Cruciferous Vegetables: How Food Affects Health

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts are filling and full of nutrients that help keep you healthy! But if you have IBS, you may want to watch how much of them you eat!

Cruciferous vegetables are a group of vegetables that are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Some of the vegetables in this class are also good sources of calcium, beta-carotene, and vitamin B6.

Fiber is an important nutrient for weight loss and maintenance because it keeps you feeling full and helps control your hunger. Fiber can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and help to temper blood sugars by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals. This lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

Antioxidants in cruciferous vegetables like vitamin C may reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, too; collagen is a major component of cartilage that aids in joint flexibility, may reduce your risk of arthritis and keeps your skin and hair healthy and beautiful. Research shows vitamin C may also slow bone loss and decrease the risk of fractures.

B vitamins like folate and B6 may help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and prevent memory loss. Your scalp, hair follicles, and growing hair also benefit from these two B vitamins. And since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may help ward off depression and improve mood. Vitamin B6 helps create dopamine, a mood neurotransmitter that may combat PMSsymptoms.

Calcium is a mineral that keeps your bones and teeth healthy, helps support muscle movement, nerve operation, and immune activation, and helps prevent and manage osteoporosis. Cruciferous vegetables that contain calcium, such as broccoli and kale, may be able to help lower blood pressure and alleviate PMS cramping.

Cruciferous vegetables that contain beta-carotene, such as cabbage, contribute to the growth and repair of the body’s tissues. Beta-carotene may also protect your skin against sun damage. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, and food sources of beta-carotene are the best way to get your vitamin A, since extremely high doses of vitamin A in supplements can be toxic and lead to bone, liver, and neural disorders as well as birth defects. (Food sources of beta-carotene are entirely safe, since the body tightly regulates how much beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A.)

While cruciferous vegetables offer many health benefits, they are considered potential IBS trigger foods, and some people with IBS experience discomfort after eating them.


Bok Choy | Broccoli | Broccoli Rabe | Brussels Sprouts | Cabbage | Cauliflower

Bok Choy
Bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable that is a good source of calcium, a mineral known to help maintain strong bones and teeth, as well as manage blood pressure and reduce the symptoms of PMS. Bok choy may also help boost memory due to its phytochemicals — antioxidants found in all cruciferous vegetables. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are especially sensitive to cruciferous vegetables and experience discomfort after eating them.

Broccoli
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is beneficial for almost all conditions! It contains many nutrients (including soluble fiber, folate, and vitamin B6) that help enhance overall heart health. Because it’s high in fiber and low in calories, broccoli can also help you lose weight and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. It’s also a good source of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. The calcium and potassium in broccoli help keep your bones and teeth strong and may prevent PMS symptoms. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are especially sensitive to cruciferous vegetables and experience discomfort after eating them.

Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe is a cruciferous vegetable that has a nuttier and more bitter taste than regular broccoli. Like broccoli, it is a good source of folate and vitamin B6, nutrients that help enhance overall heart health. Because it’s high in fiber and low in calories, broccoli rabe can also help you lose weight and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. Broccoli rabe may also improve your mood, memory, and PMS symptoms. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are especially sensitive to cruciferous vegetables and experience discomfort after eating them.

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable that is beneficial for almost all conditions! Brussels sprouts contain many nutrients (including soluble fiber, folate, and vitamin B6) that help enhance overall heart health. Because they’re high in fiber and low in calories, brussels sprouts can also help you lose weight and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. They’re also a very good source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help prevent arthritis and maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Brussels sprouts may also improve your mood, memory, and PMS symptoms. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are especially sensitive to cruciferous vegetables and experience discomfort after eating them.

Cabbage
Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is beneficial for almost all conditions! It is a very good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene (especially Chinese and red cabbage), antioxidants that help prevent and manage arthritis and macular degeneration, and maintain healthy skin and hair. Because it’s super-low in calories, cabbage is a good food for people looking to lose weight. Red cabbage is rich in quercetin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that may help prevent arthritis and age-related memory loss. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are especially sensitive to cruciferous vegetables and experience discomfort after eating them.

Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is very low in calories and has a high water content, two features that make it a great food for weight loss. Cauliflower also provides soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesteroland keeps blood-sugar levels steady. Cauliflower is also a good source of vitamin C, which may help prevent and manage arthritis and macular degeneration, and helps maintain healthy hair and skin. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are especially sensitive to cruciferous vegetables and experience discomfort after eating them.

Cruciferous vegetables include bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Many cruciferous vegetables, including collard greens, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, arugula, and watercress, are also considered leafy green vegetables.