Despite their endless benefits for your body, brussels sprouts still don’t seem to get enough recognition and attention. They are most popular in winter: roasted brussels sprouts are often considered a side dish that may have stolen the show at your Christmas dinner. But why not eat them in other forms such as salads or in soups then? Here are some of our top reasons why you should consider adding good, old brussels sprouts to your daily diet!
1. Boosts your immunity
Brussels sprouts are small multivitamin bombs: in fact, just 100 grams will provide you with the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin K! Moreover, they contain high levels of vitamins A, B and E as well as minerals; calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. They also possess antioxidants, support your immune system, speed up healing of infections and reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals.
2. Cancer prevention
Studies have shown that brussels sprouts reduce the development of tumour cells. They contain phytochemical compounds that help to eliminate potential carcinogens from your body. Vitamin C also protects your DNA from mutations that can lead to the development of cancer. Nitrates from brussels sprouts remove excess estrogen in women hence decreasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
3. Cardiovascular system support
Thanks to their high levels of potassium, brussels sprouts can regulate blood pressure and decrease the levels of LDL, “bad cholesterol” while increasing the levels of HDL, “good cholesterol” (which in turn helps reduce the risk of stroke). They also possess isothiocyanates (found in brassica/cruciferous vegetables of the cabbage family) which help reduce the risk of heart attack.
4. Medicine for diabetics
They also contain an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid which lowers glucose levels in your blood. It increases insulin sensitivity and prevents your body from the oxidative stress of diabetes while keeping your sugar levels stable.
5. Digestive system support
Brussels are known for their high levels of dietary fibre – 100 grams containing about 4-5 grams which is equivalent to 20% of your recommended daily amount. So, in short, they support your digestive processes, boost your metabolism, prevent constipation and will assuredly help keep your evacuations regular as well!
Although brussels sprouts are highly beneficial to your health and should definitely be included in your diet, keep in mind that excessive consumption can cause bloating and gas. They also contribute to blood clotting so should therefore be eaten in moderation by those who have varices. Finally, they are goitrogenic (goitrogens are chemicals that interfere with thyroid functions) so should be avoided by people who suffer from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
What are your thoughts on brussels sprouts, how have they helped you, do you have a favourite recipe? Let us know below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Why not check out these other Top 5’s too?