You’ve probably eaten broccoli, mustard greens, and cabbage on different occasions. They taste different. But believe or not, they belong to the same family of plants: the Cruciferous or Mustard family.
In scientific terms, it is called the Brassicaceae family. It composes a wide array of plants that offer tons of health benefits. This vegetable family also grows easily and rapidly in almost any place.
Here, we want to show you the whole Cruciferous Vegetable List so you can have a better idea of what they are and whether they’re ideal for your garden.
So, want to know everything about them? Then take a look below to learn it all!
What are the Cruciferous Vegetables?
A cruciferous vegetable is every edible plant that belongs to the Brassica genus. It is a very popular type of vegetable both for its health benefits as well as its ability to grow fast and cultivate indoors or outdoors.
The name, cruciferous, comes from the Latin Cruciferous. It refers to “cross-bearing,” denoting the cross-like shape of the flowers these plants produce.
These vegetables are also known as Cole crops and brassicas. And they’re among the most popular type of food crops in the world. You can find them in almost every part of the world.
Can You Grow Cruciferous Vegetables?
What makes cruciferous vegetables so fantastic is their ability to grow almost anywhere. They’re excellent vegetables to grow in the spring or fall, as they prefer cool weather over the hot summer.
Growing cruciferous vegetables in the winter make them sweeter. Brassica plants are also resistant to frost. That means you can grow them in freezing temperatures if needed, including winter conditions.
And lastly, cruciferous vegetables can be plagued with different diseases and pests. Luckily, they are resistant to cool temperatures, which usually eliminates most of these problems.
Health Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables list
Even though these veggies grow anywhere and are available in all kinds of sizes, shapes, and colors, they offer excellent nutritional advantages that you won’t find with other foods. These include their high fiber, low-calories, high vitamin, and mineral content.
What can be cruciferous vegetables helpful for then? Well, here are some of these benefits:
1. Weight Loss
Because these vegetables have high fiber and mineral/vitamin content, they tend to be more satisfying than high-carb foods. Along with their low-calorie content, vegetables can reduce overeating and high-calorie content in the short and long term to produce weight loss.
2. Immune System
The huge number of vitamins in cruciferous vegetables will give a boost to the immune system. On top of that, they’re known to improve different healing processes in the body.
3. Bone& Tissue Health
Because some cruciferous vegetables contain a high content of vitamin K and calcium, this combination of nutrients prevents blood clotting, improves bones, and makes tissues a lot healthier.
4. Cardiovascular Improvement
The vitamin K and potassium content on Cole crops are also known for lowering blood pressure and overall body inflammation.
As you can see, cruciferous vegetables are probably the healthiest type of food you can eat. And best of all, you only need to eat 1 cup of them a day to reap all their benefits. Add 2 cups, and you’ll be making great diet improvements.
5. Skin Health
Thanks to their antioxidants and vitamin E content, these vegetables help keep the skin healthy. They prevent damage from free radicals and reduce oxidation.
6. Lower Cancer Risk
Doctors around the world recommend cruciferous veggies for their fantastic antioxidant ability. Compounds like sulforaphane, indole 3-carbinol, and crambene are known for their detoxifying ability, helping avoid different types of cancer like breast, prostate, lung, color, and others.
Full Cruciferous Vegetable List
Now that you’re familiar with how these veggies work and what they offer, let’s go over a complete Cruciferous Vegetable List so you can identify them more easily.
When it comes to growing arugula, you’ll find little to no drawbacks. The vegetable grows almost anywhere and fast enough to become an almost year-long plant to enjoy. What sets it apart is the ability to work on almost any food: from pizzas to pasta, salads, and as a dressing for meats.
2. Bok Choy
The high vitamin C and A content on bok choy make it a go-to alternative for people who want to start eating healthier. It is also filled with antioxidants, making it a cancer-fighting veggie. And what’s even better, it tastes well both cooked or raw. Similar to all cruciferous vegetables, it is easy to grow.
You can use broccoli on any dish, and it will work wonders. The taste is not for everyone, as it has one of the strongest in the Cruciferous family. But it is nonetheless one of the healthiest you can eat, offering tons of fiber, folate, and vitamins.
4. Brussels Sprouts
Probably the easiest-to-eat veggie on the list, Brussel sprouts work both as a complete meal or as an aperitive. You can roast them for a crunchy feel or boil them to make them sweeter. The best of all? Brussel sprouts are incredibly healthy with their high fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin content.
The low-calorie content on cabbages makes them one of the go-to options for people who want to reduce weight. But most importantly, they’re incredibly satisfied with their high fiber and huge amounts of C and K vitamins. You can cook cabbage with almost anything.
When it comes to versatility, few veggies can match the cauliflower. It works as a standalone meal, it matches well with cheese and meats, and it is also possible to use as a replacement for flour. With proper preparation, cauliflower can be a crunchy meal with tons of sulforaphane and other antioxidants.
Available in all kinds of sizes, colors, and shapes, kale is one of the most versatile cruciferous vegetables. It is a go-to option for salads, and it mixes well with meats and protein-rich foods. What’s more important, it has tons of potassium, vitamin A and B, and it is incredibly filling.
Boasting a purple skin color, rutabaga is one of the rarest types of cruciferous veggies, but one you shouldn’t overlook. The high fiber and vitamin C content make it an excellent idea as a weight-loss food in your diet. Its taste is similar to pepper, but with a potato-like consistency.
If you can’t find rutabaga, then turnip is the best alternative. You can use it with almost anything and still enjoy the magnificent amount of K, C, and A vitamins it offers, as well as fiber, folate, and other antioxidants. It has purple skin too, but with a pinky tone.
Other Cruciferous Vegetables to Consider
- Broccoli di Torbole
- Collard greens
- Cone cabbage
- Gai lan (Kai-lan)
- Lacinato kale
- Marrow-stem kale
- Mustard Greens
- Napa Cabbage
- Perpetual kale
- Red cabbage
- Romanesco broccoli
- Savoy Cabbage
- Tronchuda kale
How to Grow Cruciferous Vegetables?
If you’re learning more about these veggies, it’s probably because you want to know how to grow them. Fear not, because all the Cruciferous family of vegetables is pretty straightforward.
Even then, here are some tips to consider if you want perfect growth:
1. Use Acidic Soil
Because most of these vegetables originated in Western Europe’s coastal areas, they’re likely to thrive better in highly acidic soils.
2. Tons of Sun Exposure
Similar to the soil they grow in, they also require the constant sun exposure that these coastal environments have.
3. Proper Space
The large cruciferous species like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli typically require a lot of space to grow. In contrast, the smallest species like kale, bok choy, and arugula will thrive in small spaces.
4. Constant Pest Care
Arugula, cabbage, kale, mustard, bok choy, and collard greens have large leafy heads. These heads can attract tons of different pests and diseases. You will need increased care to grow them properly.
5. Ideal Conditions
Species like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage that produce spears and heads will only thrive in the right temperatures. Too cold or too hot are often not ideal for their growth.
6. Rotate Consistently
Because all cole crops grow in similar conditions and soil types, they need to be rotated consistently to prevent diseases and pests.
7. Leafy Greens are Easier
The ones with large leaves like kale, arugula, mustard greens, collard greens, and bok choy will be the easiest to grow. If you’re a beginner, these are the species you should focus on.
Learned anything about these veggies? We hope so. The Cruciferous Vegetable List can be long and slightly confusing at first (if you don’t know much about them). But after this article, you should be well-prepared to grow them, cook them, and eat them in your day-to-day.
Growing vegetables is not easy, though. So be sure to read our other articles about growing and taking care of plants. You will learn everything you need to grow these cruciferous vegetables!