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Crucial facts about health benefits of popular cruciferous vegetables

Shivapriya Manchali, Kotamballi N. Chidambara Murthy, Bhimanagouda S. Patil
Journal of functional foods 2012 v.4 no.1 pp. 94-106
Brussels sprouts, anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidants, broccoli, cabbage, cardiovascular diseases, carotenoids, cauliflower, chronic diseases, coumarins, glucosinolates, histone deacetylase, kale, metabolism, nutrient content, nutrition information, radishes, s-methylcysteine sulfoxide, salads, secondary metabolites, sulfur, vegetable consumption, watercress
The lower incidences of many chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular related ailments are associated with consumption of vegetables rich dietary regimes and this has been substantiated through numerous in vitro, pre-clinical and clinical investigations. Members of cruciferous family are cultivated and widely consumed universally as a part of daily diet. The major vegetables includes broccoli, cauliflower, radish, kale, brussels sprouts, watercress and cabbage that are used either fresh (salads), steamed or cooked. Besides nutritional components, these vegetables are also rich in health beneficial secondary metabolites, which include sulfur containing glucosinolates and S-methylcysteine sulfoxide, flavonoids, anthocyanins, coumarins, carotenoids, antioxidant enzymes, terpenes and other minor compounds. Based on the worldwide popularity and health benefits of these vegetables, this review provides collective information on nutritional and health benefits. In addition, information on evidence based therapeutic and prophylactic benefits of commonly used cruciferous vegetables are discussed with emphasis on cancer and cardiovascular disease. Some of the unique mechanisms of cancer inhibition such as effect on Nrf2, polymorphism, anti-inflammatory, inhibition of histone deacetylase activity and influence on estrogen metabolism are also included.