One of the folk traditions around the world on New Year’s Day is eating cabbage for good luck. There are compelling reasons though, for consuming cabbage and any of its relatives all year round. The name cruciferous stems from the cross-like shape of the four-petaled flowers of these vegetables’ plants. They are also referred to as the mustard family or Brassica, “cole crops” in Latin. Members of this family include: arugula, broccoli, collard greens, kale, horseradish, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, radish, turnip, cauliflower, wasabi, kohlrabi, watercress, and mustard.
Few foods can compete with cruciferous vegetables for their nutritional value. They offer a high concentration of vitamin A, C, K, all the B vitamins, as well as powerful antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. They are also rich in potassium, manganese, and fiber. Cruciferous veggies are champion cancer fighters containing glucosinolates, a group of natural compounds which aid in detoxifying a wide variety of cancer-causing toxins before they assault healthy cells.
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