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Sabrina Bidwell

Sabrina Bidwell

Health Tips

Sip Down A Summer Smoothie
June 5, 2013
Not All Milk Is Created Equal
May 8, 2013
The Dangers of Being Clean
April 24, 2013

Nutrition Tips

Healthier Alternatives
Feb. 20, 2013
Cruciferous Vegetables
Feb. 6 2013
Jan. 23 2013

Nutrition Tips:

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous Vegetables
Sabrina Bidwell / Mainstream

In the world of vegetables, cruciferous vegetables are some of the healthiest. The most common in this family of vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale. With an array of vitamins and minerals, these vegetables would make a great addition to any diet.


Commonly described as little green trees, broccoli delivers a power packed punch of nutrients. Broccoli contains vitamins A and C, which both assist in improving immune system health. Vitamin A also helps maintain proper eyesight and improve vision in low light.

The antioxidants found in broccoli help to lower the risk of heart disease and certain cancers by eliminating free radicals in the body. Broccoli has an abundance of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which aids in digestive health.

The potassium present in broccoli supports a healthy nervous system and helps maintains proper brain function. It is also beneficial for regular muscle growth. Broccoli contains a generous amount of calcium and vitamin K, which both aid in bone health. Calcium also helps regulate blood pressure. Broccoli is a great source of calcium for those who cannot consume milk.


Cauliflower is full of cancer preventing antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that can reap havoc and cause diseases and cancer. High in fiber, cauliflower helps with digestion.

Cauliflower has an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids which are tremendously beneficial. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation which is great for arthritis. Also, with the reduction of inflammation, blood flow is better regulated.

When meat is not included in one’s diet, cauliflower is a great alternative source of protein. It is low in calories and very versatile. There are several ways to prepare cauliflower, from lightly sautéing to mashing.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are high in fiber and help lower cholesterol. The liver must use cholesterol to digest fiber, thus lowering the amount of cholesterol in the body. Like the preceding cruciferous vegetables, the fiber present in Brussels sprouts also helps with digestion.

Full of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E as well as the mineral manganese, Brussels sprouts are yet another cancer preventative vegetable. The vitamin K in Brussels sprouts assists in bone health, and the omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation.

Brussels sprouts contain several B vitamins, such as niacin, B-6, thiamine and pantothenic acid which are essential for metabolism. They also have several minerals that help control heart rate and blood pressure.


Kale is a leafy green with some powerful benefits. Like all cruciferous vegetables, it is high in fiber which is beneficial for digestion. It also has vitamins A and C for a healthy immune system. Calcium and vitamin K are present in kale, improving bone health.

Kale is also an anti-inflammatory due to the omega-3 fatty acids present. These fatty acids, along with omega-6 fatty acids, are great for skin, hair and nails. They also help protect skin from UV rays, keeping skin looking young and healthy.

Kale is low in calories and contains zero fat. According to MindBodyGreen.com, kale has more iron per calorie than beef. Iron helps transport oxygen through cells in the body, providing energy. And iron deficiency can cause weakness, dizziness, pale skin and fatigue.

Veggie Recipies

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Sabrina Bidwell / Mainstream

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

  • 1 cup cauliflower (frozen)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic


Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Mince the cauliflower in a food processor or blender. In a large bowl beat the egg. Mix in the cauliflower. Mix in the cheeses, oregano, parsley and garlic. Spread out the dough on a pizza stone or greased pan and press flat. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Take out of oven and top with sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice.  Broil in oven until cheese is golden brown. Let cool, cut and serve.

Editor’s note: One of our staff members made and tried the pizza crust and said it is delicious.

Garlic Lemon Brussels Sprouts
Sabrina Bidwell / Mainstream

Garlic Lemon Brussels Sprouts


  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • A dozen Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Slice Brussels sprouts and set aside in a bowl. Over medium-high heat, brown the butter and olive oil for about one minute. Add in the garlic. Add in the Brussels sprouts and lemon juice. Cook for about one minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!