Brassica(s) is not a word you come across every day, yet they are something we come across most days of our life, they are a hidden force for good working round the clock.
Hands up. Who believed their parents when they said, “Eat your Brussel sprouts they’re good for you.”? Well they were right and there’s a few other additions to add to the list of ‘good for you’ foods, which together make up the cruciferous veg family known as the Brassicas.
What is a Brassica?
So, first things first what is a brassica? Put simply it’s a group of vegetables, however its formally known as a genus from the mustard family. The brassica family is large and diverse, containing a wide range of colours, textures and tastes, all containing rich nutrients and vitamins; so, I bet your wondering who exactly is in this family? Well, the main players are broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts and they’re some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
Why are they so good?
You may be thinking “brilliant, I already eat these things on a regular basis”, but do you know what the true benefit of these vegetables are?
Let’s start simple, they’re packed with minerals like iron & selenium, have high quantities of vitamins like C, E, A & K and contain phytochemicals, including indole-3-carbinol, but that’ll need another blog.
We’ll just focus on a couple of the obvious benefits for now:
Vitamin C & E
Vitamin C is firstly linked to boosting your immune system by helping white blood cells work more efficiently. As well as this, Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant which further helps with the body’s natural defences and could help prevent the risk of getting chronic diseases, as well as helping people lower high blood pressure. Vitamin C is truly imperative part of your diet, as I’m sure we all know, now more than ever.
Vitamin E is also a highly effective antioxidant, it helps protect your cells from damage, maintaining health on the inside, as it breaks down ‘free radicals’ which can weaken healthy cells. Reducing that damage could slow the ageing of your cells, therefore keeping up health on the inside but also appearances on the outside, as it upholds health of your skin, eyes and hair, resulting in anti-ageing like properties.
Another brilliant property of Brassica’s is that they are high in sulphur, when you think sulphur you probably don’t automatically equate it to health, you probably think of some old rubbish science experiment you did at school, but sulphur is actually a highly effective, greatly under appreciated component in your wellbeing, first things first, sulphur is needed for a process called taurine synthesis, which essentially means the upkeep of our cardiovascular system, muscles and central nervous system, it also helps create insulin by binding the two chains of amino acid, and also is a key creator of anti-oxidants.
Which Brassicas are best?
We’re not going to dissuade anyone from eating whatever green veg they want, but typically the dark-green leafy brassicas like broccoli, kale, collard etc are more nutrient rich with higher antioxidant content. Florets tend to contain higher levels of nutrients, but don’t waste the stalks and leaves, get creative and use them in your cooking.
As you can see having Brassica’s as part of your diet could be really beneficial to your general health and wellbeing, you can certainly incorporate them in your everyday meals, but if you’re struggling then why not try something like our One Nutrition Power Greens powder? It’s a great way to include them throughout the day as you keep hydrated, just mix it in to your water bottle and your good to go with your daily hit of Brassica goodness.