6 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
January 19, 2015
Cruciferous vegetables are rich in nutrients and should therefore be included in the diet. Brussels are one of the members of this family and something you should consider eating as part of your healthy diet. Three one-and-a-half-cup servings of brussels sprouts a week are good enough for you to get the following benefits.
Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are compounds that fight carcinogens, and there are different types of glucosinolates in brussels sprouts, making them a potent detoxifying agent.
Brussels are also rich in sulfur, which is required for detoxification. You can actually smell the sulfur aroma when cooking the sprouts, more when you’re overcooking them.
2. Antioxidant Supply
Brussels sprouts are also rich in different kinds of antioxidants. Vitamins A and C, flavonoids, and polyphenols are present in them. Vitamins A and C are known to fight free radicals. But more than that, the antioxidant content of brussels sprouts exceeds that of other cruciferous vegetables, making it one of the best choices for detoxification and cancer prevention. Furthermore, brussels have better combination of antioxidants.
Antioxidants fight oxidative stress, something you get from many things like bad food, pollution, and unhealthy lifestyle. It’s a process that gradually damages healthy cells and causes premature aging. Oxidative stress is also a contributing factor to cancer.
3. Inflammation Reduction
Exposure to irritants and infectious agents causes inflammation. When you expose yourself to pathogens and toxins, your body responds by fighting them, an action that also gives rise to inflammation. However, there are instances wherein inflammation is just more of a nuisance than a necessity. Keeping inflammation at bay is one of the good effects of the nutrients found in brussels sprouts. In fact, the substances that provide detoxifying benefits are the same substances that work to reduce inflammation. In addition, brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K, which directly controls inflammation.
Another important component in reducing inflammation in the body is omega-3. You may be surprised, but omega-3 fatty acids do have a role in fighting inflammation. Brussels sprouts surprisingly contains considerable amounts of omega-3. A serving of 1-1/2 cups has nearly 500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 is better known as the good fat that lowers LDL and keeps your heart healthy.
5. Healthier Heart
The ability of nutrients in brussels sprouts to control inflammation indirectly reduces inflammation that affects the heart and the arteries. Researchers have been studying the role of inflammation in the development of cardiovascular diseases, and they have found a connection between the two. Certain types of glucosinolate in brussels trigger the body’s defenses against unwanted inflammation, particularly in the circulatory system.
Moreover, the sprouts also have compounds, like the omega-3 fatty acids, that lower bad cholesterol, which as you know gets deposited on the walls of arteries.
Fiber in brussels sprouts also help lower blood cholesterol by binding with bile. Your liver produces bile using cholesterol. If fiber binds bile, the liver then produces it using existing cholesterol in the body.
6. Proper Digestion
Fiber in brussels sprouts also promote good colon health and good bowel movement. Also, their sulfur compounds help control bacterial population in the digestive tract.
For tips on eating these delicious veggies, check out the simple recipes here.