Brussel sprouts are closely related to kale, cauliflower, and mustard greens. They look like mini-cabbages and pack quite the nutritional punch. Brussel sprouts are rich in Vitamin K and Vitamin C and are high in fibre. They also have some Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus. All these nutrients make them incredibly beneficial to the body’s functioning and overall health.
Rich in antioxidants
Brussel sprouts offer excellent protection against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals damage cells and are linked to premature ageing. Antioxidants lower the risk of developing chronic disease. By protecting cells from damage, they protect the body from a broad spectrum of diseases. Eating Brussel sprouts promotes overall good health.
Rich in Vitamin K
Vitamin K plays a vital role in the body’s functioning. It plays a role in bone growth and protects against osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is characterized by progressive bone loss resulting in weak, brittle bones that easily fracture. Health: Tips For Stronger Bones And Teeth
Studies find that Vitamin K supplements strengthen bones and decrease fractures in menopausal women. The body also needs vitamin K for clotting to prevent excessive bleeding after injuries.
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High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It is important for immune health, iron absorption, and collagen production. Iron forms haemoglobin which transports oxygen in the blood. Collagen prevents premature ageing, providing elasticity in the skin and reducing wrinkles. Brussel sprouts are one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin C.
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May reduce inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to pathogens like bacteria and viruses in an effort to beat the infection. Inflammation is sometimes triggered even when there are no pathogens to fight against which leads to illness. Diseases linked to chronic inflammation include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even mental illnesses like depression.
The anti-inflammatory power of Brussel sprouts is linked to a reduced risk of chronic disease including heart disease and cancer. The anti-inflammatory properties also protect DNA from damage, fend off ageing and help manage inflammatory conditions including type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and obesity.
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Help maintain healthy blood sugar levels
Brussel sprouts help keep blood sugar levels steady. An increase in intake is linked to a decreased risk of diabetes. They are high in fibre which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Fibre slows the absorption of food and slows down the absorption of sugar preventing sugar spikes and keeping blood sugar stable. Research finds that alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) allows insulin to work more efficiently to lower blood sugar.
High in fibre
The fibre in Brussel sprouts improves gut health, preventing constipation and lowering the risk of colorectal cancer. High fibre foods also stimulate the peristaltic motion which helps food move through the digestive tracts more smoothly.
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Supply healthy fats
They are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is converted to omega-3 in the body. Omega-3 has been proven to improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
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Brussel sprouts are a great source of protein and a sufficient substitute for animal-based sources for vegans and vegetarians.
Prevent birth defects
Folic acid in Brussel sprouts makes them important for pregnant mothers. Folic acid is crucial in preventing neural tube defects.
When prepared the right way, Brussel sprouts have a mild, sweet, almost nutty flavour. They are however very easy to overcook leading to a bitter taste and mushy texture. Coat them in olive oil and roast them until browned. Steam them in a pot with a few inches of water. Shave Brussel sprouts to soups or salads. Just be careful not to overcook them and never boil them.
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