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Cruciferous Confessions

Exploring the First Family of cancer-fighters

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Cruciferous Confessions

I have a confession to make. Despite being a self-proclaimed adventurer in new foods, I have only just discovered kohlrabi. It could be because this round, purple vegetable looks so odd. But as a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, kohlrabi is worth trying.

I have a confession to make. Despite being a self-proclaimed adventurer in new foods, I have only just discovered kohlrabi. It could be because this round, purple vegetable looks so odd. But as a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, kohlrabi is worth trying.

Cruciferous veggies have long been held to prevent cancer. Until recently, scientists didn’t quite know why, but recent studies have shown that these vegetables help trigger the body’s toxic-waste disposal system.

Plant chemicals, such as sulphoraphane and indole-3-carbinol, help release a protein that activates a dozen or more toxin-fighting enzymes. These enzymes either neutralize cancer-causing chemicals or help the body excrete them. Researchers in New Zealand have also discovered that isothiocyanates in the cruciferous family of vegetables cause cancer cell suicide (apoptosis).

The list of cruciferous foods is extensive and they should be consumed every day, rather than a couple of times a week. In addition to kohlrabi, experiment with bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red and green cabbage (and fermented sauerkraut), cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnips, and watercress.

Trying new and unusual veggies brings new flavours and novelty back into cooking. Kohlrabi could be your new food adventure today.

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