Cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage – one healthy green family

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Did you know that cauliflower and broccoli stem from the same family? Yip, so does kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts and even collards. They are all descendants of the economically important plant family Brassicaceae also known as Cruciferae. Among Brassicaceae’s eleven offspring, these leafy vegetables are born from Brassica Oleracea.

The fact that this one plant, Brassica Oleracea, gives life to all these distinct veggies makes it impressive.

For example, hypothetically speaking your parents (Brassica Oleracea) have three children – you (broccoli), your sister (cauliflower) and your brother (cabbage). All three siblings come from the same origin but neither one is the same.

Although some people, especially children, despise Brassicas for their bitter taste, these veggies do contain a list of health benefits:

  • Vitamin A – Helps to retain good vision and stimulate a healthy immune system.
  • Vitamin C – Maintain a healthy blood pressure, help reduce risk of heart disease, and as you get older vitamin C helps support good memory.
  • Vitamin E – Helps to relieve arthritis, maintain hormone balance and good skin health.
  • Vitamin K – Good for bone health and helps fight osteoporosis. It also aids the process of normal blood clotting.

Other nutrients that can be found in these vegetables are folate, calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus.

To get the most out of cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and the rest of the Brassica family, you have to know the best way to cook it. Make sure you do not overcook and stick to approximately 10 – 30 minutes, or else you might eliminate some of the healthy benefits and increase the bitterness of the veg. Other options include steaming or roasting these greens. Either way, Brassicas should be at the top of your food list as they are not only beneficial, but cheap as well.

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