Brussels Sprouts, Anyone?

You must have seen Brussels Sprouts in the market – the small, leafy-green buds that resemble miniature cabbages? It is best not to be dissuaded by the tiny size of this wonderful vegetable. While they may be little, they pack a ton of nutrition and goodness!

From fighting cancer to suppressing respiratory infections, their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immune-boosting properties can make a real positive impact on your health. No wonder Brussels Sprouts are counted among the top-ten superfoods and recommended in diets all over the world!

Okay, so we all know that Brussels Sprouts are healthy?! But they still get a bad rap – much like broccoli and spinach. Children and adults (alike) avoid them! For health enthusiasts, it is easy to see that this wonderful vegetable deserves a place on our plates. Perhaps this blog post can help you get excited about Brussels Sprouts too!


How Brussels Sprouts Work

Brussels Sprouts belong to the cruciferous family group that includes amazing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. They are rich sources of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins – A, C & K, and a handful of minerals.

Studies have uncovered that the tiny heads of Brussels Sprouts contain a powerful phytonutrient. This phytonutrient is processed by our stomach acid and converted into a substance that activates our [Ah] receptors. This, in turn, helps protect against pathogens and aid in intestinal function.

Brussels Sprouts can bind bile acids well, and this helps in improving our liver function and detoxifying our body. For meat eaters, when broccoli and Brussels Sprouts are added to meat-rich meals, they help in cleaning our bloodstream of meat mutagens and other dietary toxins.


Health Benefits

Incorporating Brussels Sprouts into your diet can have a lasting impact on your health. Here are a few health benefits to consider:

  1. Brussel Sprouts are a low GI food that contain just 45 calories per 100 grams. Brussels Sprouts can help people with insulin resistance and diabetes.
  2. They contain several flavonoid anti-oxidants (such as thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zeaxanthin and more) that help trap and flush-out free radicals from our body.
  3. They contain some potent antibacterial and anti-viral properties that can boost our immunity.
  4. Brussel sprouts are excellent sources of vitamins A, C and K. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and good eye-sight. Vitamin K bolsters bone health.
  5. Brussels Sprouts contain vitamins from the B-complex group that aid in substrate metabolism.
  6. Eating Brussels Sprouts can help boost cognitive function and prevent age-related neurodegeneration to a great extent.
  7. They are rich sources of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Each of these minerals has an important role to play in our bodily functioning. Phosphorus is an essential component of our bodily fluids and helps moderate our heart function. Manganese is used in several biological processes and as a component of the antioxidant enzyme. Iron is vital for red blood cell formation and cellular oxidation.


Cooking Tips

Although Brussels Sprouts are available perennially, they are actually a seasonal vegetable that need cool winter weather to flourish. It is best to buy unprocessed, fresh, organic Brussels Sprouts from your local farmers market.

Before cooking, remove any discoloured or loose leaves, and trim away the stem. Much like cauliflower and broccoli, it is recommended that you soak the clean buds in salt water for a few minutes. This helps to remove any germs or insect eggs.

Do not overcook Brussels Sprouts! Simply blanch buds in boiling water before adding them to your dish.


Brussels Sprouts and Detoxification

Brussels Sprouts are great for detoxification. They aid liver health and boost immune function by flushing out harmful toxins and free-radicals.

This is why I will be using Brussels Sprouts in a number of my Cleanse recipes.

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