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  • Karen Haralson

The Power of Cruciferous Vegetables (Crunchy Cancer-Fighting Salad Recipe)

Updated: May 2, 2021

This delicious, crunchy, healthful salad is one that we share with the participants of our program for women on the cancer journey. It is a terrific salad to make - great for a main meal. It keeps well in the fridge and is ready for a yummy anytime snack.

Cruciferous veggies are nutrition powerhouses. Cabbage and broccoli are types of Cruciferous Vegetables (members of the Brassica family) that are superstars when it comes to fighting all forms of cancer. They are bursting with potent anticancer plant components known as glucosinolates. Studies have validated their anti-cancer activity for many forms of cancer.

The Brassica family of veggies are called “Crucifers” after the Latin word “cruciferae” meaning “cross bearing” since the flowers have four petals that resemble a cross.

All of these vegetables are low in calories and packed with nutrients. Although the individual nutrition profiles can vary, cruciferous vegetables tend to be high in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K as well as dietary fiber.

As well as their cancer fighting properties, they have also been linked to a long list of other health benefits, including improved heart health, increased weight loss and reduced inflammation.

Other members of this family include cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts, collards, mustard greens, radish, daikon, watercress, arugula, rutabaga, kohlrabi, broccoli sprouts, arugula sprouts and radish sprouts.

Let's learn more about the nutritional benefits of some of the other salad ingredients:

Carrots are full of crunchy goodness, high in immune-boosting vitamin A and cancer fighting beta carotene.

Apples, an all-time favorite fruit is loaded with cancer busting quercetin and fiber that supports digestion and bowel regulation.

Pepitas (Pumpkins seeds) are crunchy and yummy and full of protein, healthy fat and zinc - a mineral so important for taste and immune strength.

Olive oil is a healthy fat that has cancer fighting squalene. Choose extra virgin olive oil.

Apple cider vinegar has beneficial, probiotic bacteria that support digestion, healthy bowels and immune strength.

Spices add flavor and various plant components that fight cancer.

The Brassica family of plants is an important regular addition to your daily meals. Have one or two servings of cruciferous vegetables each day along with plenty of physical activity and an overall healthy lifestyle to maintain good health.


Crunchy Cabbage Salad

This colorful and satisfying salad goes well as a side dish for lunch or dinner or a base for an anytime meal or snack. Cabbage is a super food that promotes health and fights cancer.

Ingredients for the Salad:

- 2 cup chopped green cabbage

- 2 cup chopped red cabbage

- 1 cup shredded broccoli

- 1 cup chopped or shredded carrots

- 1 apple, medium size, chopped

- 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or other nuts, lightly toasted

- Other ingredients as desired and as are available:

- chopped jicama, shredded kale, sliced cucumbers, sliced radish, parsley

Ingredients for the Dressing:

- 1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin

- 3 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar or other vinegar, or lemon juice

- Optional: 1 tsp honey

- Spices as desired: garlic, oregano, thyme, turmeric, salt, pepper


1. Add salad ingredients to a bowl and mix.

2. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Adjust flavors & seasonings to taste.

3. Add enough of the dressing to lightly coat veggies. Mix. Save remaining dressing.

4. Serve and enjoy.

5. Refrigerate the rest for up to 4 days.


· Modify as you like and according to the season and ingredients on hand.

· Enjoy as a side dish to a meal. Or add some protein, such as a hardboiled egg, cooked salmon or chicken for a complete meal.

· For a time saving option, buy pre-shredded veggies.


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