Collard greens and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, watercress, bok choy, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, arugula, radishes (including horseradish), wasabi, and all types of cabbage, can potentially prevent DNA damage and metastatic cancer spread, activate defenses against pathogens and pollutants, help to prevent lymphoma, boost your liver detox enzymes, target breast cancer stem cells, and reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression. The component responsible for these benefits is thought to be sulforaphane, which is formed almost exclusively in cruciferous vegetables.

Beyond being a promising anticancer agent, sulforaphane may also help protect your brain and your eyesight, reduce nasal allergy inflammation, manage type 2 diabetes, and was recently found to successfully help treat autism. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial of boys with autism found that about two to three cruciferous vegetable servings’ worth of sulforaphane a day improves social interaction, abnormal behavior, and verbal communication within a matter of weeks. The researchers, primarily from Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University, suggest that the effect might be due to sulforaphane’s role as a “detoxicant.”

For all these reasons, cruciferous vegetables, including collard greens, get their own spot on my Daily Dozen, which recommends at least one serving of cruciferous vegetables, at least two additional servings of other vegetables a day, cruciferous or otherwise, and at least two daily servings of greens. Collard greens fall under both the cruciferous vegetables category and the greens category. And, since dark-green, leafy vegetables such as collards are the healthiest foods on the planet and, as whole foods go, offer the most nutrition per calorie, I can’t recommend them enough.

For substantiation of any statements of fact from the peer-reviewed medical literature, please see the associated videos below.

Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.

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