Too Much Cruciferous

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How much cruciferous is too much?

Do you consider 10 cups of cruciferous too much a day? Is there a link between them and inflammation?

walfaro / Originally posted on Overdosing on Greens

Answer:

According to this study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 10 cups a day on a regular basis is probably the limit for raw kale–my second favorite vegetable!

Image Credit: t-dubisme / Flickr

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


2 responses to “How much cruciferous is too much?

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  1. It appears that kale has reached superstar status within the last couple of years and rightly so. However, there are other members of the cruciferous (cabbage) family that also pack a nutritional punch (e.g., Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and bok choy). However, it is interesting to observe that many Americans tend to go overboard on something that is touted as being a “superfood”, so we figure if a little is good then more must better. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulfur compounds called glucosinolates. These compounds have been shown to be powerful disease fight phytonutrients (plant nutrients), reduce inflammation, and help the liver to detoxify harmful substance 1. Nevertheless, too much of a good thing may be harmful when it comes to cruciferous vegetables. In excessive amounts these compounds have been shown to be toxic. One study found that a woman eating 2.2-3.3 pounds/15 cups (1.0-1.5kg) of raw bok choy daily for several weeks went into a hypothyroid coma 2.

    From the study I cited above I would advise caution against consuming 10 cups of raw cruciferous vegetables daily. 10 cups is equivalent to about 5 pounds. A much healthier dietary approach would be to switch up your greens and consume a wide variety of colorful vegetables. Checkout Dr. Greger’s video on Overdosing on Greens for more information on this topic: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/overdosing-on-greens

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17692044
    2. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc0911005

  2. Cruciferous vegetables have indole-3-carabinol, which can cause the liver to increase production of the enzyme angiotensinogen, which constricts blood vessels, raising blood pressure very acutely in sensitive people…possibly accounting for hypertension of unknown cause. The cancer-prevention part is nice, though!

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