The health benefits of Brussels sprouts are really special! They are not among the most well-loved veggies. However, as a member of the nutritionally powerful cruciferous family (that also include broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage, and cauliflower), Brussels sprouts are worth a place in everyone’s healthy diet.
Not just are Brussels sprouts a great source of potassium, iron, and protein, but they also deliver other benefits that can improve your overall health.
As a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, Brussels sprouts can supply many nutrients for a very small amount of calories. If you are trying to improve your diet, these vegetables should be at the top of your grocery list.
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
Eating fruits and veggies of all sorts has long been linked with a decreased risk of numerous adverse health conditions. Studies have submitted that increasing consumption of plant foods as Brussels sprouts reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and overall mortality while promoting an increased energy, healthy complexion, and overall lower weight. Here are the possible health benefits of Brussels sprouts:
- Fight Cancer
Eating high amounts of cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts has been linked with a lower risk of cancer, since the 1980s. More recently, scientists have been able to determine that the sulfur-containing compounds (viz. sulforaphane) which give cruciferous veggies their bitter bite are also what provide them their cancer-fighting ability.
The promising result has been seen with several types of cancers, including esophageal, pancreatic, prostate, and melanoma.
Researchers have found that sulforaphane has the ability to constrain the damaging enzyme histone deacetylase, which is included in the development of malignant cells. The power to stop HDAC enzymes can make sulforaphane-containing foods a possibly potent part of cancer treatments in the future.
Moreover, Brussels sprouts also have a high amount of chlorophyll that can block the carcinogenic effect of heterocyclic amines produced when grilling meat at very high temperature. If you have a tendency to like the grilled foods charred, ensure to pair them with green vegetables in order to reduce your risk.
- Maintain Vision
By providing increased protection against UV light damage, Vitamin C has been proven to help keep eyes healthy.
Consuming just 1 serving of Brussels sprouts a day delivers enough of this essential nutrient. Zeaxanthin -another potent antioxidant in Brussels sprouts – filters out harmful blue light rays and is supposed to play a protective role in vision and perhaps protect against damage from macular degeneration.
A higher consumption of all fruits and vegetable (three or more servings a day) has also been proven to reduce the risks of and progression of age-associated macular degeneration.
- Improve Bone Health
Very low intakes of vitamin K have been linked with a high risk of bone fracture. Adequate intake of vitamin K (that just ¾ cup of Brussels sprouts offers) boosts bone health by acting as a transformer of bone matrix proteins, boosting calcium absorption, and decreasing urinary excretion of calcium.
Moreover, Brussels sprouts contribute to our daily requirement for calcium, providing around 37 milligrams in just 1 cup.
- Look Younger
The powerful antioxidant vitamin C, when consumed in its natural form (fresh) or applied topically, could help to combat skin damage caused by the pollution and the sun, decrease wrinkles, and boost whole skin texture. This vitamin has a crucial role in the collagen formation, which is the central support system of the skin.
You may automatically reach for some citrus fruit when you think of Vitamin C, though Brussels sprouts offer a whopping 75 milligrams per one cup, which is more than 100% of the daily need.
Vitamin A is also important for healthy looking skin that Brussels sprouts also offer.
- Manage Diabetes
Green vegetables contain alpha-lipoic acid, a potent antioxidant, which has been found to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and inhibit oxidative stress-induced changes in individuals with diabetes. Research on alpha-lipoic acid has also shown reductions in autonomic neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy in diabetics.
Notable, most research has used venous (injected) alpha-lipoic acid and it’s unclear if oral supplementation could provide the same benefits.
Brussels Sprouts Nutrition
Just 1 serving of Brussels sprouts would meet your requirements for vitamin K and vitamin C for the day.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a cup of Brussels sprouts, raw (around 88 grams) provides:
- 38 calories,
- 8 grams of carbohydrate (including 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of sugar),
- 0 grams of fat, and
- 3 grams of protein
Moreover, eating 1 cup of Brussels sprouts will provide:
- 195% of vitamin K,
- 125% of vitamin C,
- 10% or more of vitamin A, vitamin B-6, manganese, potassium, and folate
needs for the day.
How to include more Brussels sprouts into your diet?
Here are a few quick tips to enjoy Brussels sprouts:
- Just keep it simple – drizzle the roasted sprouts with cracked black pepper, minced garlic, and olive oil;
- Slice the sprouts thin – mix in raw with some salad greens;
- Add dried cranberries and candied walnuts to roasted sprouts for a joyful holiday side dish, and
- In order to get a crunchier texture – pan fry sliced Brussels sprouts
Health benefits of Brussels sprouts are really impressive. These sprouts are a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which is a group of nutritional powerhouse veggies that are particularly significant for helping to fight cancer.
By increasing your intake of veggies like Brussels sprouts, you can help to reduce your risk of neurodegenerative disorders, heart disease, cancer, and obesity – and bring your entire body into health! And on the top of all health benefits of Brussels sprouts – these veggies can help you to reach a healthy weight, improve your eyesight and complexion, deliver you more energy, and help in muscle growth.