CRUCIFEROUS…DERIVED FROM THE CROSS. We learn new things every day!
Jane Higdon, Ph.D.
LPI Research Associate
What are cruciferous vegetables?
Cruciferous or Brassica vegetables come from plants in the family known to botanists as Cruciferae or alternately, Brassicaceae. Plants in the Cruciferae family have flowers with four equal-sized petals in the shape of a cross. “Brassica” is the latin term for cabbage. Commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy, and Chinese cabbage. Arugula, horseradish, radish, wasabi, and watercress are also cruciferous vegetables.
What’s so special about cruciferous vegetables?
Like other dark green vegetables, many cruciferous vegetables are rich in folate and chlorophyll. One of the unique things about cruciferous vegetables is that they are rich sources of glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that give them their pungent aromas and spicy (some say bitter) taste. Chopping or chewing cruciferous vegetables releases myrosinase, an enzyme that breaks down glucosinolates into biologically active…
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