The Beneficial Effects of Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are those that belong to the Brassicaceae family. Nutritionally and economically these vegetables are an important crop for humans. The varieties of cruciferous vegetables sold commercially differ significantly from their wild counterparts in terms of their palatability, nutritional content and their resistance to pests, and it is for this reason that they have been bred. Cruciferous vegetables are beneficial to the health because they contain a number of bioactive compounds which include the glucosinolate and S-methyl cysteine sulfoxide compounds. The mechanisms by which these phytochemicals are protective include protecting the cell against DNA damage, deactivating carcinogenic substances, conferring antiviral and antibacterial effects, triggering apoptosis in cells with disrupted structure, inhibiting the migration of tumour cells thus decreasing metastasis and reduction in the development of angiogenesis. The S-methyl sulfoxide compounds may also block genotoxicity. The current recommendation is to incorporate cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and broccoli into the diet in order to help reduce the risk of developing a range of cancers. Cruciferous vegetables are currently being explored as possible functional foods that can be used to provide increased amounts of anticancer nutrients to the diet. 

Eat Well, Stay HEalthy, Protect Yourself


Ağagündüz, D., Teslime, Ö.Ş., Yılmaz, B., Ekenci, K.D., Özer, Ş.D. and Capasso, R. 2022. Cruciferous Vegetables and Their Bioactive Metabolites: from Prevention to Novel Therapies of Colorectal Cancer. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Article ID 1534083

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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