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Cruciferous vegetables are
vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems ...

vegetable
s of the family
Brassicaceae Brassicaceae () or Cruciferae () is a medium-sized and economically important Family (biology), family of flowering plants commonly known as the mustards, the crucifers, or the cabbage family. Most are herbaceous plants, some shrubs, with simple, ...
(also called Cruciferae) with many genera, species, and cultivars being raised for food production such as
cauliflower Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species '' Brassica oleracea'' in the genus ''Brassica ''Brassica'' () is a genus of plants in the cabbage and mustard family ( Brassicaceae). The members of the genus are informally known as ...

cauliflower
,
cabbage Cabbage (comprising several cultivars of ''Brassica oleracea'') is a leafy green, red (purple), or white (pale green) biennial plant grown as an Annual plant, annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. It is descended from the wild cabbag ...

cabbage
,
kale Kale (), or leaf cabbage, belongs to a group of cabbage (''Brassica oleracea'') cultivars grown for their vegetable, edible leaves, although some are used as Kale#Ornamental kale, ornamentals. Kale plants have green or purple leaves, and the ce ...

kale
,
garden cress Cress (''Lepidium sativum''), sometimes referred to as garden cress (or curly cress) to distinguish it from similar plants also referred to as cress (from old Germanic ''cresso'' which means sharp, spicy), is a rather fast-growing, edible herb ...
,
bok choy Bok choy (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is ...
,
broccoli Broccoli (''Brassica oleracea'' var. ''italica'') is an edible green plant in the Brassicaceae, cabbage family (family Brassicaceae, genus ''Brassica'') whose large Pseudanthium, flowering head, plant stem, stalk and small associated leafy green ...
,
Brussels sprouts The brussels sprout is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbage Cabbage (comprising several cultivars of ''Brassica oleracea'') is a leafy green, red (purple), or white (pale green) biennial plant grown as an Annual plant, annual vegetab ...
,
mustard plant The mustard plant is a plant species in the genera ''Brassica ''Brassica'' () is a genus of plants in the cabbage and mustard family ( Brassicaceae). The members of the genus are informally known as cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, or mus ...

mustard plant
and similar green
leaf vegetable Leaf vegetables, also called leafy greens, salad greens, pot herbs, vegetable greens, or simply greens, are plant leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne a ...
s. The family takes its alternative name (Cruciferae,
New Latin New Latin (also called Neo-Latin or modern Latin) is the revival of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...
for "cross-bearing") from the shape of their flowers, whose four
petals upright=1.4, Diagram showing the parts of a mature flower. In this example the perianth is separated into a calyx (sepals) and corolla (petals) Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flower A flower, sometimes ...

petals
resemble a
cross A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally. A cross of oblique lines, in the shape of the Latin letter X, is also termed ...
. Ten of the most common cruciferous vegetables eaten by people, known colloquially in North America as cole crops and in the UK, Ireland and Australia as brassicas, are in a single
species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanis ...

species
(''
Brassica oleracea ''Brassica oleracea'' is a plant species that includes many common foods as cultivars, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, Savoy cabbage, kohlrabi, and gai lan. In its uncultivated form, it is called ...
''); they are not distinguished from one another taxonomically, only by horticultural category of
cultivar groupA Group (previously cultivar-groupInternational Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, 4th edition (1969), 5th edition (1980) and 6th edition (1995)) is a formal category in the '' International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants'' (''I ...
s. Numerous other
genera Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also ref ...
and species in the family are also edible. Cruciferous vegetables are one of the dominant food crops worldwide. They are high in
vitamin C Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate) is a vitamin A vitamin is an organic molecule (or a set of molecules closely related chemically, i.e. vitamers) that is an Nutrient#Essential nutrients, essential micronutrient which ...

vitamin C
and
soluble fiber Dietary fiber (British spelling fibre) or roughage is the portion of plant-derived food that cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzymes. Dietary fibers are diverse in chemical composition, and can be grouped generally by their ...
and contain multiple
nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anything that has mass and ta ...
s and
phytochemical Phytochemicals are chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by che ...
s.


List of cruciferous vegetables

Extensive
selective breeding This Chihuahua mix and Great Dane shows the wide range of dog breed sizes created using selective breeding. Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breeding Animal breeding is a branch o ...
has produced a large variety of
cultivar '' 'Pink Whirls' A cultivar selected for its intriguing and colourful flowers A cultivar is a type of plant that people have bred for desired traits, which are reproduced in each new generation by a method such as grafting, tissue culture or car ...
s, especially within the genus ''
Brassica ''Brassica'' () is a genus of plants in the cabbage and mustard family ( Brassicaceae). The members of the genus are informally known as cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, or mustard plants. Crops from this genus are sometimes called ''cole cro ...
''. One description of genetic factors involved in the breeding of ''Brassica'' species is the
Triangle of U The triangle of U ( ) is a theory about the evolution and relationships among members of the plant genus ''Brassica''. The theory states that the genomes of three ancestral diploid species of ''Brassica'' combined to create three common tetraploid v ...
. Further relationships inside the family Brassicaceae can be described by
tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...
s, a grouping of genera (see ). ''Armoracia'', ''Barbarea'', and ''Nasturtium'' belong to the tribe Cardamineae; ''Brassica'', ''Sinapis'', ''Diplotaxis'', ''Eruca'', and ''Raphanus'' belong to Brassiceae; ''Lepidium'' belongs in Lepidieae; and finally ''Wasabia'' ('' Eutrema'') belongs in Eutremeae.


Research


Cancer

Cruciferous vegetables contain
glucosinolate 250px, Glucosinolate structure; side group ''R'' varies Glucosinolates are natural components of many pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage Cabbage (comprising several cultivars of ''Brassica oleracea'') is a leafy green, red (purple), or whi ...
s, which are under research for their potential to affect
cancer Cancer is a group of diseases A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of all or part of an organism, and that is not due to any immediate external injury. Diseases are often kn ...

cancer
. Glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to
isothiocyanate Isothiocyanate is the chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some references add that chemical substance cannot be separated into its constituent elements by physic ...
s (ITCs) by
myrosinase Myrosinase (, ''thioglucoside glucohydrolase'', ''sinigrinase'', and ''sinigrase'') is a family of enzyme Enzymes () are proteins that act as biological catalysts (biocatalysts). Catalysts accelerate chemical reactions. The molecules upon whic ...
. ITCs are being investigated for their
chemopreventive Chemotherapy (often abbreviated to chemo and sometimes CTX or CTx) is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs (list of chemotherapeutic agents, chemotherapeutic agents) as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. ...
and
chemotherapeutic Chemotherapy (often abbreviated to chemo and sometimes CTX or CTx) is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs ( chemotherapeutic agents) as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. Chemotherapy may be given with ...
effects. An example is the finding that the ITC
phenethyl isothiocyanate Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) is a naturally occurring isothiocyanate Isothiocyanate is the chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some references add that chemi ...

phenethyl isothiocyanate
reduced levels of the
oncoprotein An oncogene is a gene In biology, a gene (from ''genos'' "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian_inheritance#History, Mendelian units of heredity..." (Greek language, Greek) meaning ''generation'' or ''birth'' ) ...

oncoprotein
MCL1 Induced myeloid leukemia cell differentiation protein Mcl-1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the ''MCL1'' gene. Function The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the Bcl-2 family. Alternative splicing occurs at this locus and two tra ...

MCL1
. Other in vitro research indicates ITCs may affect levels of the
BCR-ABL The Philadelphia chromosome or Philadelphia translocation (Ph) is a specific genetic abnormality in Chromosome 22 (human), chromosome 22 of Leukemia, leukemia cancer cells (particularly chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells). This chromosome is defec ...

BCR-ABL
fusion protein, the oncoprotein active in
leukemia Leukemia, also spelled leukaemia, is a group of blood cancers that usually begin in the bone marrow and result in high numbers of abnormal blood cells. These blood cells are not fully developed and are called ''blasts'' or ''leukemia cells'' ...

leukemia
.


Drug and toxin metabolism

Chemicals contained in cruciferous vegetables induce the expression of the liver enzyme
CYP1A2 Cytochrome P450 1A2 (abbreviated CYP1A2), a member of the cytochrome P450 mixed-function oxidase system, is involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics in the body. In humans, the CYP1A2 enzyme is encoded by the ''CYP1A2'' gene In biology, a ...
. and cruciferous vegetable consumption may induce
glutathione S-transferase Glutathione ''S''-transferases (GSTs), previously known as ligandins, comprise a family of eukaryotic and prokaryotic phase II metabolic isozymes best known for their ability to catalyze the conjugation of the reduced form of glutathione Glu ...
s, uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyl transferases, and
quinone reductase The quinones are a class of organic compounds that are formally "derived from aromatic compounds uch as benzene or naphthaleneby conversion of an even number of –CH= groups into –C(=O)– groups with any necessary rearrangement of double b ...
s all of which are potentially involved in
detoxification Detoxification or detoxication (detox for short) is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic Toxicity is the degree to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism In biology, an organ ...
of
carcinogen A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide A radionuclide (radioactive nuclide, radioisotope or radioactive isotope) is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any ...
s such as
aflatoxin Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens and mutagens that are produced by certain molds ('' Aspergillus flavus'' and '' Aspergillus parasiticus'') which grow in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and grains. They are regularly found in improperly sto ...
. High consumption of cruciferous vegetables has potential risk from
allergies Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity Hypersensitivity (also called hypersensitivity reaction or intolerance) refers to undesirable reactions produced by the normal immune system, i ...

allergies
and interference with drugs such as
warfarin Warfarin, sold under the brand name Coumadin among others, is a medication that is used as an anticoagulant (blood thinner). It is commonly used to prevent blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and to prevent stroke ...

warfarin
and
genotoxicityIn genetics, genotoxicity describes the property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this articl ...
.


Taste

People who can taste
phenylthiocarbamide Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), also known as phenylthiourea (PTU), is an organosulfur thiourea containing a phenyl In organic chemistry, the phenyl group, or phenyl ring, is a cyclic group of atoms with the formula C6H5. Phenyl groups are closely ...
(PTC), which is either bitter or tasteless, are less likely to find cruciferous vegetables palatable due to the resemblance between
isothiocyanate Isothiocyanate is the chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some references add that chemical substance cannot be separated into its constituent elements by physic ...
s and PTC.


Contraindications

Although cruciferous vegetables are generally safe for human consumption, individuals with known
allergies Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity Hypersensitivity (also called hypersensitivity reaction or intolerance) refers to undesirable reactions produced by the normal immune system, i ...

allergies
or hypersensitivities to a certain ''Brassica'' vegetable, or those taking
anticoagulant Anticoagulants, commonly known as blood thinners, are chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All e ...
therapy, should be cautious.


References


Further reading

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Cruciferous Vegetables Vegetables Brassicaceae