Health benefits of Brussels Sprouts
This cruciferous member of the cabbage family is often avoided or ridiculed for the not-so-pleasant sulphuric smell it emits, but it would be a shame to so readily dismiss this adorable little mini-cabbage with its powerhouse contents. Brussels sprouts are chockablock full of vital nutrients including vitamins A, B6, C K, E, fiber, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese and potassium.
Many wizened health enthusiasts have embraced this palm-sized veggie and made it part and parcel of their dietary regime because of the astounding array of health benefits it awards including but not limited to;
Anti-inflammatory properties The glucosinolates and omega 3 fatty acids found in Brussels sprouts assist in the regulation of the body’s inflammatory system. Vitamin K does wonders, as well, in regulating inflammatory responses and curtailing chronic inflammation. Brussels sprouts have been known to help ease rheumatoid arthritis.
Cancer prevention The glucosinolates and isothiocyanates inherent in Brussels sprouts have been shown to combat, and in some cases prevent, certain cancers such as bladder, breast, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate.
Cholesterol Brussels sprouts are a 100% cholesterol-free food which is wonderful news for those trying to lower or maintain their cholesterol levels.The high fibre content of Brussels sprouts helps lower cholesterol levels by binding with bile acids in the liver and excreting them more easily.
DNA Daily consumption of brussel sprouts can offer DNA protection and stabilisation in our white blood cells.
Healthy bones The vitamin K inherent in Brussels sprouts increases bone mineral density and its abundance of vitamin C proves vital for developing healthy bone collagen.
Heart health Brussels sprouts are rich in the compound isothicyanate sulforaphane which has anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent and repair blood vessel damage as well as protect one against heart attacks and arteriosclerosis. Vitamin C plays a role in the development of collagen in the blood vessels and helps keep them strong. Vitamin C can also fight hypertension and lower blood pressure.
Immune booster Brussels sprouts are laden with vitamin C which is essential for bolstering up the body’s immune system.
Low calories Brussels sprouts are a fat-free, low calorie and highly portable snack You certainly cannot go wrong at only fifty-six calories per cup! So pop them like candy to keep yourself full and satisfied throughout the day.
Fibre A one cup serving of Brussels sprouts has four grams of soluble fibre which is crucial in aiding the digestive process and eliminating excess waste in a quick fashion which of course we all love when trying to shed those unwanted pounds.
Detox A surprising fact about sulphur that may afford it some more due respect is that it is essential for beefing up the body’s natural detoxification system.
Antioxidant properties are abundant in Brussels sprouts due to their wealth of vitamins A, C, E, manganese and various other important flavonoids,all of which protect the body’s cells against oxidative stress. Vitamin C, in particular, is noteworthy for producing healthy collagen in the skin which can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Slice thinly and use them as a base for your favourite salad instead of lettuce or just simple peel ans separate the delicate leaves on this winter delight.
Char grill with raddichio, add a miso dressing and top with bonito flakes.
A hot tip to lessen that nefarious sulphur smell? Don’t overcook them! It is excessive cooking that turns these otherwise beautiful crisp little cabbages into the nasty smelling mush that has given them a bad rap for far too long. Like most “super veggies,” their nutritional integrity remains intact the less you tamper with them. Ideally, you want them to just reach tenderness Your imagination is the limit after that.
So steam them in a shallow pan of water or one of those handy dandy bamboo steamer baskets for four to eight minutes, tops. After their steam bath, you can dress them on up with an easy lemon vinaigrette and then toss in a handful of sliced almonds and a dousing of tangy crumbled cheese like feta for an impressive side dish or entrée salad.
Or, brush them with some good olive oil, sprinkle on your favourite seasonings to taste, throw in some sliced shallots and give them all a ten minute pan fry, turning them over after five. The sprouts will be a tasty sumptuous golden brown with an ever-so-slight crunch.
My personal favourite is steamed with nut brown butter and crushed roasted pecan nuts.