By Rachael Link MS RD.
"Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables and closely related to kale, cauliflower and mustard greens. These cruciferous vegetables resemble mini cabbages and are typically cut, cleaned and cooked to make a nutritious side dish or main course. Brussels sprouts boast high levels of many nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits.
Brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the major nutrients in a half cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts:
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 6 grams
Fibre: 2 grams
Vitamin K: 137% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 81% of the RDI
Vitamin A: 12% of the RDI
Folate: 12% of the RDI
Manganese: 9% of the RDI
Brussels sprouts are especially rich in vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone health. They’re also high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps promote iron absorption and is involved in tissue repair and immune function. What’s more, their high fibre content helps support regularity and gut health. In addition to the nutrients above, Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus.
Summary: Brussels sprouts contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that may reduce cancer growth, decrease inflammation and promote heart health.
Summary: Some studies show that the compounds found in Brussels sprouts may decrease the risk of cancer.
4. High in Fibre
Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamin K. In fact, just a half cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts provides 137% of your daily vitamin K requirement. This important nutrient plays a vital role in the body.It is essential for coagulation, the formation of blood clots that stop bleeding. Vitamin K may also play a role in bone growth and could help protect against osteoporosis, a condition characterized by progressive bone loss. In fact, one review of seven studies concluded that taking vitamin K supplements could increase bone strength and decrease the risk of bone fracture in postmenopausal women. Keep in mind that those taking blood-thinning medication should moderate their vitamin K intake. But for most people, boosting vitamin K intake may reap many health benefits.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K, a nutrient important for blood clotting and bone metabolism.
In addition to their impressive nutrient profile and long list of health benefits, Brussels sprouts may also help keep blood sugar levels steady. Multiple studies have linked an increased intake of cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, to a decreased risk of diabetes. This is likely because Brussels sprouts are high in fibre, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Increasing your intake of Brussels sprouts alongside an otherwise healthy diet may help you keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Summary: The fibre and antioxidants in Brussels sprouts may help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. A large study found that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. Additionally, Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, which can help neutralize the free radicals that can cause inflammation.
9. High in Vitamin C
Brussels sprouts provide 81% of your daily vitamin C needs in each half-cup (78-gram) cooked serving. Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It also acts as an antioxidant, is involved in the production of proteins like collagen and may even enhance immunity). One review including over 11,000 participants found vitamin C reduced the severity of the common cold, decreasing its duration by an average of 8% in adults. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, but Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetable sources available. Adding even just one or two serving of Brussels sprouts to your diet a few times a week can help you meet your needs.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that’s important for immune health, iron absorption, collagen production and the growth and repair of tissues.
Brussels sprouts make a healthy addition to any diet and are easy to incorporate into side dishes and entrées. People often enjoy them roasted, boiled, sautéed or baked. For a simple side dish, first cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Mix the sprouts with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast them on a baking sheet until they’re crispy. Brussels sprouts can also be added to frittatas or stir-fried dishes for a flavourful and nutritious dinner.
Summary: Brussels sprouts are simple to prepare and you can enjoy them in a variety of delicious side dishes and main courses.
Brussels sprouts are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to your diet. They may also come with added health benefits, including the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, decrease inflammation and improve blood sugar control..."
All the best Jan