Cruciferous Kick

by Hugh

Cruciferous Kick is a particularly healthy juice because it cleanses and fortifies, and its core ingredients are said to have great healing properties. It’s not for the faint of heart, but seasoned juicers will enjoy this juice and all it does.

What are Cruciferous Vegetables?

Cruciferous vegetables belong to the Brassicaceae family, commonly known as the mustard family. They are called cruciferous because the flowers have four petals resembling a cross, so were said to be “cross bearing”, or Cruciferae in Latin.

Cruciferous vegetables contain sulfur-containing glucosinolates that gives them a slightly sulfur aroma and sometimes a hot peppery taste. If you have ever overdone the use of arugula or water cress in a salad or juice then you understand how strong the peppery taste can be.

Cruciferous vegetables contain abundant nutrients including folate, calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium and potassium as well as cancer-fighting agents such as glucosinolates, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, which may decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.

The Linus Pauling Institute and the American Institute for Cancer Research have done research that shows that when glucosinolates are broken down into isothiocyanates and indoles, the biologically active compounds, they lower cancer risk and protect DNA from damage. They also prevent normal cells from becoming cancerous cells, slow the growth of cancer cells and could very well cause cancer cells to die off.

The cruciferous vegetables in the recipe below are green cabbage and kale.

Ingredients for Cruciferous Kick

1/3 head green cabbage

5 stalks celery

½ bunch cilantro

6 kale leaves

2 small cucumbers

½ lemon with peel

1 ½” piece fresh ginger root

Yields about 4 cups.

The Goitrogen Factor

This probably isn’t a juice you’d have day in and day out, it’s one you’d put in a rotation of juices and have perhaps have once or twice per week. The reason I say this is because of the goitrogen content in the cabbage and kale.

Goitrogens are naturally occurring substances that can interfere with thyroid gland function by inhibiting iodine uptake which is a critical nutrient for hormone production. Most experts agree that if you don’t already have a compromised thyroid then moderate intake should be fine.

Of course with juicing we remove most of the non-soluble fiber and thus concentrate the remaining ingredients and allow for their quick uptake, which could be an issue with heavy intake of goitrogenic foods.

Rotate your greens and make sure you have a good iodine source in your diet and all should be fine. Sea vegetables are typically a good source of dietary iodine whose intake is a good adjunct to any diet regardless of the goitrogen factor.

Go here for more information on goitrogens and to see a list of other foods containing goitrogens.

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