What Is the Healthiest Cruciferous Vegetable?

Medically Reviewed on 4/20/2022
What is the healthiest cruciferous vegetable?
Cruciferous vegetables are typically low in calories and high in nutrients.

Various studies have reported that eating more cruciferous vegetables has several health benefits.

The healthiest cruciferous vegetables may include:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale 

Kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts have very high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid. They’re all packed with nutrients; thus, personal preference will play a huge factor in selecting which really is the finest.

Consuming cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli raw or steamed helps retain nutrients more effectively and reap maximum health advantages than consuming these vegetables after cooking or boiling.

What nutrients are high in cruciferous vegetables?

Cruciferous vegetables are typically low in calories and are well-known for their extensive nutritional advantages.

Cruciferous vegetables, such as steamed broccoli, are no less than superfoods because they are high in a variety of nutrients, including:

Cruciferous vegetables have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, making them one of the must-eat foods suggested by all nutritionists due to their numerous health advantages.

9 health benefits of adding cruciferous vegetables into my diet

Nine health benefits of cruciferous veggies include:

  1. Reduces cholesterol
  2. Reduces inflammation
  3. Aids in removing toxic waste products from the body 
  4. Improves cardiovascular/heart health
  5. Regulates blood sugar
  6. Aids in digestion
  7. Helps in weight loss
  8. Helps maintain blood pressure
  9. Prevents cancer

Studies report that because cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of glucosinolate, they may help fight cancer. This is backed by several research studies that report a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables may lower the rate of:


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10 best cruciferous vegetables to add to your diet

The ten best cruciferous vegetables according to various studies include:

  1. Broccoli:
    • Broccoli is a must-have in your daily diet to build your body and boost your immune system.
    • This cruciferous vegetable has the highest quantities of vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin A and ranks first on the list of super veggies.
  2. Brussels sprouts:
    • Brussel sprouts, such as broccoli, are excellent cruciferous vegetables.
    • They contain vitamins A, C, and E, as well as folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.
    • They offer about three grams of protein and fiber and only eight grams of carbohydrates per cup (88 grams).
  3. Kale:
    • Kale is a superfood that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, K, and B6. 
    • Kale is high in potassium, copper, and manganese. It is very low in carbs, with only 33 calories in one cup of kale.
    • Its rich nutrient content makes it a vital cruciferous vegetable for immunity, energy levels, and fitness, whether served cooked or raw.
  4. Cauliflower:
    • Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked and contains folate, vitamin B6, and potassium. Cauliflower can be used in place of rice.
    • This cruciferous vegetable contains 22 mg of calcium per 100 grams.
    • It is one of the greatest vegetables to include in a balanced diet because it is low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
  5. Cabbage:
    • Along with an abundance of vitamins, cabbage contains antioxidants such as beta-carotene and choline, both of which are essential for cellular health and recovery.
  6. Bok choy:
    • Bok choy is an intriguing cruciferous vegetable that contains 74 mg of calcium and about one gram of protein per cup of shredded bok choy (about 70 grams).
    • It contains vitamins C, K, and A, as well as folate, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium.
    • As a result, bok choy helps strengthen bones, reduces high blood pressure naturally, and promotes heart health.
  7. Radish:
    • Radishes are an excellent cruciferous vegetable to add to your diet if you want to improve your energy levels and physical well-being.
    • Although it may not have as many vitamins as broccoli or cauliflower, it does include calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and antioxidants to help with cardiovascular health.
  8. Turnip greens:
    • Turnip greens contain various vitamins such as K, B1, B6, B3, B5, and C.
    • They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, calcium, iron, and protein, which promote strong muscles, tissues, and overall health.
  9. Watercress:
    • If you ate only 34 grams (about one cup) of watercress for the day, you would meet all of your vitamin K requirements.
    • Watercress is a member of the cabbage family and contains trace levels of thiamine, magnesium, potassium, vitamins B6 and E, and folate.
  10. Arugula:
    • Arugula is an excellent choice for weight loss because it has only 3.7 grams of carbohydrate in a 100-gram portion and various vitamins and minerals.
    • With its wealth of vitamins A, C, and K, iron, folate, and calcium, you can strengthen your body and attain your wellness goals.

Cruciferous vegetables are high in nutrients and may help reduce the risk of a variety of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, irritable bowel syndrome, macular degeneration, and type II diabetes.

7 side effects of eating cruciferous vegetables daily

Before you pile it on, keep in mind that eating a lot of cruciferous veggies does have some side effects that include:

  1. They can create gas and bloating due to the fiber and glucosinolate they contain. 
  2. Although fiber is beneficial to digestion, ingesting too much of it in one sitting might cause it to ferment in the small and large intestines. This might cause gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
  3. As glucosinolate breaks down in the intestines, cruciferous vegetables can produce flatulence.
  4. There is some evidence that eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables, especially raw ones, may interfere with thyroid function because they contain goitrogens.
  5. Goitrogens are chemicals that interfere with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland, hence interfering with thyroid hormone production.
  6. This can not only lead to hypothyroidism but also cause the pituitary to release a thyroid-stimulating hormone, which encourages thyroid tissue growth.
  7. If you are prone to thyroid issues, try cooking your vegetables and increasing your intake of dietary iodine.

How can I add cruciferous vegetables into my diet without getting side effects?

To begin, start with a half-cup serving of your favorite cruciferous vegetable and gradually increase your intake over time.

  • Increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetables gradually provides a low-calorie source of dietary fiber that can improve digestive and cardiovascular function while keeping your blood sugar stable.
  • If you want to incorporate more cruciferous vegetables into your diet, they go well in stir-fries, salads, soups, and stews. 
  • Healthy doesn't mean bland. Cauliflower, for example, can be seasoned with toasted sesame seed oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, cumin, coriander, anise, or chili pepper. 
  • The usual rule while cooking cruciferous vegetables is to cook them as quickly as possible.
  • Boiling destroys all glucosinolate. If you must boil them, attempt to do it as quickly as possible while retaining some crunch.

In any case, the numerous advantages of crucifers far outweigh the minor drawbacks. They not only fight cancer but also help control appetite due to their high soluble fiber content, and they are thought to reduce fat absorption from other foods eaten at the same meal. However, keep fresh cruciferous vegetables in the refrigerator in large, airy plastic bags to avoid getting rotten.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 4/20/2022
Image Source: iStock image

The Super-Veggies: Cruciferous Vegetables: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/super-veggies-cruciferous-vegetables#

What Are Cruciferous Vegetables — and Why Are They So Good for You? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/crunchy-and-cruciferous-youll-love-this-special-family-of-veggies/

The Beginner's Guide to Cruciferous Vegetables: https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/the-beginners-guide-to-cruciferous-vegetables