Cruciferous Vegetables, the one and only leafy veggies to cure fatty liver.
Cruciferous vegetables have vitamins, fiber and disease-fighting phytochemicals. See how to get more.
What do broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kale, and bok choy have in common?
They are all members of the cruciferous, or cabbage, vegetable family. And they all contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber that are important to your health (although some have more than others).
Health agencies recommend eating several servings of cruciferous vegetables a week, and for a good reason.
Lower risk of cancer?
One of the main reasons for eating many cruciferous vegetables is that they can help reduce your risk of cancer.
Several components in cruciferous vegetables have been linked to lower cancer risks. For example, some have demonstrated the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for breast cancer, uterine lining (endometrium), lung, colon, liver and cervix, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. And studies that track people's diets over time have found that diets high in crucifer’s vegetables are associated with lower rates of prostate cancer.
Studies in Laboratory show that one of the phytochemicals found in crucifer’s vegetables - sulforaphane - can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells, says Matthew Wallig, DVM, PhD. By various mechanisms, two other compounds found in vegetables Cruciferous foods - indole 3-carbinol and cramene - are also suspected of activating detoxification enzymes.
In a study, it is found that crambene is most active when combined with indole 3-carbinol.
Another way cruciferous vegetables can help protect against cancer is by reducing oxidative stress. Reducing these free radicals can minimize the risk of colon, lung, prostate, breast, and other types of cancers.
In another study, 20 participants were encouraged to eat 1 to 2 cups of crucifer’s vegetables a day. After the observation of three weeks, the amount of oxidative stress in her body was measured. Then, after a three-week washout period, study participants were instructed to take a fiber multivitamin. Again, oxidative stress was measured three weeks later.
And the results? Oxidative stress on subjects' bodies decreased by 22% during the time they ate many cruciferous vegetables. The change during the multivitamin segment was negligible (0.2 per cent), says lead researcher Jay H. Fowke, PhD, assistant professor and epidemiologist of cancer in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
More studies are needed, but Fowke believes there is pretty strong evidence that eating crucifer’s vegetables are a particularly healthy choice.
"There is no harm, and consistently across the board, it is associated with improved health and reduced risk of various chronic diseases," he said in an email interview.
It's best, he says, to eat these vegetables raw or just lightly steamed to preserve the phytochemicals that make cruciferous vegetables unique in terms of health and hygiene.
Diets that are rich in fish and vegetables (including cruciferous and dark yellow vegetables) can also help protect against cardiovascular disease. A recent study found that this diet was associated with lower levels of inflammation markers in the body. These markers can signal an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
In another recent study, diets low in cruciferous and yellow vegetables, wine and coffee, but high in sugary soft drinks, refined grains and processed meat were identified as a possible increase in chronic inflammation and increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Comparison of cruciferous vegetables
Cabbage (vitamin A)
Broccoli (vitamin C)
Brussels sprouts and broccoli (associated with folic acid)
Brussels sprouts have more vitamin E (about 9% of the daily value) and Vitamin B-1 (15% daily value). And broccoli and Brussels sprouts again have the healthiest omega-3s in plants: a cup of broccoli provides about 200 milligrams, and a cup of Brussels sprouts about 260 milligrams.
Here is a table comparing cruciferous vegetables, including nutrients to which they contribute at least 10% of the daily value. Remember that about half of the fiber in crucifers vegetables is super-healthy soluble fiber.
Tips for enjoying cruciferous vegetables
To maximize flavor and nutrition, here are some tips for buying and cooking crucifers vegetables,
Don't overcook cruciferous vegetables. They can produce a strong sulfur smell and become unpleasant.
You can buy different types of crucifers vegetables ready-made in your supermarket's frozen or fresh-packed departments, including broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
No raw vegetable dish is complete without dark green broccoli or snow-white cauliflower florets.
Add raw broccoli or cauliflower florets to your green salad for a big nutritional boost.
When shopping for fresh broccoli, look for firm florets with a purple, dark green, or bluish hue on top. They contain more vitamin C and beta-carotene than flowers with a light green top. If it's yellow or soft and pliable, broccoli is old - don't buy it.
Eat kale, cabbage and cauliflower for fatty liver diseases - find out how they help.
A new study has found that green leafy vegetables like kale, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts contain a compound known as indole that may help prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), or fatty liver disease, is a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver. Between 30-40 per cent of adults in the United States live with NAFLD.
The condition is one of the most common and reliable causes of chronic liver disease in Western countries, and experts associate it with obesity, overweight, and metabolic risk factors.
Currently, there are no approved treatments for NAFLD, which can progress to more severe diseases such as steatohepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis. Instead, health professionals recommend losing weight, making healthy food choices and getting more exercise to reduce liver fat.
New research, however, may open the way for a new treatment. Scientists at Karolinska Institute in Sweden have just published a study showing that inorganic nitrate, a compound found naturally in green leafy vegetables, can reduce fat accumulation in the liver.
Mattias Carlstrom, associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Karolinska Institute, is one of the study's senior investigators and corresponding authors.
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