Cruciferous vegetables may play an important role in cancer prevention. These vegetables contain phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates. These phytochemicals change the way estrogen is metabolized or broken down in the body. This in turn decreases the risk of hormone or estrogen related cancers such as breast and uterine cancer.
Chopping or chewing cruciferous vegetables results in the formation of these bioactive products. Eating these vegetables either raw, lightly sautéed, or steamed is best to retain the full array of nutrients. Cruciferous vegetables are also known as important sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Eating a serving of these vegetables daily (particularly broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts) can help lower disease risk.
The following vegetables are included in the cruciferous family: