The Nutritional Content of Brassica Plants

The brassica family of plants are a nutritionally important group of plants that include kale, Brussel sprouts, watercress, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. These plants have been evidence to confer beneficial health effects to humans. The plants contain a range of antioxidants that include phytochemicals from the carotenoid, polyphenolic and terpenoid groups. In terms of polyphenols the main sub-groups present in the plants include the flavonoids. The carotenoids present in brassica plants include compounds such as zeathanthin, lutein and β-carotene. Additional health effects may come from the presence of alkaloids and glucosinolates. In the case of the latter, glucosinolates are the reason for the distinctive bitter taste of brassica plants. This bitter taste can be repulsive children because children possess such greater taste acuity compared to adults. Care should therefore be taken during the preparation of brassica plants if they are to be consumed by children in order that their taste does not become overwhelming.  

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Francisco, M., Tortosa, M., Martínez‐Ballesta, M., Velasco, P., García‐Viguera, C. and Moreno, D. A. 2017. Nutritional and phytochemical value of Brassica crops from the agri‐food perspective. Annals of Applied Biology. 170(2): 273-285

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
This entry was posted in Alkaloids, Brassica, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carotenoids, Cauliflower, Glucosinolates, Kale (Brassica oleracea), Polyphenols, Terpenes, Watercress. Bookmark the permalink.