The Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Poor Brussels sprouts – often despised, the only thing left on the Christmas dinner plate, inspiring little culinary imagination, and a bad reputation for causing flatulence! But did you know that Brussels sprouts are really very good for you? Here are some reasons why!

1. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C

Just one cup of Brussels sprouts contains more than 100% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C! Vitamin C plays a vital role in supporting your immune system, making you better able to ward off infections and heal from wounds.

2. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin A

They say that carrots help you to see in the dark, but the same could also be true of Brussels sprouts! Vitamin A is used to help make the proteins in the retinas of the eyes that help us to see well in dim light, and it also helps to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.

3. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K

Vitamin K has several different roles in the body – it helps to promote/maintain your bone density thus keeping them strong, it has a role to play in the proper functioning of the nerve cells in your brain, and it also helps your blood to clot when you cut yourself, thus helping wounds to heal. Brussels sprouts contain plenty of vitamin K – in fact just half a cup contains more vitamin K than you need in a day!

4. Brussels sprouts are a good source of fiber

Getting enough dietary fiber is important to help ‘keep things moving’ through your bowels. This in turn helps to protect against constipation, bowel disease and bowel cancer. A serving of Brussels sprouts contains around 16% of the daily recommended amount of fiber, which along with other fiber-rich foods will help keep you regular. Fiber also helps to fill you up, which means you’ll be less tempted to snack on unhealthy foods between meals.

5. Brussels sprouts are rich in omega-3

Experts often advise us to eat a serving or two per week of oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines in order to obtain enough of the essential omega-3 fatty acid. These fishes are very rich in omega-3, but Brussels sprouts also contain a high amount, which will help to regulate anti-inflammatory processes in your body.

6. Brussels sprouts contain plenty of antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that help to protect your DNA from chemicals that might damage it and lead to cancer. Brussels sprouts contain several different types of antioxidants that will help to keep your DNA healthy and your body cancer-free.

So, why not give Brussels sprouts another try? You don’t need to boil them to within an inch of their life (in fact doing so breaks down much of their goodness!) – why not slicing them and stir frying with chicken and noodles, roasting them in the oven with garlic and olive oil, or pan-frying with crispy bacon?

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Lisa Martin

Lisa Martin is a qualified biology teacher and experienced freelance science writer from Warwickshire in the UK. She is fascinated by how the human body works and is particularly interested in writing about new research and discoveries in science and medicine.

Follow Lisa on Twitter: lisaamartin1

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