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    Archive for the ‘cruciferous vegetables’ Category

    Numbers Game: Answer

    cauliflowerDecades of studies on cruciferous vegetables and cancer risk have consistently demonstrated that in order to significantly lower our risk for colorectal, lung, protate, and breast cancers, we should aim for at least 5 – 6 servings per week of cruciferous vegetables.

    It’s not as much as you may think.

    A mere half-cup (raw or cooked) of broccoli, brusels sprouts, or cauliflower once a day is all you need!

    In the case of arugula, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, and swiss chard, one serving is considered one cup when raw and a half-cup if cooked.

    For optimal benefits, the recommended way to cook cruciferous vegetables is to lightly steam them, since exposure to high heat for long periods of time deactivates many of the health-promoting active compounds.

    As if the health benefits mentioned at the beginning of this post weren’t enough, there is also a significant body of research that links frequent and consistent consumption of cruciferous vegetables with lower risk of cardiovascular disease!

    It turns out many of the intrinsic phytonutrients in these foods help reduce cellular inflammation (one of the prime causes of heart disease).

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    Numbers Game: Behold the Marvelous Cruciferous

    bok_choyDecades of studies on cruciferous vegetables and cancer risk have consistently demonstrated that in order to significantly lower our risk for colorectal, lung, protate, and breast cancers, we should aim for at least _____ servings per week of cruciferous vegetables.

    Examples of cruciferous vegetables: arugula, bok choy (pictured at left), broccoli, brusels sprouts, cauliflower, daikon, kale, mustard greens, and Swiss chard.

    a) 2 – 3
    b) 3.5 – 4
    c) 5 – 6
    d) 6.5 – 8

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Tuesday for the answer.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Arugula

    arugula1219364897There are few things I love more than arugula salads.

    Is arugula as healthy as other leafy green vegetables?

    — Dan Christom
    (Location withheld)

    I, too, love arugula’s peppery flavor.

    Something else worthy of affection?  Its stellar nutritional profile!

    A cup and a half (the amount typically used as a salad base) offers 15% of the Daily Value of vitamin A and almost half a day’s worth of vitamin K.

    Arugula also delivers decent amounts of folate and vitamin C.

    Remember, however, that vitamins and minerals are only half the tale.

    Arugula is a very good source of many phytonutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin (two powerhouses that fight macular degeneration).

    Another bonus?  Arugula belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family (where it counts broccoli, kale, and mustard greens as relatives).  High intakes of these vegetables (five to six times a week) are associated with reduced risk of cervical, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.

    PS: I often like to add a small amount of arugula to pesto for a unique flavor boost!

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