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Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables of the family Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae). These vegetables are widely cultivated, with many genera, species, and cultivars being raised for food production such as cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli and similar green leaf vegetables. The family takes its alternate name (Cruciferae, New Latin for "cross-bearing") from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross.
Ten of the most common cruciferous vegetables eaten by people are in a single species (B. oleracea), and are not distinguished from one another taxonomically, but only by the horticultural category of cultivar groups. Numerous other genera and species in the family are also edible. Cruciferous vegetables are one of the dominant food crops worldwide. Widely considered to be healthy foods, they are high in vitamin C and soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients and phytochemicals with potential anticancer properties: diindolylmethane, sulforaphane and selenium. Both diindolylmethane, sulforaphane, and many other sharp-tasting substances in these vegetables are produced from substances called glucosinolates.
Cruciferous vegetables can potentially be goitrogenic (inducing goiter formation). They contain enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone in people with iodine deficiency. Cooking for 30 minutes significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens and nitriles. At high intake of crucifers, the goitrogens inhibit the incorporation of iodine into thyroid hormone and also the transfer of iodine into milk by the mammary gland.
Cruciferous vegetables have recently been implicated in some pharmacological drug interactions. These vegetables are powerful inducers of the microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP1A2, which is responsible for the metabolism of many pharmacological agents. By causing induction of the enzyme, it may incidentally increase the rate of phase I transformations (see pharmacokinetics) of pharmocological agents that are normally metabolized by this enzyme, expediting the process of drug metabolism. This, in turn, could produce drug plasma concentrations less than the desired therapeutic range.
List of cruciferous vegetables 
Extensive selective breeding has produced a large variety of cultivars, especially within the genus Brassica. One description of genetic factors involved in the breeding of Brassica species is the Triangle of U.
|common name||genus||specific epithet||Cultivar Group|
|collard greens||Brassica||oleracea||Acephala Group|
|Chinese broccoli (gai-lan)||Brassica||oleracea||Alboglabra Group|
|brussels sprout||Brassica||oleracea||Gemmifera Group|
|broccoflower||Brassica||oleracea||Italica Group × Botrytis Group|
|broccoli romanesco||Brassica||oleracea||Botrytis Group / Italica Group|
|wild broccoli||Brassica||oleracea||Oleracea Group|
|komatsuna||Brassica||rapa||pervidis or komatsuna|
|Rapini (broccoli rabe)||Brassica||rapa||parachinensis|
|chinese cabbage, napa cabbage||Brassica||rapa||pekinensis|
|turnip root; greens||Brassica||rapa||rapifera|
|wrapped heart mustard cabbage||Brassica||juncea||rugosa|
|mustard seeds, brown; greens||Brassica||juncea|
|mustard seeds, white||Brassica (or Sinapis)||hirta|
|mustard seeds, black||Brassica||nigra|
- Plant-derived 3,3'-Diindolylmethane Is a Strong Androgen Antagonist in Human Prostate Cancer Cells* Hien T. Le , Charlene M. Schaldach , Gary L. Firestone ¶ and Leonard F. Bjeldanes. J. Biol. Chem., Vol. 278, Issue 23, 21136-21145, June 6, 2003. http://www.jbc.org/cgi/content/abstract/278/23/21136
- What are Goitrogens and How Do they Affect the Thyroid?, Mary Shomon, author of Your Guide to Thyroid Disease
- Thyroid Deficiency Strikes One in Six, John McDougall, McDougall Newsletter, Volume 4, Number 12, December, 2005.
- "Bearers of the Cross: Crucifers in the Context of Traditional Diets and Modern Science".
- Brassica vegetables increase and apiaceous vegetables decrease cytochrome P450 1A2 activity in humans: changes in caffeine metabolite ratios in response to controlled vegetable diets, Johanna W. Lampe, Irena B. King, Sue Li, Margaret T. Grate, Karen V. Barale, Chu Chen1, Ziding Feng and John D. Potter, Cancer Prevention Research Program and Program in Epidemiology, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/21/6/1157
- "Natural Selection at Work in Genetic Variation to Taste". Retrieved 2009-07-29.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (December 2010)|
- Wood, Rebecca (1999). The new whole foods encyclopedia: a comprehensive resource for healthy eating. New York: Penguin/Arkana. ISBN 0-14-025032-8.
- Tang, Li; Gary R Zirpoli, Vijayvel Jayaprakash, Mary E Reid, Susan E McCann, Chukwumere E Nwogu, Yuesheng Zhang, Christine B Ambrosone, Kirsten B Moysich (2010). "Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely associated with lung cancer risk among smokers: a case-control study". BMC Cancer 10 (1): 162. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-162. ISSN 1471-2407. PMID 20423504.
- Brassica juncea
- Brassica napa
- Brassica oleracea
- Chinese flowering cabbage
- edible/useful plants