How many times have you heard your parents tell you as a kid to “go eat your vegetables”?
Maybe back then, this statement has received so much resistance but you have to admit - vegetables ARE good for you.
And you know what vegetables are taking the limelight lately? Cruciferous vegetables!
Cruciferous vegetables health benefits are amazing. It’s not just a fad, even though it’s getting all the buzz from nutritionists and health practitioners.
Among the astounding benefits that cruciferous vegetables offer include balancing hormone levels, killing cancer cells, and slowing down aging.
What more can you ask for?!
So let’s talk more about cruciferous foods, what they do to your body, PLUS a challenge that I encourage you to become a part of that would take your health to the next level.
Ready? Let’s get to it!
What Is Cruciferous?
So what does cruciferous vegetables mean?
Cruciferous vegetables or “cruciferae” in Latin, are plants that are a member of the Brassicaceae family. These plants have flowers shaped like a cross, hence the name “cruciferous”.
These vegetables grow in Asia, Europe, and in the Mediterranean, mainly in temperate regions. You can even grow these in your own garden.
As for the nutritive components of cruciferous vegetables, they are loaded with vitamin K, C, and A. These are also rich in fiber, yet low in calories. (1)
Sounds like the perfect weight-loss food, doesn’t it?
You bet. In fact, cruciferous foods are noted for their energy-giving benefits without adding extra pounds to your body because of their low calories. Most importantly, they have are high in fiber, making them perfect for people with diabetes or those who are battling with high blood sugar levels.
A unique feature of cruciferous vegetables is their glucosinolates component. These sulfur-containing compounds help fight cancer and enhance cardiovascular health. (2) By eating foods that are rich in glucosinolates such as cruciferous veg, you are reducing inflammation, regulating your blood sugar, maintaining your ideal weight, and promoting your general well-being.
Now those are MORE reasons for you to eat your veggies everyday… Particularly cruciferous vegetables!
A Quick History of the Cruciferous Plant
Cruciferous vegetables are definitely not new to the kitchen.
These plants have a LONG history that dates back 4000 to 5000 B.C!
Scientists have discovered that during these early years, people in China have consumed cruciferous vegetables, as researchers have found preserved seeds of these veggies.
The popularity of cruciferous vegetables continued during the Middle Ages when people incorporated these foods in their recipes and as a natural remedy of various illnesses.
The same holds true back in the 16th century, specifically among the Flemish and Germans who promoted the consumption of cabbage for improved health.
Cruciferous vegetables such as the horseradish root and mustard seed were both used in recent decades as cures for certain diseases.
Mustard seed helps with toothaches and horseradish can potentially treat jaundice.
As more and more studies and research works are conducted in the present era, new discoveries arise on the healing benefits the cruciferous vegetables offer.
Cruciferous Fruits and Vegetables in the Bible
The Bible is the perfect resource of foods to eat – and cruciferous vegetables are among these highly nutritious and life-enhancing food items!
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told the parable of the Mustard seed, which is a cruciferous vegetable.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES." - Matthew 13:31-32
While the vegetable was presented in a parable, it was definitely a symbol of life and growth, which is what a cruciferous vegetable does to your body.
It helps you to thrive and not just to survive!
When it comes to nutrient-dense foods, cruciferous vegetables are at the top of the list. Spoken highly in the Bible and by scientists, cruciferous veg prevents cancer and potentially reverse the growth of cancer cells while treating a wide range of medical conditions naturally.
What more can you ask for?!
Cruciferous Vegetable List – How Many of These Are You Eating in a Week??
Now, you have some ideas about the exceptional health benefits of cruciferous vegetables…
And we’re diving deeper into that topic in the next section.
But for now, I’ll share with you this amazing list of cruciferous plants to add to the diet today.
These are excellent vegetables to make room for on your plate diet to reap enormous health benefits:
1. Brussels Sprouts
3. Cabbage, Bok Choy
7. Mustard Greens, Mizuna
12. Collard Greens
Feed yourself daily with these nutrients and feel alive, energized, and rejuvenated.
Your body will surely thank you each time you give it a good serving of these vegetables that are truly a powerhouse of nutrients!
Cruciferous Veg Health Benefits
Earlier, I gave you an overview of the benefits that cruciferous vegetables offer.
Now, let’s go deeper into these health benefits and be amazed by what you’re getting with every munch of these super veggies! Keep in mind - these foods represent the CROSS!
1. Reduce Inflammation
When there is an infection or an ailment, your body’s natural immune response is to trigger an inflammation of the affected area.
But when prolonged, inflammation can result in diseases that can impact your life such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
What cruciferous vegetables do is to relieve inflammation and normalize the impacted part of your body.
This was presented in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where a study conducted in 2014 showed how cruciferous veggies helped reduce inflammation in over 1,000 women by 25 percent. (3)
By reducing inflammation, this can help heal a wide range of diseases including ulcerative colitis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. (4)
2. Promote weight loss
The secret to weight loss is by consuming foods that are low in calories yet high in fiber to keep you satiated longer.
And guess what – cruciferous vegetables fit perfectly!
As these vegetables are loaded in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, desired weight can be achieved without depriving the body of the nutrients it needs.
Researchers have discovered that eating cruciferous vegetables daily helped reduce as much as 0.68 pounds among study participants in a course of two years.
While weight loss is not just associated with the right diet but also exercise, it sure helps to eat foods that support your goal of losing weight, which is what cruciferous vegetables are all about.
3. Assist with estrogen balance
Too much estrogen in the body can lead to headaches, low libido, and irregularity in menstrual periods.
So if you are suffering from these symptoms and have been proven to have high estrogen levels in your body, it is best to take proper action to address these concerns.
According to scientists, there is a link between estrogen levels and the consumption of cruciferous vegetables.
By eating these vegetables, this helps regulate metabolism and estrogen activity due to the indole-3-carbinol in these plants. (5)
Along with an improvement in those symptoms associated with estrogen levels that are off the charts, you will also experience better sleep by eating vegetables such as broccoli, mustard greens, kale, and other members of the Brassicaceae family.
4. Keep your heart healthy
Heart disease is the topmost killer disease in the United States, with the number of individuals suffering from this ailment constantly on the rise.
One way to counter this deadly illness is by eating cruciferous vegetables daily.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published a study that showed how over 130,000 adults reduced their risk of fatal heart disease by their increased consumption of cruciferous foods in 10 years. (6)
Combine a diet that includes these vegetables with regular exercises, stress management, and a healthy lifestyle, and you are well on your way to living a longer, more wholesome life!
5. Regulate your blood sugar levels
Cruciferous vegetables contain isothiocyanates that are from glucosinolates, which help reduce your blood sugar levels. (7)
These compounds work by addressing genes that increase the production of glucose in your liver.
With the help of these special components in cruciferous veggies, this can help decrease risks of diabetes while improving the health of individuals who are already suffering from this disease.
In addition to the isothiocyanates, cruciferous plants also have alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that reduces blood sugar levels. (8)
This aids in reversing diabetic neuropathy and enhances nerve functions and reduce numbness among diabetes patients.
6. Fight cancer
Can cruciferous vegetables really help fight cancer?
According to scientists, YES, these vegetables are among the few natural cancer-prevention foods!
Cruciferous veggies are loaded in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals or those substances that cause cancer. The antioxidants, combined with indole-3-carbinol and glucosinolates, help ward off this deadly disease naturally.
Aside from cruciferous vegetables, be sure to consume other foods that fight cancer including nuts, seeds, berries, and green leafy vegetables.
Check out The Whole Bible Diet – More Than A Fast, The Ultimate Health Guide for a deeper dive into this topic.
Ways to Enjoy Cruciferous Foods
There are different ways to enjoy cruciferous vegetables. Here are some of them:
Simply Raw: Enjoy vegetables chopped, sliced or diced. Eat them alone or added to a salad
Roasted: Roasting caramelizes the outside of the vegetable while keeping the inside crisp and tender.
Mixed: Recipes abound using cruciferous vegetables as the main and side ingredient. The more you experiment with the individual flavors the more you can substitute these healthy bounties for the casual carrot, corn, and mashed potatoes.
Easy and Tasty Cruciferous Recipes For You to Try
Now that you know how good cruciferous vegetables are for your health, it only makes sense that you eat them every day!
How can you incorporate these healing foods in your diet?
I have plenty of recipes that can help you add them to your daily diet and prepare them in interesting and scrumptious ways!
Here are some recipes you should try that I’m sure would become an instant hit in your home:
Brussel Sprouts Salad Recipe
Vegan Cabbage Rolls
Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
Just for fun, check out the video below to see a fun way to prepare your veggies!
How to Eat More Cruciferous Foods Each Day
We have all been told eat our vegetables; some days we comply and other days we defy.
Perhaps we need a story to challenge us and teach us why.
Imagine Jesus decides to dine with you.
At the dinner table, He shares what happened outside the walls of Jerusalem when three crosses were raised and He was in the center. He explains how his blood was shed for our redemption.
Jesus goes on to describe his reminder of the cross in the four petal flower on the cruciferous vegetable.
As you look down at your plate of broccoli He finishes by explaining that cruciferous means cross. And the cross brings healing.
Surprising Cruciferous Vegetables Health Benefits Backed By ResearchResearch proved Cruciferous vegetables are twice as powerful as other plant foods.
In population studies, a 20% increase in plant food intake generally corresponds to a 20% decrease in cancer rates, but a 20% increase in cruciferous vegetable intake corresponds in a 40% decrease in cancer rates.
Another study showed eating 28 servings of vegetables per week decreases prostates cancer risk by 33%, but just 3 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week decreases prostates cancer risk by 41%.
Incredible studies show God’s amazing design in these often ignored vegetables. Now we can prove it to ourselves by taking the Cruciferous Challenge.
To learn more about the health benefits and biblical connection of cruciferous vegetables: Treasures of Health Nutrition Manual.
What’s The 30 – Day Cruciferous Challenge and Why You Should Do It
The Cruciferous Challenge is a 30-day challenge will let you experience 3 things:
- How simple it is to add vegetables to the diet
- How new recipes add new favorites to the menu
- How God’s design in the cross does bring healing.
How to do the 30 Day Challenge
For thirty days commit to eating cruciferous vegetables to your daily menu.
If you already eat these throughout the week then it would be an increase in the number of servings. If these vegetables are new to you then it will be a great culinary adventure.
There are different levels of commitment to all challenges and since we are not grading on a curve you get to choose which level would convince you most.
Student of Cruciferous
This is the person who says “there might be some truth to this so I am going to give it a try”.
This person commits to eating at least 1 serving, which equals 1 cup of raw or lightly steamed, cruciferous vegetables every day for 30 days.
Master of Cruciferous
Tastimonies are the verbal recognition of how much better you feel following God’s design.
Let’s take it a step further with additional proof – lab work.
Before starting the 30 day challenge have lab works completed including a C-RP, Vitamin D and Cholesterol tested.
These tests can be ordered through your doctor or you can obtain them yourself through DirectLabs.
This website (not affiliated with Flavor of Grace) is an inexpensive way to track your health in a quick non-intimidating way. You don’t need to consult your doctor. Just go online, order the test you desire and then schedule an appointment to have the blood drawn. Then results will post online at the DirectLab website.
At the end of your 30-day challenge – have your lab work tested again.
After getting your final results, fill out the Cruciferous Challenge Check-In on the website: www.FlavorOfGrace.org. We are so looking forward to singing the Lord’s praises with you as proof is shown how these foods bring healing.
You’ve committed so now let’s look at the menu for the next 30 days. It is best to not eat just one for all 30 days but to sample and try each one.
For most people, at least half of these are not new in name but they are new in taste. This challenge will be an experience where new favorites will be discovered and new forget-its will be exposed. That’s normal; we all have different preferences when it comes to taste. But remember – taste is acquired.
You were not born with a taste preference. It starts in the mind and the mind filters what is eaten to determine if you like it or not. You’ve heard it said “It’s all in your mind” well that is true when it comes to taste.
Start this challenge with the mindset – ‘these are a gift from the Lord and it will do my body well to try each vegetable in at least 3 different recipes before determining the level of like or dislike’.
To learn more about the health benefits and biblical connection: Treasures Online 13 Week Course.
Eat More Cruciferous Foods and Let the Challenge Begin!
God has given us foods that heal, and the cruciferous plant is just one of these.
Now that you have read the history of these vegetables in the Bible and how these were used in ancient times to treat diseases, it’s time for you to see these results yourself.
I challenge you to take a step forward to achieve better health and to be on a mission to become your best self, today and onwards.
Take the 30-day cruciferous challenge, unleash your healthier, happier, and more youthful self, and continue singing praises to the Lord for all the wonderful things he has given to you.
Let the cruciferous challenge begin – and I’m here to come alongside you every step of the way!