What are Cruciferous Vegetables in India?
Cruciferous vegetables come from the Brassica genus. These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, watercress, wasabi, horseradish, bok choy, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga and turnip. They get their cruciferous name from the shape of their flower, which has four petals that resemble a cross. Such vegetables tend to have more intense and bitter flavors, and they can taste peppery, mustardy. In recent years, cruciferous vegetables have gained a significant attention in worldwide, and India is not an exception. Due to its nutritional value, cruciferous vegetables in India has been gaining its popularity and we can see a variety of cruciferous vegetables in India recent times in Indian market.
What are the Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables?
Cruciferous vegetables provide important phytonutrients that switch on the phase 2 enzymes in your liver, which are responsible for removing toxins and drugs from our body and dampening inflammation. They are keys to stopping the spread and growth of cancer.
The cruciferous vegetables are high in calcium, folate, vitamin K, and other vitamins and minerals. Additionally a good source of vitamins A and C are dark green cruciferous vegetables. These vitamins aid in reducing inflammation and risk of developing cancer.
Besides, these vegetables will keep you satisfied for a long time without harming your stomach because they are also high in fiber and low in calories.
Cruciferous Vegetables in India:
In India, you will find a variety of cruciferous vegetables. Here is the list of cruciferous vegetables in India:
- Broccoli: Broccoli is well-known cruciferous vegetable that is high in vitamins C and K, folate and fiber. It is a flexible cruciferous vegetable that can be used in Indian cuisine in many ways as a soup, salads, stir-fries.
- Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a staple cruciferous vegetable that is rich in nutrients. It helps to the natural detoxification of the body removing the toxins and providing a healthier you.
- Cabbage: Cabbage is a well-known cruciferous vegetables in India, which is used in curry, salads, coleslaw and various Indian dishes. rich in vitamin C and K, it has the potential of anti-inflammatory effects to fight against cancer.
- Kale: Though kale has not got enough lime-light as other cruciferous vegetables in India, but for its exceptional nutritional qualities, it has been gaining popularity slowly in the Indian Market.
- Radish: Radish is very commonly used cruciferous vegetables in India. This vegetable is rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber and plays an important role in maintaining overall health.
- Mustard Greens (Sarson ka Saag): Mustard greens are a leafy vegetables that is commonly found in North India.
- Tunip (Shalgam): Tunip is the root vegetable that is commonly used in Indian cuisine to make dishes like Shalgam ki Sabzi, Shalgam ki Bharta and Shalgam ki Kheer.
How to Use Cruciferous Vegetables?
But there is catch. You first need to chew or chop the vegetables so that their enzyme myrosinase can come into contact with certain precursor phytonutrients that are stored in separate parts of the plant cell. Myrosinase then converts these phytonutrients to other substances, such as the molecule sulforaphane, which is known to have potent anticancer effects.
Unfortunately much of the myrosinase in these vegetables is destroyed in cooking. To get the best benefits out of these vegetables you need to either chop the cruciferous vegetables at least 30 minutes before coking or eat or may drink these vegies juice raw. This is also why commercially produced blanched and frozen broccoli lacks the ability to form sulforaphane.
How to Eat Cruciferous Vegetables?
You can enjoy cruciferous vegetables in soups, stir fries, salads and smoothies. Because the level of sulforaphane in humans is about three times higher after eating raw or lightly cooked broccoli that has been steamed for up to three minutes, include cruciferous vegetables at least three times a week in their uncooked state. Adding some olive oil or lemon juice will help them to taste less bitter.
Cruciferous Vegetables Dishes:
There are many healthy as well as attractive cruciferous recipes that are very popular not only in India as well as all over the world. These cruciferous vegetables are consumed both as raw and cooked by people.
Cauliflower Dishes: Cauliflower is a versatile-based cruciferous vegetables we can steam, roast or used in curry. The healthiest substitute for cream sauce is cauliflower puree which you can use to give your soups a creamy texture.
Broccoli: You can simply chop the vegetables into small pieces, stir-fry it in two tablespoons of butter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy the crunchy snack. You may also used broccoli in soup with other vegetables.
Cabbage: You can eat cabbage as you like – raw, cooked, half-boiled. You may also use cabbage leaf in a vegetable curry. You can slice cabbage to use it in salads or even make a sabzi by combining it with potatoes and peas.
Radish: Radish is a popular cruciferous vegetables in India very common in winter season. This vegetable is used in salads or you may grill it, stir-fry it with little butter. Radish is also used in soups. By making thin slices of radish and adding vinegar, you can prepare radish pickles.