Just like all carbohydrates, fats and proteins are not created equal from a fat loss or nutrient density standpoint, the same is true for vegetables. Yup, some vegetables are far more healthy than others. There is a particular group of vegetables that are health and nutrient POWERHOUSES. They can facilitate fat loss, boost the immune system, balance hormones and much more. Which vegetables are these? Cruciferous vegetables.
Cruciferous vegetables should become a daily staple in your diet for health, longevity and fat loss. Seriously. Every day. They include veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and bok choy. I routinely eat 3-5 cups of cruciferous vegetables every day and here are a few reasons why.
- They are high in fiber
Because they are a great source of fiber, they’ll help you stay fuller longer, curbing your hunger and reducing your cravings. They can also help to promote bowel regularity.
- They are low calorie
Eating 3-5 cups is no big deal because cruciferous veggies are so low calorie. You can enjoy them to your heart’s content, relying on them for snacks, meal fillers or to help satisfy your hunger and cravings without upsetting the caloric apple cart.
- They are natural estrogen detoxifiers
We’ve talked before about how there are good forms of estrogen and bad forms. When we have too much estrogen that can really impair our ability to burn fat (among other things). Compounds within cruciferous vegetables help to bind and eliminate the bad estrogens, bringing down your total estrogen load.
- They help manage blood sugar and moderate insulin release
Numerous clinical studies have shown that consuming cruciferous vegetables, likely in part due to their high fiber content, helps to reduce blood sugar and therefore manage the insulin response. This allows you to burn fat, as compared to having high blood sugar and elevated insulin, which prevents the ability to burn stored fat.
- They are anti-inflammatory
Consuming cruciferous vegetables reduces systemic inflammation. This not only reduces cortisol, a stress hormone that can slow fat loss, but it also protects your overall health. Systemic inflammation is the starting point for almost all chronic disease.
- They reduce your risk for cancer
Compounds in cruciferous vegetables known as glucosinolates break down into isothiocyanates and other protective compounds when you chew. Isothiocyanates have been shown in repeated studies to protect your cells from DNA damage, neutralize carcinogens, induce cell death in unhealthy (cancerous and precancerous) cells, and inhibit tumor formation.
- Uh, they’re really yummy! ‘Nuf said.
Here are some of my absolute favorite cruciferous vegetable recipes, but I also love to enjoy them steamed or sautéed with a little coconut oil or bacon fat!
The Slim Palate’s Broccoli Soup
PaleOMG’s Mexican “Rice” Bowls with Cauliflower Rice
Fed & Fit’s Detox Salad (featuring cabbage)
Nom Nom Paleo’s Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Play around with recipes until you find a way to eat these nutritional powerhouses that you absolutely love! Eating your veggies isn’t something to suffer through – it’s something to enjoy!!