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  • Dr. Nancy

Hormone-balancing Rainbow Slaw

The color of your food can visually show you the health benefits of what you're eating. Vibrant, colorful fruits and veggies are packed full of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that your body needs so desperately to thrive.

Eating the rainbow is especially easy this time of year with all the fun seasonal fruits and vegetables with gorgeous hues. Slaw is an easy way to fill your plate with an array of colors and nutritional powerhouses, like those found in cruciferous vegetables.

cruciferous vegetables, cruciferous vegetables benefits, cruciferous vegetables hormone balance, cabbage, rainbow slaw
Eat the rainbow everyday!

Secret Ingredient

Cruciferous vegetables, also known as Brassicas, include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, arugula, brussels sprouts, kale, collards, watercress, turnips, kohlrabi and horseradish. These vegetables are particularly powerful thanks to their sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates, which gives them their delicious peppery and slightly bitter taste.

When glucosinolates are broken down through chewing or chopping, an enzyme called myrosinase is activated that converts the glucosinolates to indole-3-carbinol. It is indole-3-carbinol that gives cruciferous vegetables their robust hormone regulatory effect.

Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables

The benefit of cruciferous vegetables doesn’t stop here though. They also give you power to:

· Support detoxification

· Optimize digestion

· Enhance heart health

· Promote estrogen balance

· Regulate blood sugar

· Encourage weight loss

· Lower risk for certain cancers

· Reduce inflammation

· Decrease risk for chronic disease

Cruciferous vegetables are also very economical. Making them an affordable choice to bolster your nutrition and your long-term health.

Rainbow Slaw

3 cups purple cabbage

3 cups green cabbage

2 cups carrots

2 cloves garlic

1 cup scallions

1 jalapeño

A big bunch of cilantro

About 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar

About 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

Juice of 1 lime




Slice and dice to your hearts content or use a mandoline slicer or food processor to get the job done fast. Combine everything in a big bowl.

If you want to add a heathy oil to the mix, try EVOO, sesame oil or pumpkin seed oil. No heavy mayonnaise here!

Even though slaw is typically considered a summer dish, don’t forget about including it through the colder months. It is so versatile; you can put your spin on it any time of year.

Try adding pumpkin seeds and apples for an autumn spin. This winter, use pomegranate seeds, pears, toasted walnuts, and coconut flakes.

A Word of Caution

If you have thyroid issues, it’s best to only eat cruciferous vegetables that have been cooked and limit your intake to about one to two servings per day. When eaten raw, the digestion of cruciferous vegetables in the intestines releases goitrogens, which can increase the need for iodine and can potentially damage the thyroid gland if consumed in copious amounts.

Talk to your health care practitioner to determine what is right for you and your unique body. If hormone balance is a priority for you, let's talk about how I can help.


Keck AS, Finley JW. Cruciferous vegetables: cancer protective mechanisms of glucosinolate hydrolysis products and selenium. Integr Cancer Ther. 2004 Mar;3(1):5-12. doi: 10.1177/1534735403261831. PMID: 15035868.

Jia X, Zhong L, Song Y, Hu Y, Wang G, Sun S. Consumption of citrus and cruciferous vegetables with incident type 2 diabetes mellitus based on a meta-analysis of prospective study. Prim Care Diabetes. 2016 Aug;10(4):272-80. doi: 10.1016/j.pcd.2015.12.004. Epub 2016 Jan 6. PMID: 26778708.

Bazzano LA, Serdula MK, Liu S. Dietary intake of fruits and vegetables and risk of cardiovascular disease. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2003 Nov;5(6):492-9. doi: 10.1007/s11883-003-0040-z. PMID: 14525683.

Meng Q, Yuan F, Goldberg ID, Rosen EM, Auborn K, Fan S. Indole-3-carbinol is a negative regulator of estrogen receptor-alpha signaling in human tumor cells. J Nutr. 2000 Dec;130(12):2927-31. doi: 10.1093/jn/130.12.2927. PMID: 11110848.

McAlindon TE, Gulin J, Chen T, Klug T, Lahita R, Nuite M. Indole-3-carbinol in women with SLE: effect on estrogen metabolism and disease activity. Lupus. 2001;10(11):779-83. doi: 10.1177/096120330101001104. PMID: 11789487.

Gaitan E. Goitrogens. Baillieres Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988 Aug;2(3):683-702. doi: 10.1016/s0950-351x(88)80060-0. PMID: 2464986.

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