What do bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale have in common? They are all classified as cruciferous vegetables. They contain vitamins, minerals and other compounds which have consistently been shown to benefit our health. In fact, a review of the research showed that over 70% of the studies found a link between the consumption of these veggies and a lower risk of cancer.
The different compounds in cruciferous vegetables have been shown to stimulate detoxification enzymes that help detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells. Consumption of these veggies has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress which is the overload of harmful molecules known as free radicals. In one study, eating 1-2 cups of cruciferous vegetables per day reduced oxidative stress by 22% while people taking a multi-vitamin supplement showed almost no change.
A study from the Babraham Institute in Cambridge showed that these vegetables play a role in the proper function of immune cells located in the gut and skin. These cells, known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IEL’s), are important as a first line of our immune defense and wound repair.
Research consistently provides proof that a healthy diet will always include these vegetables along with a large variety of other vegetables and fruits.