You know, Mom was right when she told you to “eat your veggies.” And it is still true now that we are older. But there is one group of veggies that is especially crucial as we age: the cruciferous group.
What in the world are cruciferous vegetables? Here’s your Wiki definition:
“Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables of the family Brassicaceae. These vegetables are widely cultivated, with many genera, species, and cultivars being raised for food production such as cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli and similar green leaf vegetables.”
“Similar green leaf vegetables” refers to Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, etc.
So why are these greens so important as we age? The super-simple answer is that they help to balance “good” and “bad” estrogen levels, which can help to prevent certain types of cancer as well as a plethora of other unpleasant stuff that can happen as we age.
The main ingredient in crucifers that is responsible for this is called Diindolymethane (DIM). DIM has the unique ability to favorably increase the production of 2 hydroxy or 2 methoxy estrogens and thus help defend the body against estrogen’s adverse effects.
Here are a couple easy ways to get some crucifers into your bod:
- Add kale, broccoli, etc. to stews and soups. This is one of my favorite ways to get veggies in. I put kale in just about every type of Crockpot dish I make.
- Add a handful or two of kale and/or spinach to your protein smoothie. I know it sounds gross, and it will turn your shake into a lovely shade of green, but I promise you won’t be able to taste it!
- Bake up a batch of kale chips or crispy broccoli. Super easy, and satisfies that need for something savory and crunchy.
- Try the below: super-simple, low-carb and very tasty recipe of Chicken and Brussels Sprouts (even Nick loved it, and he is NOT a fan of #tinycabbageheads!).
Sautéed Chicken & Brussels Sprouts (right click and choose save as for print n go)
1 lb chicken breast, cubed
1 package pre-shaved fresh Brussels Sprouts (I got mine from Trader Joe’s) or whole Brussels Sprouts, grated
1 tbs coconut oil
Sea salt, garlic powder, other seasonings you like to taste (I use a salf-free organic blend from Costco-see pic below)
Brown chicken on both sides in coconut oil. Add in sprouts and cook all, stir-fry style, until chicken and sprouts are done.
Eat alone, or for a veggie bonus, serve over a bed of baby greens and spinach. I like to say: eat your veggies, then eat some more!
What are some ways you like to get your veggies in? Lemme know!