You may have turned your nose up when your mother served Brussels sprouts or held your nose and ate one if she insisted. These little miniature cabbages have a far stronger smell when cooked, so many children act the same. Like cabbage, they’re a member of the Brassicaceae family. Just like cabbage, there are many benefits of Brussels sprouts that can help you stay healthier.
Brussels sprouts are high in nutrients.
Just one serving of Brussels sprouts contain 91% of your body’s daily value for vitamin K and 53% of the amount of vitamin C you need. It also contains 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of carbs and 12% of the daily value for folate. Yet this tiny power packed veggie just contains 28 calories per serving. They’re also high in antioxidants, which can protect you at a cellular level.
The high fiber content of Brussels sprouts helps maintain blood sugar levels.
Fiber is important for your body. It helps provide bulk to your stool to prevent constipation, while also feeding your beneficial microbes in the digestive system. Fiber also slows the absorption of glucose into the blood stream and by doing that, helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Studies show that people who have more cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, in their diet, reduce the risk of diabetes.
Brussels sprouts contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Brussels sprouts contain a special type of omega-3 fatty acid. It’s alpha-linolenic or ALA. It’s the only type of omega-3 that plants contain. While a better, more usable type of Omega-3 is found in seafood and fish, it’s still a good option to add to the diet. The body converts the ALA to the omega-3 your body uses but can only do a small amount at a time, unlike the omega-3 in fish that doesn’t require conversion. Omega-3, no matter what the source, is important for lung, immune system and blood vessel health.
- The antioxidants in Brussels sprouts help reduce inflammation by fighting free radicals in the body. Chronic inflammation can cause many illnesses from auto-immune diseases to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
- The vitamin C in Brussels sprouts helps keep tissue repaired. Brussels sprouts is the best source for vitamin C from vegetables. Vitamin C is also important for the production of collagen, which keeps your skin looking younger.
- You can use Brussels sprouts in a main dish or as a side dish. They can be grilled, baked, roasted, sautéed or served raw. They are delightful in salads or cole slaw and can be quartered and served with dip.
- Cooking Brussels sprouts can decrease the vitamin C amount, but increase vitamins E and K. It can also release myrosinase, an enzyme, which breaks down glucosinolates and provide anti-cancer benefits. Don’t cook Brussels sprouts to long, or they become mushy and bitter.
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