Brussels sprouts resemble mini cabbages in appearance. Like most vegetables that belong to the cruciferous family, Brussels sprouts contain loads of essential nutrients and provide several benefits to our body. Brussels sprouts are naturally low in fat and calories like most other veggies but are high in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Health benefits of Brussels sprouts
1. Anti-carcinogenic properties: A wide variety of glucosinolates are found in Brussels sprouts that have been shown to decrease the likelihood of one suffering from breast, bladder, lung, colon, prostrate and ovary cancer.
2. Anti-inflammatory: Brussels sprouts contain a good amount of vitamin K which helps keep chronic inflammation in control. Also some glucosinolates found in Brussels sprouts are converted to another anti-inflammatory compound called indole-3-carbinol. Another amazing fact is the presence of omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary in the production of the messaging molecules that reduce inflammation.
3. Anti-oxidant: A wide range of anti-oxidants are found in Brussels sprouts such as vitamins C, E and A, manganese, and flavonoids such as isorhamnetin, quercitin and kaempferol.
4. Protection of DNA: An unusual health benefit of Brussels sprouts is their capability to enhance DNA stability in white blood cells. This is brought about by blocking the activity of the sulphotransferase enzyme that is detrimental to DNA.
5. Boost cardiovascular health: Regular consumption of Brussels sprouts has shown to have a positive effect on reducing heart attacks, heart diseases and hardening of arteries.
6. Promotes digestive tract health: A cup of Brussels sprouts contains 16% of daily recommended dietary fiber which promotes proper digestion, prevents constipation and maintains low blood sugar. Some studies have shown Brussels sprouts to protect the lining of the stomach by preventing the growth of H. pylori, bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and acid reflux.
7. Builds up the immune system: Brussels sprouts comes equipped with vitamin C which ensures a healthy immune system, fights lead buildup, wards against hyper tension, lowers blood pressure and can also combat the onset of cataract.
8. Cholesterol reduction: Due to its high fiber content, Brussels sprouts help reduce cholesterol levels by coupling with bile acids that the liver produces more of and thus requires more cholesterol to digest fat, eventually leading to the low cholesterol levels!
9. Maintains healthy eye sight: Brussels sprouts have an adequate amount of vitamin A which is known to reduce the risk of losing eye sight. It also significantly reduces the chances of suffering from macular degeneration and glaucoma.