Brussels Sprouts benefits includes cancer protection, relieving constipation, supports probiotic health, support bone health, improve blood circulation, promote blood sugar management, promote skin health, helps fight inflammation, ensure the health of the brain and nerves, and help prevent anemia.
What isBrussels Sprouts?
As children, many people despised Brussels sprouts, even though they do not really taste that bad. However, as we have grown into adults we have come to appreciate all that this delicious vegetable can offer us. Though it is not clear where the Brussels sprouts originated from, it likely got an early start in Belgium, where the name Brussels originated. It’s more likely it was first cultivated in Italy first, though this is up for debate. Today, Brussels sprouts can be found growing in many parts of the world but especially in the United States.
Brussels sprouts are closely related to cabbages, and belong to the same family of cruciferous vegetables known as Brassica.
Nutrition Info of Brussels sprouts (per cup, 88g)
Total Carbohydrate-7.9g 3% RDI
Dietary Fiber-3.3g 13% RDI
Protein-3.0g 6% RDI
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)0.8mg4%
11 Amazing Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
1. Cancer Protection
One of the most studied and well-known benefits of cruciferous vegetables including Brussels sprouts is its ability to offer significant protection from cancer. It is believed that Brussels sprouts help prevent cancer in multiple ways, such as by promoting the breakdown of potentially toxic or carcinogenic waste material in the body, which can cause unwanted cancerous changes occurring in cells. It can also help to promote detoxification of waste by the body, and thanks to its high levels of antioxidants help to offset oxidative damage that is largely believed to be as strong promoter of cancer.
Brussels sprouts show particular promise in helping to prevent colorectal cancer, though studies are still ongoing to confirm this.
2. Helps Prevent Constipation
A small half cup serving of Brussels sprouts contains around 2 g of fiber, which amounts to almost 10% of your daily needs and goes a long way in helping you meet your daily quota. Fiber helps to ensure that waste material makes the journey rapidly through the digestive tract, minimizing constipation risk. Part of the reason that Brussels sprouts consumption is associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk, is thanks to the rapid emptying of waste material which reduces the time healthy cells spend in contact with it.
3. Supports Probiotic Health
While many think that yogurt is the only source of the good probiotic bacteria, many vegetables contain the fiber necessary for these good bacteria to thrive, as they serve as a source of nutrition for them.
Cabbage and its fermented form – better known as kimchi, or Brussels sprouts both contain this important fiber known as prebiotic food, ensuring that these good bacteria are well fed and help to support the body by preventing infection and buffering stress.
4. Supports Bone Health
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of the rare vitamin K, with just a half cup serving containing more than 100% of your daily needs. Vitamin K is especially important for regulation of bone health and normal bone synthesis, which is notably absent in persons suffering from osteoporosis.
Combined with a diet high in calcium and magnesium, vitamin K helps ensure sufficient bone mineralization and reduce the likelihood of mineral leaching occurring. This can be of particular benefit in women that are of postmenopausal age.
5. Improves Blood Circulation
Thanks once again to the presence of vitamin K in Brussels sprouts, blood circulation is enhanced minimizing the risk of strokes, clots and even heart attacks. Though this action can be considered unpredictable, you must carefully monitor bleeding patterns if combined with known blood thinner medications. If you are unsure if it is safe, be sure to consult your physician to discuss it.
6. Can Indirectly Boost Testosterone Levels
Cruciferous vegetables are preferred by male athletes thanks to their ability to prevent excessive estrogen production in the body. Brussels sprouts and their family of related cruciferous vegetables inhibit the conversion of the male hormone testosterone into the female hormone estrogen, which is undesirable for men looking to attain a leaner body, or improve sexual function. Brussels sprouts are able to help wonderfully, as it does not fully suppress the production of this hormone completely, but just enough to make it not have an overpowering effect.
7. Promotes Blood Sugar Management
Vegetables have become a mainstay in the management of diabetes, thanks to their relatively low carbohydrate content, and fiber which help to slow the rate of blood glucose absorption or spikes.
However, Brussels sprouts take this benefit a step further, as they also contain alpha lipoic acid, which is an antioxidant that has been studied for its beneficial effects on blood glucose management and improving insulin sensitivity. Seeing that most of the diabetics in this world are Type 2, improving insulin sensitivity is a great way to help with their diabetes management. Type II diabetics suffer from disrupted insulin supply or action, which then translate to the poor blood glucose control.
8. Promotes Skin Health
Thanks to the presence of generous amounts of antioxidants, including vitamin C regular consumption of Brussels sprouts is associated with generally better skin condition, as well as slowed aging. The effect of excessive sun exposure results in damage to the skin cells leading to wrinkles, age spots or even skin sagging. Brussels sprouts help to reduce the impact these UV rays can have on the cells, and coupled with vitamin C help to ensure that collagen synthesis is maintained. Collagen is a structural protein that gives skin its youthful vigor and elasticity, and naturally declines as you age.
9. Natural Anti-Inflammatory
While inflammation is a natural response and helps to safeguard our body from diseases and traumatic wounds, excessive states of inflammation are harmful to the body and can cause many chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and premature aging.
Brussels sprouts contains numerous beneficial antioxidants and other phyto- compounds which can help to reduce the level of inflammatory markers in the blood and safeguard you from the ravages of these chronic diseases.
One of the most noteworthy phyto-compounds found in Brussels sprouts is known as kaempferol, to which many of its cancer fighting properties are attributed to.
10. Helps Ensure The Health Of The Brain And Nerves
One of the most important trace minerals that supports the health of the brain and nervous system is manganese, which Brussels sprouts luckily contains.
Diets high in manganese help ensure that nerve fibers are properly insulated, and safeguard the brain from many disorders such as epilepsy. Manganese also plays an important role in the maintenance of bone tissue, where it may prevent arthritis and osteoporosis.
11. Helps Prevent Anemia
Brussels sprouts, while not well known for their iron content, do contain fair amounts of vitamin C and the trace mineral copper, both of which are important for the proper uptake of iron into the blood where it can be synthesized into red blood cells.
Many persons suffering from anemia can improve their symptoms by consuming foods that are high in iron, and ensuring that vitamin C and copper needs are met as well.
After reading this list, we are sure you wished that you had eaten more Brussels sprouts when you were a kid. Luckily, it’s not too late to start now. You can incorporate it into a variety of meals or even eat as side dishes. It truly deserves a place in everyone’s diet.