One of the most hated vegetable in the world is Brussels sprouts and one of the reasons for this is their notorious smell. They have an offensive odor, but most people don’t realize that this odor comes from overcooking the vegetable. When cooked right, these tiny nutritional powerhouses are both tasty and healthy. Proper cooking also helps preserve their nutrients and flavors. Brussels sprouts are also low in calories which make them the ideal food for weight loss. One cup contains only about 56 calories.
Including Brussels sprouts in your diet can offer numerous health benefits. Since they are packed with minerals, vitamins and nutrients, they can provide protection against many diseases and ailments. Here’s a look at some of the health benefits of Brussels sprouts.
Helps fight cancer
Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable which means that it is naturally associated with reducing the risk of cancer. According to a number of studies, the sulfur containing compounds contained in Brussels sprouts are powerful when it comes to fighting cancer. These compounds can help impede or delay different types of cancer such as melanoma, prostrate, pancreatic and even esophageal cancer.
Improves bone health
Lower levels of vitamin K in the body is associated with poor bone health which can cause bone fractures. Brussels sprouts are rich in Vitamin K and the daily recommended levels can be met just by consuming about ¾ cup of the vegetable. When vitamin K is consumed in adequate amounts, they can also improve absorption of calcium in the body and reduce urinary excretion of the mineral. One cup of Brussels sprouts contains about 37mg of calcium also.
Green vegetables are high in alpha-lipoic acid which is an antioxidant that is responsible for increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering glucose levels. A number of studies that have been conducted on the effects of alpha-lipoic acid show that it can reduce oxidative stress induced changes in diabetics.
Helps maintain vision
Brussels sprouts are high in Vitamin C as well which is essential for maintaining vision. Vitamin C can help keep the eyes healthy and provide protection against damage caused by UV light. One serving of the vegetable can help you meet your daily requirement of the vitamin. Brussels sprouts also contain zeazanthin which is an antioxidant responsible for providing protection against damage caused by the harmful blue light rays.
Helps lower cholesterol
When steamed, Brussels sprouts can offer some cholesterol lowering benefits as well. The vegetable contains fiber related components which helps bind the bile acids together in the digestive tract when it is steamed. During the binding process, the excretion of bile acids becomes easier which helps lower cholesterol levels in the body.
There are also benefits of eating Brussels sprouts in the DNA protection area. According to a recent study, consumption of about one and half cups of Brussels sprouts improves stability of DNA inside the white blood cells. There are certain compounds in Brussels sprouts that block the activity carried out by the sulphotransferase enzymes which are responsible for providing benefits related to DNA protection.