Oh, Brussels sprouts. They definitely have a distinctive taste and texture and aren’t everybody’s cup of tea… but the veggies have so many health benefits that you may want to start incorporating them into your diet more (if you haven’t already). In case you didn’t know, the sprouts belong to the cruciferous vegetable family and are “relatives” of other nutrient-rich foods like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and collard greens.
Kale and seaweed may be the superfoods of the moment, but Brussels sprouts are a powerhouse you shouldn’t overlook. In fact, one serving of the vegetable provides you with more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals. Intrigued? So are we. Which is why we’ve rounded up the top health benefits of Brussels sprouts (plus, we’re including one of our favorite recipes featuring the vegetable for good measure). Scroll through and hop on the Brussels sprouts bandwagon.
They contain cancer-fighting agents
The vegetable contains compounds called isothiocyanates, which are known to help remove harmful carcinogens from your body. Additionally, studies have shown that Brussels sprouts contain sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate known to stop the cancer-enabling enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC).
They promote bone health
Consuming only 3/4 cup of Brussels sprouts provides you with your daily recommended amount of vitamin K. This vitamin helps prevent bone fractures and also keeps calcium in your bones.
They're high in fiber
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that women eat at least 25 grams of fiber daily for good colon health. This veggie is a great source of digestive-regulating fiber—there are 2 grams of fiber in just 1/2 cup of sprouts.
They can lower cholesterol
Steaming this vegetable is the key to helping lower your cholesterol. This is because the elements of fiber in the sprouts bind with bile acids in your digestive system better when they're steamed. During this "binding," the bile acids leave the body, thereby reducing your cholesterol levels.
They give you healthy skin
This superfood contains copper, which is essential for the creation of both collagen and elastin. These proteins are critical in firming and smoothing your skin. Cook up the recipe below to get a gorgeous glow.
Half Baked Harvest's delicious recipe pairs Brussels sprouts with balsamic chicken and goat cheese polenta and can be whipped up in 30 minutes flat. The veggie is served shredded and cooked alongside the chicken in a balsamic glaze; it's later topped with lemon juice and basil. Note: If you don't eat meat, simply double the Brussels sprouts and serve them as your main.
USDA. Brussels Sprouts, Raw. April 1, 2020
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Royston KJ, Tollefsbol TO. The Epigenetic Impact of Cruciferous Vegetables on Cancer Prevention. Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2015;1(1):46-51. doi:10.1007/s40495-014-0003-9
National Institutes of Health. Vitamin K. February 4, 2020
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Fiber. November 2, 2018
USDA. Brussels Sprouts, Cooked, From Fresh, Fat Not Added in Cooking. April 1, 2020
Kahlon T, Chui M, Chui M. (2018). A Review – In Vitro Bile Acid Binding of Various Vegetables. Medical Research Archives. 2018;6(2). doi:10.18103/mra.v6i2.1686
Borkow G. Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin. Curr Chem Biol. 2014;8(2):89-102. doi:10.2174/2212796809666150227223857