The vegetables I grew up with were pretty sad. Frozen vegetables like corn, carrots, peas and greens beans were the name of the game. If I did get fresh vegetables, it was a sad iceberg lettuce salad with carrots, cucumber and store-bought french dressing (STILL my favourite salad dressing of all time). Super crappy.
I never knew there was a whole other world of delicious vegetation that I could eat and experiment with. As a teenager, I began to bring more fresh food into my life- like spinach, broccoli and those containers of baby mixed greens. I also ate bell peppers and began my love affair with onions.
The more I learned, the more I realized that certain vegetables can have some pretty profound effects on my health. The biggest contenders in this area are the cruciferous vegetables. Now I eat them fresh, steamed, roasted or any way I can on a daily basis. I can say that they have helped me in numerous ways, like reducing my digestive difficulty, balancing my blood sugar and helping my liver detoxify hormones.
What Are Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables in the Brassica family of plants.
Here’s the list of delicious morsels in this group:
- bok choy
- collard greens
- brussels sprouts
- mustard greens
- napa cabbage
- daikon radish
Why Cruciferous Vegetables for Happy Hormones
As you can see, there are numerous vegetables in that list- all delicious. There’s so much variety it’s impossible to get sick of these Happy Hormones vegetables.
Here’s why we all need more of these beauties:
Glow: Skin + Hair Health
- These vegetables contain sulphur, an important mineral which is needed for healthy skin
- Brassicas contain Sulforaphane, an anti-oxidant and anti-aging compound which can reduce skin damage
- The DIM contained in these vegetables helps the body to detoxify excess estrogen, which can cause acne and contribute to other hormonal issues like PCOS, where hair loss and skin issues are common
Vivacity: Healthy Weight
- The sulfur compounds in cruciferous vegetables help to detoxify the liver- which when sluggish causes weight gain, bloating, gas and constipation
- The veg also contains high levels of fibre- which will create amazing poops which allow you to excrete built up hormones like estrogen, as well as move your bowels to reduce the weight of a GI system full of stool
- The fibre in these vegetables also balances insulin and blood sugar- something that is 100% KEY to releasing excess weight- keeping you full longer and not running to the vending machine
JOY: Positive Moods + Stable Relationships
- When your blood sugar is balanced, you don’t get ‘Hangry’ between meals- so you and the other humans in your path won’t see the monster
- As they help to detoxify excess estrogen- the common symptoms of mood swings, anxiety and depression that can result from estrogen dominance disappear
How to Use More Cruciferous Vegetables
(Beyond sad soggy boiled broccoli)
- Steam a bunch of these veg, add just enough bone broth to cover and blend into a healthy, nourishing soup
- Cut broccoli and cauliflower into tiny pieces and mix with your favourite homemade dressing, some shredded carrots and maybe a few juice-sweetened dried cranberries for a great salad
- Put some of those greens like kale or collards into your next smoothie for an antioxidant and fibre boost
- Shred Brussels sprouts and saute lightly with nitrate-free bacon and chopped onions
- Make a stir fry with asian vegetables like daikon radish and bok choy
- Put the daintier leafies like arugula, watercress and cabbage into a big green salad, topped with other veggies like peppers
- Steam a bunch of cauliflower and broccoli and top with melted ghee, lemon juice and salt and pepper
- Roast some rutabaga and mash as you would mashed potatoes, and use as a healthier and lower carb potato substitute
- Use horseradish to flavour your foods- it’s great with all types of meats and many fish
As you can see there is no shortage of ways to increase the amount of these tasty delights beyond just boiling and choking them down. Dress them up, dress them down. Enjoy them to detox daily for Happy Hormones!