Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Date Created: 2023-08-02 16:49:30

Date Updated: 2023-08-02 17:05:30

Category: Blog Post

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Summary

Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts:

  • Antioxidant Properties: Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Heart Health: The fiber, potassium, and vitamin K in Brussels sprouts support cardiovascular health and may help lower blood pressure.
  • Digestive Health: The dietary fiber in Brussels sprouts aids digestion and supports a healthy gut.
  • Bone Health: The high vitamin K content is essential for bone health and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Cancer Prevention: Brussels sprouts contain compounds like glucosinolates and sulforaphane, which may have anticancer properties and help protect against certain types of cancer.

To learn more about the health benefits of Brussels sprouts, I encourage you to continue reading.

What are Brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprouts are a type of cruciferous vegetable and belong to the Brassica oleracea species, just like broccoli and cabbage. They are small, green, cabbage-like buds or miniature heads that grow along the stalk of the plant. Brussels sprouts are known for their distinctive taste and are widely enjoyed as a nutritious side dish or ingredient in various recipes.

Origin of Brussels Sprouts:

The exact origin of Brussels sprouts can be traced back to what is now modern-day Belgium, near the city of Brussels. Hence, the name "Brussels sprouts" comes from the region where they were first cultivated. They have been cultivated in Europe since the 13th century and later spread to other parts of the world.

Physical and Visual Characteristics of Brussels Sprouts:

Brussels sprouts have distinct physical and visual characteristics that make them easily identifiable:

1. Size: Brussels sprouts are small, typically ranging from 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.

2. Shape: They resemble miniature cabbages, with tightly packed, round, or oval-shaped buds that grow along the stalk of the plant.

3. Color: Brussels sprouts are dark green, and the color may vary slightly depending on the variety and maturity.

4. Leaves: Each Brussels sprout is surrounded by a series of leaves that get progressively larger toward the base of the plant.

 

Varieties of Brussels Sprouts:
There are several varieties of Brussels sprouts cultivated worldwide, each with its unique characteristics and flavor. Some common varieties include:

1. Long Island Improved: A popular heirloom variety known for its reliability and uniform sprout size.

2. Jade Cross: A hybrid variety that produces tender, sweet sprouts and is known for its disease resistance.

3. Diablo: A red Brussels sprout variety that has a striking dark red color and a slightly milder flavor.

4. Gustus: A newer variety with a shorter growing season and excellent flavor.

Nutrition

Nutritional Benefits of 100g Serving of Brussels Sprouts:
A 100g serving of Brussels sprouts provides various essential nutrients:

  • Calories: Approximately 43 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: About 9g
  • Dietary Fiber: Roughly 3.8g
  • Protein: Approximately 3.4g
  • Fat: Around 0.3g
  • Vitamin C: Providing about 85mg, which supports the immune system and skin health.
  • Vitamin K: Offering around 177µg, important for blood clotting and bone health.
  • Vitamin A: Approximately 754 IU, essential for vision and immune function.
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): Providing about 61µg, necessary for cell division and DNA synthesis.
  • Potassium: Approximately 389mg, vital for heart health and nerve function.

Incorporating Brussels sprouts into a balanced diet can provide numerous health benefits and contribute to overall well-being.

Health Benefits

Brussels sprouts have a lot of a natural, sulfur-based substance: glycosinolate glucobrassicin. Research shows that this compound may help prevent damage to your DNA that raises your chances of getting cancer. It may also stop new blood vessels from growing inside tumors.

Eating a lot of Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous veggies may help protect against cancers of the stomach, lungs, kidneys, breast, bladder, and prostate.

Crunchy veggies like Brussels sprouts may also help you stave off other health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Brussels sprouts also have carotenoids, colorful pigments found in plants, which are good for your eyes.

Risks

Despite all the health benefits of Brussels sprouts, check with your doctor before you add them to your diet if:

You take blood thinners. Like some other cruciferous veggies, Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot. If you take medicine called blood thinners, too much vitamin K could prevent them from working as well as they should. Ask your doctor about how often it's safe for you to eat Brussels sprouts.

You have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Like other cruciferous veggies, Brussels sprouts have a type of carbohydrate that your body can't easily break down. This can cause you to have belly pain, gas, and either diarrhea or constipation.

How to Prepare Brussels Sprouts

Look for bright green Brussels sprouts. Black spots or yellow leaves are signs of decay. Once you bring them home, Brussels sprouts will last a week or two in the refrigerator. Any longer than that and they may start to smell.

To cook, rinse your sprouts well to remove any dirt. Slice off the bottom (which has a tough texture, even when cooked), and remove any outer, wilted leaves.

You can toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and roast them until browned, or steam them in a pot with a few inches of water. They're also easily sautéed or microwaved. You can add raw, shaved Brussels sprouts to soups and salads.

Don't boil your Brussels sprouts. This can lead to the mushy, bitter taste that many people hate. It also wipes out many of this veggie's nutrients.

Note:
While food (fruits and vegetables) offer several health benefits. Eat moderate amounts. It is important to consume a balanced diet.

Credit:
https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-brussels-sprout
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Menom Editorial Team


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