It seems that here in the United States, most of us make the mistake of calling a certain vegetable by the wrong name. Most of us say brussel sprouts, but the actual pronunciation is Brussels sprouts, as they were made popular in Brussels, Belgium. Outside of mispronouncing the name, another common thing about Brussels sprouts is that they are almost universally disliked by children that have never tried them.
If you can get your children to eat more Brussels sprouts (and eat more yourself), there are a lot of great health benefits that you’ll be seeing. Whether you are looking to increase your vitamin content, lose a little weight or protect your organs, Brussels sprouts can work wonders. You might not love the taste, but you will lose what Brussels sprouts do for you. Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value and benefits that you get from each serving of Brussels sprouts.
Brussels Sprouts Nutrition
Just a half cup of Brussels sprouts is going to bring a lot of nutritional value with a low calorie count at just 28 calories. For starters, you are getting eight percent of your daily dietary fiber recommendation and four percent of your protein intake. There are a ton of vitamins to be found, as well, with 137 percent of your recommended vitamin K intake and 81 percent of your vitamin C value.
Other vitamins that also have significant amounts include vitamin A, folate, vitamin B6, thiamin and riboflavin. There isn’t a singular mineral that really stands out, but almost all important minerals are there with one to 10 percent of your daily recommended value. The most abundant is manganese, at nine percent. Brussels sprouts are also a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids, with 135 milligrams in each serving.
Cancer is the biggest killer in the world today, and we’re all trying to figure out what we can do on a daily basis to make sure that we don’t get the disease. Eating vegetables is a big part of that, and Brussels sprouts especially. The indole-3-carbinol found in Brussels sprouts have been found to slow down the growth of cancer cells, avoiding cell damage brought on by the disease that could lead to death.
For other minor diseases, Brussels sprouts are also incredibly helpful. Since Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamin C, you will see a boost to your immune system. Getting over infections, fighting off colds and flus, and even helping make your skin look better will all be easier with more vitamin C in your body.
Brussels sprouts are pretty much always on the menu that doctors give to patients that are trying to lower their blood pressure. Brussels sprouts have a significant amount of potassium, which is able to help your body flush out the excessive sodium levels in your body. This will help lower your overall blood pressure, while also helping your kidneys function at a more efficient level.
Your heart will see an overall benefit from eating more Brussels sprouts, as they work as an anti-inflammatory. Many heart diseases are caused by inflammation, which can even lead to cancer and weight gain. Studies show that the isothiocyanate sulforaphane that is found in Brussels sprouts can help reduce your chances of heart attack and other cardiac diseases.
Earlier we pointed out that Brussels sprouts are incredibly low in calories, with just 28 of them per each half cup serving. That makes Brussels sprouts one of the best nutrient to calorie ratio foods that you can find. No matter what type of diet you’re on, Brussels sprouts can certainly fit into the equation. They don’t contain much in the carbohydrate and sodium departments, so you can feel free to eat as many as you want, really.
Brussels sprouts are low on the glycemic index, as well, allowing you to control your insulin levels with more efficiency. This will lead to a better metabolism, which is also the case because of an improvement in your digestive system. The high fiber content in Brussels sprouts will make you feel more full, so they are great for kicking those cravings that you might get for sugar or other junk food that can sabotage any diet.
Managing a healthy weight and controlling your insulin is another great way to prevent diabetes. As we pointed out, you can do this through the high fiber content of Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts also have a high amount of vitamin K, which is one of the most important nutrients that your body needs to improve insulin resistance.
Not only are Brussels sprouts beneficial in helping you prevent diabetes, but its properties are vital for those that already have type 2 diabetes. Studies show that diabetics who eat foods that are rich in vitamin K saw natural improvements to their insulin resistance. You have to say goodbye to a lot of foods when you are diagnosed with diabetes, but eating foods like Brussels sprouts can at least make it a bit easier.
Brussels sprouts seem to have a positive effect on all parts of your body, and that includes the brain. Eating more Brussels sprouts can help you achieve a more normal sleep cycle as eating them produces melatonin. This hormone allows you to sleep at night, and also gives you a more relaxed feeling that can alleviate stress. More importantly, the antioxidants will also help you avoid neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s disease that are caused by free radicals.
Summing it Up
With all of the great benefits that you can get from eating Brussels sprouts, are there really any negatives to eating them? If you ask most children, they will tell you that the taste is enough to make you avoid Brussels sprouts. There really aren’t many negatives unless you are allergic or get a bad batch that could cause food poisoning, but this is very rare.
Eating too many can also cause dehydration or bloating, but this is not common at all as you would have to eat a lot. In fact, those are two ailments that could be made better by eating a normal amount of Brussels sprouts. If you’re not a fan of the taste, you might have to put some healthy seasoning on the vegetable to make it more appealing, but you should really be getting more Brussels sprouts in your diet.