Brussel sprouts have never been among the most loved and appreciated vegetables, but they are a little powerhouse of goodness for those that can learn to love them. Read why you should include brussel sprouts nutrition in your daily diet.
Part of the Brassica family, its relations include the more palatable cabbage, kale and broccoli of which the two latter varieties have gained the kudos of ‘superfoods’. To most people, one humble sprout looks just like the next one, but there are in fact 50 different varieties from ‘button’ to larger ones, in the range of up to 40mm diameter.
Whichever way, brussel sprouts are packed with nutrients including a good source of protein, iron and potassium, essential for healthy living. They are also accredited with special cholesterol-lowering benefits, particularly if you use a steaming method of cooking them. It is very important not to overcook what appears to be a little robust vegetable, but not only with they lose their nutritional value, but also develop the very unpleasant sulphur smell that has for many years put people off. One of the best ways of eating tiny little sprouts, is by eating them raw – they can be ‘jazzed’ up with all kinds of other ingredients and dressings and will provide maximum nutritional benefits.
Many studies show that consuming brussel sprouts has a significant effect on the three systems that are closely connected with cancer – ie. the body’s detox system, its antioxidant system and its anti-inflammatory system. Among all the types of cancer, prevention most commonly attributed to brussel sprouts lies with breast cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate and ovarian cancer.
This ‘super’ little vegetable need only be consumed in relatively small quantities to aid in so many of todays’ lifestyle diseases and health issues.
6 Nutrients brussel sprouts nutrition:
- Vitamin C – essential for normal growth and development, strengthens immune system and helps in maintaining the health of your skin, teeth and gums. Vitamin C also protects against cell damage and reduces the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Just half a cup of these contains 50% of the necessary Vitamin C intake for men, and a staggering 65% for women.
- Fibre – necessary for keeping digestive system functioning properly, encourages regular bowel movement and prevents constipation.Fibre also reduces cholesterol levels, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease and strokes.
- Folate or Folic Acid – this B vitamin is present in large quantities in leafy green vegetables. It also has a part to play in the formation of the neural tube and can assist in preventing birth defects such as spina bifida. Folate may also reduce homocysteine levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and related life-threatening illnesses.
- Antioxidants – brussel sprouts contain levels of antioxidant compounds that offer protective benefits to the body and system. These compounds can reduce the risk of cancer. The reduction of this risk is caused by the glucosinate content, a vital phytonutrient in the prevention of cancers.
- Vitamin K – omnipresent in brussel sprouts, this vitamin is essential for protein modification and blood clotting and recent studies also suggest that it may be beneficial in playing a leading role in the treatment of osteoporosis and Alzheimers. Further research is under continuation, but initial signs are positive.
- Omega-3 fats – brussel sprouts contain a reasonable amount of Omega-3 fats, contributory to a healthy heart. Brussel sprouts contain no other fats whatsoever.
If you are on a low fat diet, brussel sprouts nutrition provide very little calories (approx 60 per cup), with a further plus of being extremely low on the glycaemic index.