Brussel sprouts are believed to have originated in Brussel and hence earned the name! These sprouts come from the same family as cabbages and they look like a miniature version of them.
Their buds are the sprouts and they grow about 2.5-4 cms in diameter. They usually grow well in cooler climates and thrive best in temperatures between 15-18 degrees Celsius.
Brussel sprouts are cultivated widely in Northern Europe, cooler regions of the US and even in Mexico where their season begins from colder December.
Brussel sprouts are considered one of the healthiest vegetables and are cooked by steaming, stir frying, grilling or simply roasting.
This vegetable needs to be cooked just right; an overcooked serving of Brussels sprout can be undesirable in taste and possesses a very strong flavor which is not liked by many.
Brussels Sprouts are super healthy and are especially recommended for younger children. They have a high content of vitamins and mineral along with essential dietary fiber.
The following nutrition chart gives a detailed account of per 100 grams serving of this wonderful vegetable.
Brussels sprouts make up 12% of Vitamin B1, 8% of Vitamin B2, 17% of Vitamin B6, 15% of folate, 102% of Vitamin C and 169% of Vitamin K of your daily requirement.
The mineral composition of these sprouts boasts of significant quantities of Iron, manganese, Phosphorus and Potassium.
100 grams of Brussels sprouts contain a healthy 86 grams of water.
Brussel sprouts are low in calories and fats whereas they are a rich source of Carbohydrates, vitamins and trace metals.
It is one of the rare vegetables that has such a rich and an almost complete nutritional composition.
In the following sections of this write-up we will introduce you to numerous health benefits of this vegetable which will get you craving for it right away!
1. A Natural Digestive
The high fiber content in Brussels sprouts helps in multiple ways to improve your
digestion and in regularizing your bowel movement. They facilitate the release and binding of bile juices and aid digestion.
Brussel sprouts mainly have soluble fiber which absorbs water and softens the stools while adding bulk to it.
This process prevents constipation and consequently gives relief to those who are suffering from piles and colon related diseases.
Fiber also ensures that your intestines get cleansed and empty out completely of its contents. This reduces the chances of various bacterial and fungal infections in the Gastrointestinal tract.
2. Maintains Ideal Blood Pressure
The very fiber that helps in improving digestion also is a key factor in controlling blood pressure.
Brussel sprouts hardly have any fat and simply no cholesterol. This basically helps in cutting down the amount of Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) also labeled as “Bad Cholesterol” in the blood.
Continuous deposition of LDLs over a period of time create plaque along the inner lining of arteries. This condition eventually leads to rigid arteries that have a narrow passage for blood to flow.
All these factors put a lot of stress on the heart and cause the blood pressure to fluctuate. Consuming Brussels sprouts reduce the incidence of raised blood pressure and protect the entire Cardiovascular system from the undue stress.
3. Aids Weight Loss
If you have been fighting with weight issues and a bulging waistline, then get to an active lifestyle and incorporate a healthy diet.
Including vegetables like Brussel sprouts can do the world of good for you if you are following a strict dietary regimen and want to shed tons of extra pound.
These sprouts help you in more than one way to achieve your weight loss target.
Firstly, fiber acts as a natural appetite suppressant; it discourages you from consuming more food and keeps you full for longer.
Secondly, it has no cholesterol, but it helps in breaking down the fats in your body eventually giving you a leaner physique.
Thirdly, it has a rich composition of trace metals that make the electrolyte and is high in water content. These two qualities are a must for any food which accompanies heavy physical exercises that lead to fluid loss in the body.
4. Reduces Acne Breakout
Acne is the worst enemy of your skin and can completely mar your looks on a special day!
So what are the causes behind acne breakouts?
Oiliness on the skin, pathogens like yeast, fungus, bacteria and environmental factor play a vital role in determining the frequency of acne breakouts.
Of the three causes, preventing acne owing to Pathogens is one area where Brussels sprouts and its fiber can help you out.
You would be surprised to know that fiber protects your skin and its health by moving yeast and fungus out of your body through bowel excretion.
Otherwise, this same fungus and yeast could find a way into your bloodstream and excrete through your skin leading to a bad case of Acne.
5. Carbs in sprouts Boost Your Mood
Have you been feeling low and depressed lately?
This may be time for you to add Brussels sprouts in your daily diet. And we are advocating this vegetable not only for its refreshing green color which could uplift your mood instantly but its nutritional goodness as well.
The Carbohydrates in these sprouts incite better mood and reduce the incidences of mood swings. Brussel sprouts contain vitamin C, D and B6 that are known to synthesize various neurotransmitters that are related to mood and mood swings.
Vitamin B6 helps in creating Dopamine, which regulates emotional responses.
Brussel sprouts also contain amino acid Tryptophan, which is known to lower anxiety and lend a feeling of calmness. All these qualities make this vegetable a complete and effective mood enhancer.
You will also like: Persimmon 7 Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts | Side Effects
Brussel sprouts strengthen neurotransmitters of our body and maintain the balance of electrolyte owing to its own composition of trace metals like potassium, phosphorus, and manganese.
Electrolyte induces electric signals in our nerves that help in transmitting signals from the brain that become the basis and plan on which every part of our body act.
An optimum level of electrolyte in the body ensures that the signals are transmitted promptly and consequently optimize the brain functioning as well.
Apart from enhancing brain function and improving memory, Brussels sprouts are considered good in the diet of those who are undergoing treatment for psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, ADHD and similar conditions.
7. Safeguards Myelin Sheaths
Myelin sheaths are a fatty substance which coats and protects nerves in the central as well as the peripheral nervous system. The impulses sent from the brain travel via nerves and myelin reduces the chances of these impulses getting lost on their way by escaping at a wrong point.
The damage or destruction of Myelin sheaths can completely impair the transmission of impulses leading to various disabilities including multiple sclerosis.
Brussels sprouts contain Lecithin, the fatty substance containing choline and Lipid molecules that are a source for Myelin production.
They safeguard the Myelin and also replace the damaged ones. Very few vegetarian dishes have myelin protecting properties and Brussels sprouts is amongst those very few.
8. Maintains Eye Health
By now, we know that Brussels sprouts are strong antioxidants as they contain Vitamin C which is more than oranges
It also has Vitamin K and Vitamin E.
Antioxidants help in fighting the free-radical damage in the body which can damage the mucous membranes of the eye. They also reduce the risk of developing degenerative diseases of the eyes like macular degeneration and cataract.
Both of these conditions, if remain unchecked, can lead to partial or complete vision loss. The vitamins not only protect the eye from damage due to oxidative stress but also supports their health by strengthening the vision and organs that make the eye.
9. Anti-aging properties
So when we say that a vegetable is a strong antioxidant, we also imply that it has anti-aging properties as well.
Free radicals produced in our body due to exposure of certain molecules to oxygen are the main cause behind the actual process of aging.
Wrinkling of skin, body spots, dryness, and general dullness are all symptoms of skin aging.
Consuming Brussels sprouts can prevent premature aging and even delay the natural aging process because its antioxidant quality scavenges the free radicals and prevent the damage to healthy cells.
The high water content in the sprouts also keeps your skin well hydrated restoring and maintaining the elasticity of skin which gives it supple and healthy tone.
10. Good for Blood production
Blood is your lifeline that carries oxygen to all parts of the body and there are various elements that work towards optimum blood or hemoglobin levels in the body.
Iron is the first and foremost trace metal which determines the level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cell which is made up of Iron and actually carries oxygen by attaching it to itself. So it goes without saying that food items like Brussel sprouts that are rich in Iron must be part of your regular diet.
11. Prevents Osteoporosis & Improves Bone Health
Vitamin K is being studied for its potential unexplored benefits and one of the benefits that recent studies have established is its role in maintaining bone health.
Those studies have clearly demonstrated that Vitamin K helps in increasing the density of bones which can help in reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis. An increased density of the bones makes them stronger and resistant to easy fracturing.
Brussel sprouts have huge concentrates of Vitamin K and a 100 grams serving fulfills more than the daily requirement of this vitamin.
Another important mineral that determines bone health is Calcium, the dominant mineral that makes up the bones. Clearly, these sprouts not only provide for the building blocks of bones but also help in strengthening them.
12. Heals faster
Brussel sprouts are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They help in reducing the swelling caused by injury and also aid scar and wound healing at a faster rate. This is because of the high level of Folate in the sprouts.
Brussel sprouts also have a high concentrate of potassium which aids blood clotting.
People suffering from the disorder which makes the clotting process in their body hard must make foods rich in potassium in their daily diet.
Foods like Brussels sprouts are also recommended before a major surgery and for the pregnant women who are about to give birth as a protection from excessive bleeding.
13. Diabetes Management
Vitamin K in Brussel Sprouts is known to increase the insulin sensitivity in the body. Insulin sensitivity is the factor that leads to absorption of glucose in the body and reduces the sugar spike in the blood.
Studies have shown that people who take Vitamin K through food sources have lower chances of developing Type II diabetes, even if it exists in their family history.
In people who are already suffering from this disorder, consuming Brussels sprouts would mean a minimal increase in blood sugar levels after a meal.
Interesting facts about Brussels Sprouts
The heaviest sprout ever produced was in 1982 and weighed about 8.3 kilograms. The Brussels sprout industry is worth over 900 million dollars!
It was voted the most hated vegetable in both the US and Britain, but the reason was that these people did not know how to cook it!
Overcooking or over boiling Brussel sprouts bring out the sulfurous odor. Therefore, char-grilling them or just roasting them lightly is the best way of getting their sweet and nutty flavor without the obnoxious smell of rotten eggs!
Excessive Brussel sprouts are known to cause hypothyroidism and flatulence. The cases are rare but exist where excessive intake of sprouts has led to an overdrive of blood clotting in some people.
It is especially risky in cases where the person is already taking coagulants or even anti-coagulants.
You will also like other articles: