Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tip #27: Include cruciferous vegetables in your diet

I really believe that sometimes we make a mountain out of many things in life when we really don't have to. One of these is definitely diet. We worry whether we should become vegan or paleo or Atkins or whatever, and we get so concerned about doing it 100% that we end up failing because it's just too hard, we feel deprived of too many things. So I think a better approach is to try to add new things into our diet instead. One of the things you should definitely add and have most days is cruciferous vegetables.
My nutritionist recommends for me that I eat at least one cup a day, cooked or raw, so I've been doing that for more than a year and it is definitely not very difficult to do. From what I've read, even if you do this two or three times a week, you are already adding great benefits to your health.

Cruciferous vegetables have been called the "Super Veggies" for all the benefits they provide, such as fiber, vitamins, and other disease fighting phytochemicals. They.have the most powerful anticancer effects of all foods, both for prevention as well as for people in my situation. One great thing is that there is so many of them, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, arugula, bok choy, etc. In Wikipedia, they list an impressive thirty seven! It is then very easy to add to your diet without being bored by just one thing. There are days when I am running around, with no time for anything, so I just add my daily cup (this time raw) to whatever main dish I'm eating. I particularly like arugula or broccoli sprouts for this purpose. It really has been one of the easiest things to do in terms of changing my diet.

Another thing is that variety of fruits and vegetables is also as important (or more) as quantity, as we can read here, Fighting Inflammation with Food Synergy, and having such a long list of veggies in this family makes changing things often quite easy.

Here you have more information about them:

And here you have some recipes that I like:
  • Cauliflower Risotto. This is one of my favorites ways to eat cauliflower, and if you chop it in the Vitamix (by dropping big pieces into the machine while running), it is really easy to make.
  • Braised Bok Choy (at the end of article).
  • Basic Low Fat Coleslaw.
  • Kale chips. I came up with this recipe trying to imitate Brad's Raw Kale chips. I use a dehydrator that we were given as a gift many years ago, but I think they could be made in a regular oven as well, just in very low temperature for several hours. My kids love them. That says it all.
  • Peppery Salad dressing. This dressing is based on the Kale chips recipe. It does not have any cruciferous vegetable, but I like it with arugula, cauliflower or broccoli, and thus, you combine some of the most packed with antioxidant vegetables there are.
Do you have any other great recipes that we should all know about? Let me know!

photo credit: Esteban Cavrico via photo pin cc