Collard Greens
What equals a serving of cruciferous vegetables?
One serving could be considered ½ cup chopped, ¼ cup sprouts, or 1 Tbsp of horseradish. Feel free to treat this amount as a minimum and enjoy more!
Are you feeling skeptical about eating from the cabbage family EVERY DAY?
Please hear us out on this! When you learn how it can be done, with or without a lot of variety, you are sure to be convinced!
Try these 12 ways to consistently eat a cruciferous veggie EVERY DAY:
(And, hear from the people who do it!)
- Eat broccoli regularly. While it may sound boring, this is an uncomplicated plan that many report as their “saving grace.” Friend and cancer survivor, Judy, says of broccoli “If I miss it at lunch, I get it at dinner. It’s always available, easy to buy and prepare, and the whole family likes it.” Way to go Judy! And with all the various broccoli recipes we have on Eat REAL America, such as Roasted Broccoli Pizza, Green Machine Quesadillas with Spicy Chipotle Cream, and Roasted Broccoli with Peanuts, you can make broccoli a regular part of your routine and never get bored!
- Eat a salad every day, and incorporate at least one cruciferous vegetable. Whether its broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, red cabbage or radishes, mix it up with your salad toppings. Before you know it, this habit will be second nature.
- Buy a head of cabbage and keep it on hand every week. When Eat REAL America member, Scott, learned his sister had colon cancer, he decided to reduce his risk by capitalizing on his love of coleslaw. By purchasing a head of cabbage every week, shredding it and storing it the fridge, he has it all ready to top salads, or to add to veggie sautés during the week. Says Scott, “There’s something very healing about this weekly 5 minute bonding time with my food processor". Great idea Scott, and remember to check out our numerous cabbage recipes such as the Cabbage, Apple and Pear Salad, or the Turmeric Pork and Cabbage Skillet to keep your habit tasty and alive!
- Trade your lettuce greens for kale. Says Karen, a colon and breast cancer survivor, “When I learned kale had the cancer fighting punch over romaine, I decided to go whole-hog kale! It’s a staple in our house.” Like Karen, you can enjoy ideas like the Massaged Kale Salad, Salmon with White Beans, Kale and Honey Mustard Sauce, and Kale Pesto Pasta plus many more on Eat REAL America!
- Mix up your daily salad with Arugula and Bok Choy. With multiple cruciferous salad green options, there really is no reason for a salad to ever get boring! A few of our arugula and bok choy favorites are the Arugula Salad with Sesame Orange Vinaigrette, Cashew Chicken Bok Choy, and Kale and Bok Choy Bi Bim Bop.
- Get your cruciferous in a daily smoothie. Three-time cancer survivor, author, and Zonya's friend, Diana Dyer, attributes much of her success in ending her reoccurring cancer to her daily morning smoothie, which is chock-full of cancer fighters, including a handful of kale. Zonya loves Diana and highly recommends her book, which is succinct and loaded with lots of great info. Check out our coaching tip on "no fail smoothies"!
- Master the art of roasting! Roasting will turn these cabbage family veggies into addicting meals. Whether you are roasting Brussels sprouts, broccoli, wedges of cabbage or making kale chips, as you’ve heard us say many times before, “roasting is a game changer!” Check out our coaching tip and video and prepare for your family to be amazed!
- Stir-fry to make cabbages irresistible! Stir-frying is an especially perfect way to enjoy kale, collard, mustard and turnip greens, as well as cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Try the Shrimp, Sweet Potato and Kale Stir Fry, Soba Noodle Stir Fry or Peanut Cabbage Stir Fry.
- Love Horseradish? It counts! Add one tablespoon to your mashed potatoes (or better yet, mashed cauliflower) or give your homemade salad dressings an extra flavor pop -- cancer fighting never tasted so good!
- Put that mustard powder to good use! To help assure its sulforaphane production, add mustard powder to dressings or sprinkle directly onto your cruciferous veggie -- just 1/2 teaspoon has been shown to be extremely beneficial!
- Add kohlrabi to your garden and your veggie tray. Kohlrabi is easy to grow (and even easier to buy) -- check out our coaching tip and see why this veggie is worth getting to know!
- Use Dr. Greger’s free “Daily Dozen App”! This will help you keep track of your daily cruciferous serving. Having the freedom to choose from ANY of the cruciferous veggies is great, but like all things, when we get too much “freedom” our habit can become forgotten. This app helps you keep track, along with 11 other cancer fighting/health promoting super foods that you should include every day (like berries, beans, nuts, whole grains, water, etc.). In addition to this app, check out Dr. Greger’s website, nutrititionfacts.org, and his free daily videos, as well as his latest best-selling book, "How Not to Die."
Take the daily cruciferous challenge at your house! Then, please tell us what strategies work for you and your family. Here’s to fighting cancer with your fork, deliciously!