If there is one vegetable most kids didn't like, it would have to be Brussels sprouts. Thankfully as we get older our taste buds mature and with it, learn to enjoy (and love!) the taste of cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts. But it's not just the taste of these gluten-free, carb-free sprouts we love. It's the Brussels sprouts health benefits that have us reaching for this veggie.
10 Brussels Sprouts Health Benefits
These miniature cabbages are not only delicious (especially when they are roasted crispy with olive oil as a side dish), but like other cruciferous vegetables, including kale, cauliflower and collard greens, they are packed full of amazing health benefits and important nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin b6, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and free radicals. These carb-free little greens have the power to fight heart disease, boost your immune system and even fight off your risk of cancer.
1. They Help Prevent Diabetes
Brussels sprouts contain antioxidants, but one in particular, alpha-lipoic acid, has been shown to lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity, an important nutrition fact for preventing diabetes. Sounds like a good health plan to me!
2. They Are Full of Folates
No need to take folic acid supplements if you are a frequent eater of Brussels sprouts. Eating foods rich in folic acid can help prevent birth defects if eaten while pregnant. While health care professionals still suggest taking a supplement while pregnant, the addition of raw Brussels sprouts to your diet would be a welcome one.
3. Brussels Sprouts are High in Fiber
Eating fiber, especially from the cruciferous vegetable family, helps keep your tummy regular and keeps your digestive system working normally. A half-cup of Brussels sprouts gives you about 2 grams of daily fiber. Plus, a diet high in soluble fiber content helps to lower your cholesterol levels.
4. They May Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
One of the health benefits of Brussels sprouts is that they are nutrient-dense, but they also help maintain healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels. The sprouts, which are high in fiber, slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood, which regulates it.
5. They May Reduce Inflammation
For people who suffer from arthritis, gout or other inflammatory conditions, Brussels sprouts are the perfect anti-inflammatory vegetable to add to the dinner plate. They are said to contain glucosinolates, which regulate the body's inflammatory response.
6. They Are Rich in Antioxidants
Did you know that food rich in antioxidants reduce the oxidative stress in your cells and lower your risk of chronic disease? Yes! One study has shown that one compound found in Brussels sprouts, kaempferol, may reduce cancer cell growth.
7. They May Help Prevent Cancer
One study in 2008 found that eating Brussels sprouts could protect against carcinogens. While the research is still in the early stages, scientists agree that eating Brussels sprouts are great for healthy eating, as they're part of a balanced diet and may help prevent certain cancers.
8. They Help with Weight Loss
Packed full of fiber, Brussels sprouts can help with weight loss efforts by filling you up with veggies rather than carbohydrates, keeping cravings at bay.
9. They Are Rich in Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient your body needs to help form coagulation whenever you get a cut, plus it plays a role in bone health. Half a cup of cooked Brussels sprouts provides you with 137% of your daily vitamin K needs.
10. They Contain ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Don't like eating seafood? Brussels sprouts are your answer. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to slow cognitive decline and decrease inflammation, with fresh seafood being the best place to get the fatty acids. Thankfully Brussels sprouts are a great alternative, with half a cup providing 12% of the daily requirement for women and 8% for men.
Here are some delicious Brussels sprouts recipes to get all of their benefits!
This article was originally published on Sep 19, 2019.