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Six Ways to Increase Your Cruciferous Vegetable Intake

Group of young people eating a healthy vegetable meal at a table

We all remember being told as a kid, “Eat your vegetables!” As children, we all felt that broccoli was an extra special brand of torture. As adults, we know cruciferous vegetables are healthy, but some still shudder in horror at the thought of brussels sprouts. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Vegetables, even brussels sprouts, can be good to eat, as well as being good for us. But first things first:

What are Cruciferous Vegetables?

Cruciferous vegetables are a family of edible plants with amazing benefits for the human body. This family includes arugula, turnips, radishes, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy, and broccoli. They are high in fibers, vitamins, and minerals, as well as sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a natural phytochemical with antioxidizing properties, often called the anti-cancer compound.

Studies have found that eating cruciferous vegetables helps improve depression and inflammation caused by chronic disease. A continual diet of these super veggies has also been found to help patients with Autism. It really is worth finding ways to enjoy these wonderful vegetables.

Cooking and Disguising Your Vegetables

Vegetables get a bad wrap. They are extremely delicious if cooked right. Let’s be clear: boiled until they are mush is not “cooked right.” In fact, boiling vegetables actually cooks out most of the helpful nutrients. You would be better off drinking the water you boiled them in, instead of eating the vegetable mush. So how do you cook vegetables in a way that preserves both their taste and their nutrients?

  • Stir Fry– This simple method requires only a pan, cooking oil, and some veggies. Chop up the veggie of your choice and warm the oil of your choice (olive oil, avocado oil, etc.) in a frying pan. Drop in your veggies and keep them moving in the pan and sprinkle with the spice of your choice. When they are cooked through, dish them out and enjoy.
  • Bake/Broil– Toss your vegetables with oil, preferably olive or coconut, lay them out on a foil-covered baking sheet, and sprinkle with the spices of your choice. Bake until you can easily slide a fork into them. If you want an extra crisp to your veggies, broil for just a few minutes.
  • BBQ– To cook vegetables on the grill, you can get a special grilling basket, fold foil with the edges curled up, or pierce them with kebab skewers. Once again, toss the veggies with oil and season as desired. Place on the grill and cook until easily pierced with a fork.

If you don’t have time or don’t want to cook, try these methods instead:

  • Smoothie– Add some cruciferous greens to your favorite smoothie mix. Arugula, kale, and spinach are all great sources of nutrients. Don’t like the taste of blended greens? Pineapple juice is a great way to cover that green taste right up.
  • Juice Cleanse– A short-term juice cleanse with fresh, mixed juices, is a great way to get more veggies into your diet. Juice has anti-inflammatory and gut-healing properties. It’s also a straight shot of vital nutrients to help you get on a better path toward healthy living.
  • Delivery service– Let’s face it, cooking day in and day out is exhausting, even more so when you are trying to avoid the easy, processed foods. Food services like Z.E.N. Foods bring meals straight to your door every morning. Stuffed with tasty, healthy ingredients, the delivery service is a surefire way to ensure you get more veggies daily. Z.E.N. Foods’ website

Z.E.N. Foods

Z.E.N. Foods strives to provide easy access to nutritious foods in Los Angeles and other Southern California areas. A meal delivery plan is a great way to start including cruciferous vegetables in your diet and gives you time to focus on other healthy habits such as exercise without adding shopping and cooking to your schedule. To learn more about the amazing benefits of cruciferous vegetables, visit Z.E.N. Foods’ Wellness Blog today.

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