Lose weight & detox all at the same time with this class of veggies
Cruciferous vegetables.. some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet are in the form of broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, collards, watercress, brussels sprouts and arugula. They are incredibly high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and can help us lose weight, detox, and protect us against cancer and heart disease-related conditions. They are best cooked in coconut oil, or sauteed in olive oil, or other healthy fats, as they also have a high content of fat-soluble nutrients that are best absorbed when cooked in fats.
So how do they do all this? They contain sulfur compounds known as glucosinolates that aid our liver in phase 2 detox, which is really important is it's what helps makes toxic metabolites more water soluble so they can get excreted through the body. If phase 2 isn't keeping up with phase 1, we may get something called franken-hormones, where our body can't quite excrete them, but yet now we have these messed up hormones exerting the same effects as regular hormones. Further, with the rise of estrogen dominance in men and women (symptoms such as inability to lose weight, fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, low libido), we really need those sulfur compounds because they help bind up and inactivate estrogen. Fat cells make estrogen, so when we lose weight, we're really on an uphill battle, so it's really important to ensure all hormones in balance. We also store toxins in our fat cells, so upon losing said weight because we are eating all these veggies, toxins will be released, so this will help bind it up.
In addition, these vegetables provide lots of fiber that feed good bacteria in our gut (also linked to weight loss), provide vitamins and minerals important for both phase 1 and phase 2 liver detox pathways (there's only 2), sugar cravings, and hormone production/metabolism. They also have breakdown products like indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which helps turn estrogen into more favorable types of estrogen. Little background- we have 4 types of estrogen, with estradiol the most prevalent (what we think of when we say estrogen) and estrone (more common in post menopause). Estrogen can become 2-OH, 4-OH, and 16-OH. The first is good, the second two, not so much. I3C helps turn estrogen into the good one.
Check out these easy ways to get these nutrient and power packed veggies into your diet!:
Add in something sweet or savory - When roasting or sauteing, add in something savory like organic turkey bacon or bacon, or sliced almonds, or something sweet like dried cranberries, diced apple, or roasted carrots.
Play with your food - Who ever thought there would be a day where cauliflower would turn into pizza?? And it's actually pretty good- Trader Joes now has cauliflower pizza, and I'm sure a number of other brands do too. There's also riced cauliflower and broccoli on the market, so consider even a paella or rice dish but with cauliflower rice as the base. Or, baking a bread? There's some great paleo recipes out there that are very allergen friendly (one of my favorites is nomnompaleo.com), and then toss in any of these vegetables for a more savory bread recipe.
There's so many different ways to channel your inner kid & creative side to play with your food, all while taking pride in knowing you're doing right by your body. And if you’d like some ideas tailored to you, we can do that too.