Another approach to vegetables and health
While all vegetables are basically good for your health some are better than others. Cruciferous veggies are special due to their chemical composition which includes sulphurous compounds which give then their pungent flavour. When broken down by either chewing or chopping these sulphurous compounds are converted into isothiocyanates (ITCs) which can prevent and help fight cancer as well as boosting the immune system. Cruciferous veggies also contain antiviral/bacterial agents that can help keep you disease free.
Cruciferous veggies include beets and their greens, bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, turnip greens and watercress.
Other vegetables with potent medicinal properties include the following:
- Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin which protects your cells from many chronic diseases, prevents cancer, infections and colds. Onions have similar properties and benefits and counteract against heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Mushrooms enhance natural killer cells (NKT) which attack and remove damaged cells or those infected by a virus. They’re effective in decreasing cancers, especially the risk of breast cancer and preventing tumours by cutting off their supply of blood.
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that can prevent prostate cancer as well as having high levels of fiber and beta carotene.
For a blood cleanser you can’t do better than eating beets which are rich in iron, detoxifying properties and high in fiber. Just make sure you get fresh beets not the pre-cooked variety.
- Spinach is rich in beta carotene, zinc and vitamin C, all of which boost the immune system and help resist colds and other infections as well as keeping your skin healthy.
- Asparagus is a natural diuretic that flushes out toxins in the body and is also helpful in reducing the effects of arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Red bell pepper is another powerful immune booster. Its high levels of beta carotene transform into vitamin A which defends the body against disease. Green and yellow bell peppers are also healthy; however, reds have more beta carotene.
- Finally, we have sweet potatoes, superior to white potatoes in terms of the benefits. The orange variety has all the antioxidant, antiviral and anti-cancer properties you could ask for, plus fiber and vitamin E for healthy skin.