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Whole Gourmet Natural Cooking

Alison Anton's Natural Cooking Blog offers healthy recipes, inspirational food articles and culinary advice for the natural chef, and features dessert recipes from her upcoming cookbook, Desserts for Every Body.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to Get Your Greens -- Green Veggies VIDEO!

Food can sometimes be our best medicine. Nature has blessed us with healing foods of all kinds, but the handful of mighty green vegetables known as the cruciferous varieties are particularly powerful in protecting against all kinds of diseases like cancer, heart disease and strokes.

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Watch the Cruciferous Vegetables video for preparation ideas!

They are called "cruciferous" because, if given the chance to come to full bloom, these vegetables have flowers with four petals that resemble a cross - or crux in Latin. These veggies include arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, radishes, turnip greens and watercress.

Each one of these power-packed vegetables contain vitamins-a-plenty, mega-minerals and other substances that research has proven to be active forces in fighting disease. Says the Linus Pauling Macronutrient Institute , "One characteristic that sets cruciferous vegetables apart from other vegetables is their high glucosinolate content [that] can help prevent cancer by enhancing the elimination of carcinogens before they can damage DNA".

Kale in particular is one of the best-known cancer fighters on the planet. Kale is a deep leafy green vegetable that is the richest of all leafy greens in carotenoids. It is extremely high in calcium, in a form that is more absorbable by the body than milk. Since this form of calcium is so easily assimilated, it is a wonder for protecting against osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Although cooking destroys some of the vitamins and phytonutrients, heating high-mineral foods leaves the minerals unscathed.

Unfortunately, people with sensitive systems can have a hard time digesting cruciferous vegetables. Most commonly, these vegetables can cause bloating, stomach upset and gas. If you suffer from these symtoms, but want to add more cruciferous vegetables to your diet, try adding them gradually in small amounts so that your body slowly learns how to tolerate them. Start by adding 1/4-1/2 cup twice a week and increase from there.

Preventing disease before it happens is one of the ways that we can take responsibility for our health. In this modern day and age no one is immune, but by eating a variety of fresh organic vegetables, especially the cruciferous and deep leafy varieties, we are decreasing the total load of toxicity in our bodies and taking positive steps toward longevity and happiness. Now that's getting to the "crux" of the matter!


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