When you were young, were you ever told to “eat your Brussels sprouts!” by your parents at the dinner table? Do you ever wonder why this family of vegetables is so important?
I’m talking about cruciferous vegetables. Some common ones include:
Well for starters, cruciferous vegetables are nutrient dense, which generally means that they are high in nutrients in a low-calorie package. But in addition to their health benefits, they have some added bonuses that can help you to reduce weight, especially around the midsection.
Many women can relate to feeling like their hormones are out of whack, but an imbalance in hormones can happen to men too. One of the factors in hormone imbalance is excess estrogens and causes symptoms such as excess weight, sluggish metabolism, and many others.
Have you ever heard the word xenoestrogens?
They are chemicals found in plastics and also in our food and environment such as pesticides, and certain petrochemicals in the air, water, cosmetics and household cleaners.
They are hard to completely avoid and negatively react with your hormones by mimicking estrogens and causing hormone balance disruptions. This causes health issues such as increased cancer risk and additional fat storage in the body.
So how do cruciferous vegetables help to prevent cancer and fight abdominal fat?
They Support the Body’s Detoxification System
This group of vegetables contains specific phytonutrients called indol-3-carbinol (I3C) that supports the liver’s ability to detoxify the excess estrogens that we come into contact with.
They are a Good Source of Fiber
After the excess estrogens are detoxified by your liver, they are deposited into your small intestine via bile. Adequate fiber in the diet ensures that they are then eliminated as long as there is a balance of beneficial bacteria preventing the estrogens from being reabsorbed.
In case you’re going to go crazy and juice pounds of these vegetables every day, it is worth a mention is that it is possible to harm your thyroid if you get too much RAW cruciferous. This study indicated that it would take more than 1kg per day of raw kale, Brussels sprouts or collards over a period of several months to reduce thyroid function. This is NOT true if you cook or ferment them, so your risk of overdoing it is likely low.
Be sure to add these cruciferous vegetables to your daily meals. Check out these recipes for tasty ways to do it.
Blissful Blueberry Smoothie – super low in sugar! If you need it sweeter, just add more berries.