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Cruciferous is a word that many find confusing. We will examine the definition of the word cruciferous, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Cruciferous describes plants and vegetables that are in the cabbage family, known as cruciferae. Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. Generally, cruciferous vegetables are cool weather crops. They are known for their health benefits due to their vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and soluble fiber. Cruciferous vegetables have been shown to lower cancer risks by detoxifying carcinogens and stopping the growth of cancer cells in tumors. The word cruciferous is derived from the Latin word crux meaning cross and the suffix -fer meaning bearing. This refers to the plant, which  has flowers that consist of four equal-sized petals that are arranged in the shape of a cross. Originally, the word cruciferous was used literally to mean something cross-shaped. Today, the word is only used when referring to vegetables and plants in the cabbage family.


The cruciferous vegetable, which some know by the name rapini, has edible leaves, buds and stems (it’s the buds that look like a loose head of broccoli.) (The Times)

From winter squash and hardy cruciferous vegetables to crisp sweet apples and pears, the season’s produce is at the heart of many of our cherished recipes. (The Boulder Daily Camera)

Typically, researchers focus on one compound to avoid any adverse consequences of comingling, but a team believed that sulforaphane, found in cruciferous vegetables, and polyphenols, in green tea, would pair well, according to a release. (Newsweek Magazine)

Cabbage belongs to the cruciferous family, a group of vegetables known for its sulphur-containing compounds and cancer fighting capabilities. (The Colombian)