Cole crops are members of the cruciferae (mustard family) and originated from the word caulis (Latin) meaning stem or stalk of a plant. Today cole crops, means the stem brassicas.
Cole Crops include:
- Cabbage – Brassica olerace var Capitata
- Cauliflower – Brassica oleracea var Botrytis
- Broccoli – Brassica oleracea var Italica
- Brussels Sprouts – Brassica oleracea var Gemmifera
- Kale – Brassica oleracea var Acephala
- Kohlrabi – Brassica oleracea var Gongylodes
In the following, we will explain two members of these in detail. Click to read Broccoli and Brussels sprout
Cabbage (Scientific name: Brassica oleracea var. capitata) is a leafy green, red (purple), or white (pale green) biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 1 half cup of shredded cooked cabbage (75 grams) contains:
- 17 calories
- 4 grams of carbohydrate (including 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of sugar)
- 1 gram of protein
Eating a half-cup of cooked cabbage would provide 30-35 percent of daily vitamin C needs. It also provides:
- 81.5 micrograms of vitamin K
- 11 milligrams of magnesium
- 22 micrograms of folate
Plus, lesser amounts of vitamin B-6, calcium, potassium, and thiamin.
Cabbage contains the antioxidants choline, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin as well as the flavonoids kaempferol, quercetin, and apigenin.
Red cabbage tends to contain more of these compounds than green cabbage.
The benefits of cabbage
- Antioxidant effect of cabbage
Cabbage has a detoxifying effect, which means it cleanses the blood by removing toxins, free radicals and urea acid. These are the main causes of arthritis, gout, arthritis, kidney stones, skin diseases and eczema. The detoxification effect of cabbage is due to the high content of vitamin C and its sulfur.
2. Anti-inflammatory properties of cabbage
Researchers have shown that cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage have anti-inflammatory properties. They contain sulfuraphane, which can reduce inflammation in the body. Glutamine is also one of the main constituents of cabbage. Glutamine is a potent anti-inflammatory substance that can be effective in treating a variety of inflammations, allergies, irritations, joint pain, fever and a variety of skin problems
3. Prevention of cancer
According to a study published in one of the most prestigious epidemiological journals, cabbage vegetables are rich in glucosinolates that have anti-cancer properties. So cabbage and similar herbs can destroy the body’s free radicals and promote one’s health and prevent the risk of cancer and heart disease.
In cabbage, there is another type of glucosinolate that is converted to isothiocyanate, which prevents a variety of cancers, including breast, prostate, bladder, and colon cancer. Red cabbage has many anticancer compounds such as lupeol, syngerin and sulfurafan, all of which stimulate the enzymatic activity that inhibits the growth of cancerous tumors.
4. Heart health and blood cholesterol
According to research by Polish researchers, cabbage is a great source of polyphenols, which help lower blood pressure and platelets by lowering bad blood cholesterol and keep the person at risk of cardiovascular disease. Cabbage also produces more bile acids, thus lowering the amount of bad blood cholesterol.
5. Radiation Care Risks
Cabbage contains a rare compound 3-3diindolylmethane that can prevent the risks of radiation therapy. It protects red, white blood cells and platelets that are usually damaged during radiation therapy and does not allow them to be destroyed. In fact, when used in cancer treatments, this compound is used to maintain healthy body tissues.
6. Improve brain health
Other properties of cabbage can be said to be one of the best nutrients for the brain. The presence of vitamin K and anthocyanins in cabbage enhances mind function and concentration. Vitamin K is essential for the production of sphingolipids. The sphingolipid is a myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves. This sheath prevents nerve damage. Therefore, vitamin K intake can increase the body’s defense against neurodegeneration and cause diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.
In addition, the anthocyanins present in cabbage are more potent antioxidants than vitamin C, and red cabbage has more anthocyanins than any other cabbage. In addition, excessive consumption of cabbage does not harm the body, and by consuming this vegetable, can be antioxidant to the body and get rid of a variety of diseases. Antioxidants found in cabbage reduce the risk of cancer, improve the nervous system and improve brain function.
Cabbage is also high in iodine and helps improve brain and nervous system function and makes the endocrine glands at their best.
Cauliflower (Scientific name: Brassica oleracea var Botrytis) is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea in the genus Brassica, which is in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Typically, only the head is eaten – the edible white flesh sometimes called “curd” (with a similar appearance to cheese curd). The cauliflower head is composed of a white inflorescence meristem. Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds as the edible portion.
Cauliflower is an extremely healthy vegetable that’s a significant source of nutrients.The nutrition profile of cauliflower is quite impressive.
Cauliflower is very low in calories yet high in vitamins. In fact, cauliflower contains some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need.
Here is an overview of the nutrients found in 1 cup, or 128 grams, of raw cauliflower:
- Calories: 25
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
- Folate: 14% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- Manganese: 8% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
The Top Health Benefits of Cauliflower
- High in Fiber
Cauliflower is quite high in fiber, which is beneficial for overall health. There are 3 grams of fiber in one cup of cauliflower, which is 10% of your daily needs.
Fiber is important because it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut that help reduce inflammation and promote digestive health.
Consuming enough fiber may help prevent digestive conditions like constipation, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Moreover, studies show that a diet high in fiber-rich vegetables like cauliflower is linked with a lower risk of several illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes
Fiber may also play a role in obesity prevention, due to its ability to promote fullness and reduce overall calorie intake
2. Good Source of Antioxidant
Cauliflower is a great source of antioxidants, which protect your cells from harmful free radicals and inflammation.
Similar to other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is particularly high in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, two groups of antioxidants that have been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells.
Cauliflower contains carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants as well, which have anti-cancer effects and may reduce the risk of several other illnesses, including heart disease.
What’s more, cauliflower contains high amounts of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant. It is well-known for its anti-inflammatory effects that may boost immune health and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
3. May Aid in Weight Loss
Cauliflower has several properties that may help with weight loss.
First, it is low in calories with only 25 calories per cup, so you can eat a lot of it without gaining weight.
It can also serve as a low-calorie substitute for high-calorie foods, such as rice and flour.
As a good source of fiber, cauliflower slows digestion and promotes feelings of fullness. This may automatically reduce the number of calories you eat throughout the day, an important factor in weight control.
High water content is another weight loss friendly aspect of cauliflower. In fact, 92% of its weight is made up of water. Consuming lots of water-dense, low-calorie foods is associated with weight loss.
4. High in Choline
One cup of cauliflower contains 45 mg of choline, which is about 11% of the adequate intake (AI) for women and 8% for men. Choline has several important functions in the body.
To begin with, it plays a major role in maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, synthesizing DNA and supporting metabolism.
Choline is also involved in brain development and the production of neurotransmitters that are necessary for a healthy nervous system. What’s more, it helps prevent cholesterol from accumulating in the liver.
Not many foods contain choline. Cauliflower, along with broccoli, is one of the best plant-based sources of the nutrient.
5. Rich in Sulfuraphane
Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, an extensively studied antioxidant.
According to some studies, sulforaphane may have the potential to stop cancer growth by destroying cells that are already damaged
Sulforaphane appears to be most protective against colon and prostate cancer but has also been studied for its effects on many other cancers, such as breast, leukemia, pancreatic and melanoma.
Research shows that sulforaphane may also help reduce high blood pressure and keep arteries healthy — both major factors in preventing heart disease
6. Low-Carb Alternative to Grains and Legume
Cauliflower is incredibly versatile and can be used to replace grains and legumes in your diet.
Not only is this a fantastic way to increase your veggie intake, but it is also especially helpful for those who follow low-carb diets.
This is because cauliflower is significantly lower in carbs than grains and legumes.
For example, a cup of cauliflower contains 5 grams of carbs. At the same time, a cup of rice contains 45 grams of carbs — nine times the amount of cauliflower.
7. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Regular consumption of cauliflower can help with blood circulation and helps maintain the proper functioning of the blood vessels, which can be attributed to the presence of glucoraphanin. Glucoraphanin is converted into isothiocyanates that activate anti-inflammatory activities and prevent the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels.
This aids in the unobstructed flow of blood, which reduces the risk of conditions like atherosclerosis and promotes cardiovascular health. Research has also proved that the antithrombotic and antiplatelet function of Indole-3-carbinol, found in abundance in cauliflower, contributes significantly towards a healthy heart.
Types of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is available in four major groups: Asian, Italian, northwest European biennial, and northern European annuals, represented by more than a hundred varieties. Apart from white, it also comes in several other colors mentioned below.
Green: Green cauliflower is referred to as broccoflower. It can be found in a normal curd-shaped form as well as in a spiky variant called Romanesco broccoli.
Purple: The antioxidant group, anthocyanins, present in the purple cauliflower provides the color of this variety.
More than 400,000 tons of cole crops are produced annually in Iran, mainly from Dezful, Fars and Qasr Shirin, Karaj, Rey, Varamin, Gorgan and Bushehr. Iran is one of the twenty first countries in cole crops production. Most of Iran’s production is exported to Russia, UAE, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Bahrain, Turkey, Moldova, Oman, Kazakhstan and Kuwait.
Spain, Mexico and the US have the largest export of cauliflower on the world market. France and Italy are ranked fourth and fifth in the world market.
In contrast, the UK, Canada and the United States rank first to third in cabbage imports.
It is interesting to note that Iran also ranks eighth in the global market for exporters of cauliflower, with a 2% share.
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