Nutrition

8 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts and How to Cook Them

Evidence Based Article 📄
This article has been based on relevant and up-to-date scientific studies. Our writers are unbiased and objective and present the facts as they are known. Numbers in brackets within the article refer to sources included in the reference list at the end of the article.

Brussels sprouts have never been as popular as today, because people have discovered some amazing health benefits they offer. High in protein and low in calories, Brussels sprouts are a great addition to almost any kind of diet. They’re easy to cook and regular consumption of Brussels sprouts will benefit your overall health in many ways.

Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts contain myriads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to reduce the risk of numerous diseases and disorders. Certain nutrients abundantly found in Brussels sprouts are essential for important body functions. They are:

1. Vitamin C

A cup of cooked Brussels sprouts provides about 162% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. This vitamin plays a significant role in protein production, such as collagen, and is well-known for its ability to fight cold and flu. Vitamin C is also necessary for tissue repair and growth. (1)

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Additionally, vitamin C improves the non-heme iron absorption, which is particularly crucial for vegetarians and vegans. According to a study, taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C with a healthy meal improved iron absorption by 67%. (2)

2. Powerful antioxidants

Potent antioxidants in Brussels sprouts aid in combating the free radicals, which can trigger inflammation in the body. Although it’s considered to be a normal immune response, chronic inflammation can increase the risk of serious medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. (3)

One of the major antioxidants in Brussels sprouts, kaempferol boasts incredibly powerful anti-inflammatories abilities and it helps to prevent pro-inflammatory diseases. Not to mention that antioxidants help to fight oxidative stress.

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3. ALA omega-3 fatty acids

Vegetarians and vegans might have trouble meeting their daily omega-3 fatty acid requirements. Eating Brussels sprouts on a daily basis can fix this problem. A cup of cooked Brussels sprouts supplies the body with 270 mg of alpha-linolenic acid, making them one of the biggest plant sources of omega-3s.

Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in reducing inflammation, treating insulin resistance, preventing cognitive decline, and decreasing blood triglycerides. Consider incorporating up to 3 servings (235 grams) of Brussels sprouts if you’re vegan or you don’t like seafood or fish.

4. Vitamin K

If you eat a cup of cooked Brussels sprouts for dinner, you’ll provide your body with about 274% of your daily recommended requirements of vitamin K. This vitamin aids in the formation of blood clots, which prevent bleeding. (4)

Moreover, vitamin K is essential for bone growth. It can help to lower the risk of progressive bone loss or osteoporosis. (5) Vitamin K is particularly important for postmenopausal women.

5. Fiber

Fiber is another essential nutrient abundantly found in Brussels sprouts. Fiber aids in keeping blood sugar levels at bay. Plus, it prevents digestive issues, including constipation. High fiber intake enhances stool frequency, ensuring regular bowel movement.

The findings show that dietary fiber helps to feed good bacteria in the gut, boosting overall digestive health. (6) Fiber is also suggested to aid in preventing cardiovascular diseases. A cup of cooked Brussels sprouts offers at least 4 grams of fiber.

6. Anti-cancer nutrients

Although there’s no cure for cancer, we can reduce the risk of developing it by eating antioxidant-rich foods like Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts have been shown to help ward off several types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

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A scientific review revealed that Brussels sprouts could fight cancer-causing agents, or carcinogens, and reduce the oxidative damage to the body’s cells. (7) Another study showed that eating cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts could help to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. (8)

As mentioned above, Brussels sprouts have rich antioxidant content and it aids in neutralizing free radicals formed by oxidative stress. There’s a link between oxidative stress and cancer, which is why it’s critical to consume antioxidant-rich foods.

Brussels sprouts are a great source of chlorophyll, which serves as an antioxidant and helps to combat pancreatic cancer and lower the likelihood of other diseases and conditions.

7. Vitamin A

A cup of Brussels sprouts contains 13% of the recommended daily value for vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed to keep your eyes healthy and promote skin health. Additionally, Brussels sprouts offer 124% of the daily value for vitamin C in a single cup.

Both vitamins are necessary for supporting skin elasticity and strength and stimulate the production of collagen. If you’re trying to fight wrinkles, make sure you eat Brussels sprouts regularly.

8. Folate

Brussels sprouts are also loaded with folate, offering about 24% of the recommended daily consumption in a cup. One of the B-vitamins, folate is extremely important for periods, such as infancy, pregnancy, as well as adolescence.

A woman is generally recommended to get 400 micrograms of folic acid on a daily basis. Pregnant women might need a higher dosage depending on their doctor’s recommendations. Folate can help to ward off the baby’s main birth defects.

Breastfeeding women might need folate, too. However, make sure you see your doctor before adding Brussels sprouts to your diet.

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How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

You can roast, sauté, boil, or bake Brussels sprouts or add them to your stir-fried dishes. One of the most popular and delicious ways to cook Brussels sprouts is to roast them. Brussels sprouts become incredibly crispy when they’re roasted.

Start with cleaning your Brussels sprouts and trimming the edges. Cut them in half, add salt, pepper, and olive oil, and roast until crispy. If you’re on a diet, you can steam Brussels sprouts but keep in mind that you might not like their taste.

The final word

You can enjoy all the health benefits of Brussels sprouts without even knowing it. Just add Brussels sprouts to your stew or soup or any other meals that include a variety of ingredients. Thanks to its astonishing nutrient profile, Brussels sprouts have a variety of health benefits, including cancer prevention.

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