Brussels sprouts fall into the cruciferous category of vegetables, which also includes broccoli, collard greens, kale and cabbage. The sprouts are small leafy green buds resembling miniature cabbages in appearance. This plant is one of my all time favorites to grow in the garden, and kids really dig this cool plant, too.
This group of vegetables offers a unique composition of antioxidants that promotes good health. Additionally, Brussels sprouts are low in calories, while offering protein, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy body. The buds are exceptionally rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which work wonders to get rid of many health troubles. In fact, a renewed interest is growing about health benefits these sprouts have to offer.
Anemia: Brussels sprouts have high iron content, a vital mineral that together with vitamin B6 release energy used in the manufacture of red blood cells.
Blood pressure: As with most vegetables, the high amount of potassium in this food helps regulate the body’s cells that are essential for most metabolic processes, including maintaining a normal blood pressure.
Bone and dental health: The high calcium content in Brussels sprouts aids in maintaining high bone density and dental health.
Cancer prevention: The Brussels sprouts together with the others in the same family, i.e. broccoli and cabbage, offer anti-oxidant indole, and other compounds that are unique for preventing cancer.
Cardiovascular support: Various necessary compounds are packaged into these “little cabbages” to work synergistically to help regulate blood circulation for the prevention of inflammatory problems in, and the support of, the cardiovascular system.
Colon health: The sprouts have an anti-inflammatory effect that help prevent chronic inflammation that leads to certain bowel conditions.
Common cold and flu: A cup of Brussels sprouts contain more Vitamin C than an orange making it an ideal vegetable for the prevention of common cold and flu.
Energy booster: The protein, nutrients and rich enzymes found in Brussels sprouts provide energy to the body, keeping the body free from fatigue.
Immune system: A compound called histidine in Brussels sprouts is found to be useful in treating allergies and regulating the T-cells in our immune system.
Pregnancy support: Brussels sprouts is high in folate (B9) which helps in fetal development. Before and during pregnancy, folate prevents the occurrence of neurological defects, such as spina bifida, in the fetus.
Vision: The precursor Vitamin A makes this vegetable essential for maintenance of a perfect vision. The high anti-oxidants help prevent cataract and various other eye problems.
Weight loss: The high protein and low fat/calorie content make this vegetable ideal to be included in a weight loss diet. Its rich nutrients keep your body cells satiated, preventing cravings and binging.
Brussels Sprouts, cooked
GI: very low
|vitamin K||218.87 mcg||243.2||77.9||excellent|
|vitamin C||96.72 mg||129.0||41.3||excellent|
|folate||93.60 mcg||23.4||7.5||very good|
|manganese||0.35 mg||17.5||5.6||very good|
|vitamin B6||0.28 mg||16.5||5.3||very good|
|fiber||4.06 g||16.2||5.2||very good|
|choline||63.34 mg||14.9||4.8||very good|
|copper||0.13 mg||14.4||4.6||very good|
|vitamin B1||0.17 mg||14.2||4.5||very good|
|potassium||494.52 mg||14.1||4.5||very good|
|phosphorus||87.36 mg||12.5||4.0||very good|
|omega-3 fats||0.27 g||11.2||3.6||very good|
|vitamin B2||0.12 mg||9.2||3.0||good|
|pantothenic acid||0.39 mg||7.8||2.5||good|
|vitamin A||60.45 mcg RAE||6.7||2.2||good|
|vitamin B3||0.95 mg||5.9||1.9||good|
Brussels sprouts contain several classes of goitrogens, which suppress thyroid hormone production. People with low thyroid hormone production are at risk of thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism. Goitrogens can be generated enzymatically from the hydrolysis of some glucosinolates, sulfur-rich plant metabolites, found in Brussels sprouts and other Brassica vegetables. However, many physicians and nutritionists believe that these goitrogens are deactivated by processing and cooking
How to”Fall” in Love with Brussels Sprouts
However, not everyone enjoys a big ole plate of Brussels sprouts. So how do we work them into our diet? A great way to start is to throw a few sprouts in a green smoothie. You can also tweak the recipe below to craft the perfect mix for your family.
ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON
- 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
- 2-3 tablespoons melted butter
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 bacon slices, diced raw
- Aged balsamic vinegar
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Trim the ends and any old outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Cut the sprouts in half and coat with butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and add diced bacon. Make sure you spread out to a single layer. Roast for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Gardening for the health of it is delicious, enjoy!
Sources: juicingforhealth.com, whfoods.com