Exotic vegetables like Brussels sprouts, kale and arugula belong to the cruciferous group of veggies and are used for trend-setting vegetable recipes . These vegetables are loaded with nutritional value and help to fight inflammation.
‘Cruciferous’ is an informal classification for members of the mustard family and is derived from the Latin name ‘cruciferae’ meaning ‘cross bearing’ for the reason that the four petals resemble a cross. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radish are part of the cruciferous family.
Though these veggies grow in all different shapes, sizes and colors, they share numerous nutritional benefits. While most of the cruciferous veggies are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamin K, dark green cruciferous veggies are rich in vitamins A and C. These crucifers are also rich in phytonutrients which are plant-based compounds that lower inflammation and minimize the risk of developing cancer. Other foods that help to prevent our body from being affected by cancer can be found at www.firsteatright.com. You can eat as much of these veggies as you desire, as they are loaded with fiber and low in calories—a perfect combination to fill your stomach without overeating.
Generally, adults should consume at least 2.5 cups of vegetables daily. One cup of broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in raw or cooked form is proportionate to a 1-cup vegetable serving. Two cups of raw leafy veggies, such as kale, cabbage and bok choy, are also equivalent to only a 1-cup vegetable serving. These crucifers are recommended as a mandatory part of any diet for weight loss as they are highly nutritious with minimal calories.
All these details would surely tempt you to try these healthy crucifers. The tips given below will ease your job even more to load your body with the essential vitamins and minerals in an easy and delightful way.
There is more to cauliflower than just steaming it. You can roast florets or “steaks” of cauliflower to enjoy its pleasant flavor. High-calorie cream sauce can be easily substituted with pureed cauliflower. Think and experiment on what would work out for you. You can mash cauliflower into a pizza crust, grate into a substitute for rice or prepare a yummy dish by pickling for a low-calorie salty snack.
Brussels sprouts practically beg to be in the oven. For a melt-in-your-mouth side, roast and toss with something sweet, such as dried fruit or maple syrup, as well as something savory — anything from Parmesan cheese to diced anchovies.
Kale is simply the best green for salads. Take care to remove the tough stem of the kale, slicing them into thin strips and mixing them with toppings, dressings or anything of your choice. The finest part is that kale can be stored for quite some time and will not wither away. To minimize the bitterness of kale add roasted carrots, diced apples or dried fruits as these ingredients will enhance the sweetness of the dish. Lip-smacking smoothies and crispy chips are other innovative ways of using kale.
Planting an arugula is very easy and can be done quickly. Toss it into a salad, puree it into a pesto or sprinkle onto whole-wheat pizzas after they are popped out of the oven. Fresh arugula paired with feta cheese, cubed watermelon and a balsamic dressing is a sure way to satisfy your taste buds.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.