Health and Healing Blog
Lauri Lang's picture

What are Cruciferous veggies and Why do I need to know?

Cruciferous veggies are a category that has been relatively well studied for its link to cancer prevention. The four petal flowers resemble a cross or "crucifer" so in case you're interested in nerdy food and health trivia, that is how this class of veggies got their name! They are filled with therapeutic vitamins and minerals that promote good health in general, and also phytochemicals or phytonutrients (substances found in certain plants which are believed to be beneficial to human health and help prevent various diseases) known for detoxification and cancer fighting properties. 


Here is a list of Cruciferous veggies:


Bok Choy


Broccoli Raab or Rapini

Broccoli Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts



Collard Greens








Here is a list of some ways they could prevent cancer:

Protecting cells from DNA damage

Inactivating carcinogens

Inhibiting tumor blood vessel formation

Preventing tumor cell migration

Shifting estrogen to weaker form to reduce sex hormone related cancers

Protecting against viruses and bacteria

Preventing inflammation


Research is still being analyzed, and there is evidence that an individual's gene-diet interaction impacts how long the body retains and utilizes protective cruciferous nutrients in the body. This accounts for variation in research results. Since there are few down sides to consuming plenty of well prepared, lightly cooked cruciferous veggies for most individuals, I suggest increasing their daily presence in your diet!


NOTE: Copious amounts of raw cruciferous veggies may affect thyroid function, please consult your doctor if you have a thyroid condition.  


Recipe Ideas:


Roasting: Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower or Broccoli with olive or coconut oil, garlic, sea salt and your favorite herbs or spices....try turmeric and black pepper to kick cancer and inflammation fighting up another notch!


Sautéing: greens lightly, like kale (Lacinato or dinosaur is my personal favorite) or collards using this flavor profile: salty, sweet, bitter, heat. An example is to use coconut oil for sweet, sea salt, your favorite vinegar for acid, Siracha or crushed red pepper flake for heat.


Bon Appetit and Salud!

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Diane Brinsko's picture


As I watch the sun set earlier each evening, aware of the seasonal transition that is to come, I find myself holding tight to these last weeks of summer. To help coax myself through this time of apprehension and change, I turn my attention to nature. Here are my suggestions for savoring this warm-weather season:



  • Go outside in your pajamas first-thing in the morning to greet the natural world: the flowers in bloom, their stamen adorned with bees collecting the last bits of pollen to nourish the queen; myriad butterflies sipping sweet nectar; the birds twittering, especially the yellow finches that flutter from purple cone flowers to sunflowers in the garden where dewey spider webs glisten in the morning light. And marvel. Just allow yourself to marvel at the delicate artwork cast by these tiniest of creatures.


  • Repeat at night. Listen to the cacophony of crickets, cicadas, and tree frogs, and maybe catch the occasional hoot of an owl. Close your eyes. Observe this communing of animals and insects. And when you open your eyes again, look up at the sky and see the stars and the moon, ever-shifting through its own phases of darkness and light.   


  • Continue to tune in to nature all throughout your day. Take a walk through your neighborhood or the park; step outside and take ten deep breaths of fresh air, feeling the sunlight warm on your skin; smell fresh flowers or herbs or the aroma of newly clipped grass; and listen to the wild world that exists all around you.


  • When you finally retire for the evening, invite nature in. Open your windows wide, close your eyes, and settle in for sweet dreams and a childlike anticipation of doing it all over again tomorrow.


Isn't it amazing—and humbling—to know that we, like the animals and insects, the moon and the stars  are all part of this dynamic dance of existence? Don't allow the drudgery of life to close you off even to the smallest of miracles that surround you. Instead, open yourself and your heart to the world, and see what happens.


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Angie Miller's picture

Tumeric Tonic

I've talked to a number of my clients about the side effect free, natural anti-inflammatory benefits of tumeric, and I'm usually met with the question of "well, how do I take it?" The following is a delicious and refreshing tonic that can be made at home and sipped in the morning or with a meal.

Tumeric is that intensely brilliant yellow-orange herb of the ginger family from tropical South Asia. Its often found as a culinary spice in Indian cuisine and has been widely used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries. An active ingredient in Tumeric called curcumin has been the focus of numerous academic studies which have found it to have significant therapeutic anti-inflammatory action and can be beneficial and effective in the treatment of many inflammatory diseases including IBS, stomach ulcers, psoriasis & other skin rashes and Arthritis, among many others.

You can find it in either capsule or loose powder form at Whole Foods or the East End Co-op. If you choose to use the loose powder I would recommend getting it from the bulk herb section of either of those stores rather than as a spice from the baking section for the sake of freshness and potency. There are innumerable recipes that engage Tumeric, especially curries, and you can purchase a variety of teas containing the spice, but as for a tonic to have on hand for daily consumption, the following is one of my favorites:

You will need:
4 cups coconut water
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 lime juiced
1/2 cup ginger thinly sliced
1/4 cup real maple syrup OR honey
4 teaspoons Tumeric
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
dash of cayenne and a few mint leaves (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a sealed beverage container and shake vigorously.
Chill and serve in 6oz portions.
I enjoy this most first thing in the morning!

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Carrie McCann's picture

Spa Water


Spa water is easy, tasty, and looks great!  Gather your favorite fruit and herbs, add them to your water, let it sit for an hour or so and you are ready to go!  We chose watermelon mint and cucumber lime, but you can be as creative as you want with your pairings.

Pro tips:
- If you are using a citrus fruit squeeze it in first.
- You do not need to muddle the fruits (like the watermelon) first, but you can pour in any of the left over juices that are created from cutting it!

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Carrie McCann's picture

Easy Summer Recipes

Who wants to do a lot of prep in the kitchen or cooking over a hot stove in the summer time?  Not us.  Here are some recipes for you to enjoy your end of summer picnics that are not only easy, but are sure to also impress your guests and satisfy everyone's taste buds.  Enjoy!


Summer Spring Rolls

Rice Paper
Lettuce (butter or bib lettuce work well)
Rice straws
Sliced cucumbers
Shredded carrots
*Optional: shrimp, chicken, or tofu

1) Boil rice straws for 3 min to soften.
2) Wet rice paper so that it becomes slightly sticky immediately before layering ingredients.
3) Layer all the ingredients (slice thinly all ingredients for ease of rolling).
4) Roll tightly, folding the two ends in while rolling.
5) Slice into 4 pieces.

Enjoy with or without your favorite dipping sauce


Cool Cucumber and Watermelon Salad

2 Large Cucumbers quartered and sliced into ½ inch chunks
½ of a medium to large watermelon sliced into 1 inch cubes
1 large sprig of mint coarsely chopped
Goat Cheese
1 Lemon or Lime Juiced
*Optional: 1 small red onion coarsely chopped, 1 tsp Cheyenne pepper

1) Combine Cucumbers and Watermelon into large bowl, add lime juice and stir together. Salt to taste and top with desired amount of Goat Cheese and garnish with mint and enjoy!
2) Add a little kick with Red Onion and Cheyenne Pepper.


Tenderloin Salad with Mint

Two Large Sprigs of Mint coarsely chopped
2 8oz Filet Mignon seasoned and cooked to taste and sliced thinly
1 large Cucumber halved and sliced
1-2 medium Vine Ripened Tomatoes
1 small Red Onion halved and sliced
1 medium head of Romaine or Mesculun Lettuce Mix

Toss all veggies together in large bowl and top with Filet.
2) Season to taste with oil and vinegar.


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