Enter the world of cruciferous vegetables, the mighty superheroes of the brassica family! Adding more cruciferous vegetables into your diet can be a delicious and empowering way to support estrogen metabolism, promote hormone balance and reduce PMS symptoms naturally.
These incredible veggies are home to a powerful nutrient known as sulforaphane and a natural compound called DIM. Together, they pack a mighty punch when it comes to restoring hormonal balance by increasing the activity of the liver's detoxification pathways which are especially crucial for removing excess estrogen from the body & creating balance.
Excess estrogen is associated with endometriosis, PCOS and symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, heavy bleeding, tender breasts & unwanted weight gain. Eating more cruciferous vegetables consistently will help eliminate symptoms of estrogen dominance and improve your menstrual experience.
Moreover, cruciferous vegetables have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which further support hormonal balance. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can disrupt hormonal regulation and exacerbate PMS symptoms. By reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, cruciferous vegetables contribute to a more harmonious hormonal environment.
In addition to their effects on inflammation & estrogen metabolism, cruciferous vegetables provide essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate), and minerals (such as calcium and magnesium). These nutrients are crucial for overall health and can help support optimal functioning of the reproductive system.
The Cruciferous Challenge For PMS-free Periods
For the next 4 weeks, we recommend aiming to eat 3 servings of cruciferous veggies per day (1 serving = ½ cup chopped veggies).
Think: broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, bok choy, radishes & collard greens!
Top Ways To Enjoy More Cruciferous VeggiesYou can enjoy your veggies steamed, roasted or sauteed, and if your digestion is in tip top shape you can have them raw for most benefits!
Explore variety: Try different cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage to discover your favorites.
Blend in smoothies: Steam up lots of cauliflower + kale, chop up & store in the freezer! Add a handful of frozen cruciferous vegetables to your favourite smoothies!
Mix in salads: Incorporate shredded cabbage, sliced Brussels sprouts, or chopped broccoli florets into your salads with apple cider & olive oil dressing for added crunch and nutrients.
Enjoy as a side: Steam up a big batch of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, store them in the fridge and add a handful to any meal as an easy side!
8 tips to tame the cruciferous veggie gas & bloating
Cruciferous vegetables, with their numerous hormonal health benefits, are a fantastic addition to everyone’s diet.
However, for some people, these nutrient-packed veggies can lead to uncomfortable gas and bloating. Don't worry! With a few simple strategies, you can reduce gas and fully enjoy the goodness of cruciferous vegetables without any digestive discomfort.
Let's explore some helpful tips and tricks.
1. Gradually Increase Consumption
If you find that cruciferous vegetables trigger gas, it's best to start by reducing the amount you consume. Give your digestive system time to adjust by gradually increasing the serving size over several weeks. Instead of 3 servings, start with 1 serving a day for the first week, and then increase. This allows your body to adapt to the fiber content present in cruciferous vegetables and minimize gas production.
2. Pair with Gas-Reducing Foods:
Combining cruciferous vegetables with other foods that combat gas and bloating can be a smart approach.
High-potassium foods like avocado, banana, sweet potato, pumpkin, tomatoes, and oranges work well to balance the digestive process. Additionally, incorporating foods with a diuretic effect, such as asparagus, beets, celery, and apple cider vinegar, lemon, can help alleviate gas discomfort.
3. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar before your meal
As a fermented food, raw apple cider vinegar can help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and alleviate gas caused by dysbiosis or gas producing foods. Just be sure the variety you’re drinking is raw and unpasteurized, otherwise it won’t contain the same beneficial bacteria.
Try 1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar in 1/2 a glass of water before eating cruciferous veggies to help with digestion!
4. Combine with these gas reducing Herbs and Spices:
Certain herbs and spices possess properties that can reduce gassiness. Add ginger, fennel, fenugreek, or mint to your cruciferous vegetable dishes. These flavorful additions can help mitigate digestive issues by promoting smoother digestion.
5. Take probiotics:
For individuals who experience trouble specifically with cruciferous vegetables or eggs, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v may be beneficial. This probiotic strain has been found to reduce sulfur-producing gas and is effective for addressing IBS symptoms and countering the negative impacts of antibiotic use. Consider using probiotic supplements like Jarrow's Ideal Bowel Support or Metagenics UltraFlora Intensive Care, which contain L. plantarum 299v. Give probiotics 30-60 days to rebalance the gut microbiome, and in the meantime, immediate remedies like Beano can be used.
6. Fermentation and Cooking:
Cooking cruciferous vegetables or consuming them in fermented forms can enhance digestion. Cooked and fermented crucifers are generally easier for the gut to process compared to raw ones. Start by including a tablespoon of sauerkraut juice daily to help your microbiome become more sulfur-tolerant. Additionally, high-quality digestive enzyme supplements can aid in breaking down the fiber and support smoother digestion.
7. CHEW your veggies really well
To optimize digestion, chew cruciferous vegetables thoroughly. The enzymes present in your saliva assist in breaking down these veggies. Combining raw or lightly cooked crucifers with gas-dispelling herbs like parsley or mint, or adding sautéed ginger, can further enhance digestion by boosting natural digestive fire.
8. Warm Lemon Water before meals
By adding a squeeze of lemon juice to a glass of room temperature or warm water, you’ll offer your body a dose of digestive enzymes (without the fiber) to help promote better digestion.
Here's the cruciferous conclusion:
Don't let gas and bloating discourage you from enjoying the nutritional benefits of cruciferous vegetables. By implementing these simple strategies, you can reduce gas and digestive discomfort, allowing you to savor the goodness of these veggies without hesitation. Gradual adjustment, pairing with gas-reducing foods, incorporating herbs and spices, probiotic support, fermentation and cooking, and mindful eating are all effective ways to minimize gas and fully embrace the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables. Bon appétit!