10 ways in which Brussels sprouts benefit your health

Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassicaceae Family of vegetables and closely related to kale, cauliflower and mustard greens.

These cruciferous vegetables look like mini cabbages and are usually cut, cleaned and cooked to make an accompaniment or a nutritious main course.

Brussels sprouts have high levels of many nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits. This article examines 10 ways in which Brussels sprouts can benefit your health.

1. High in nutrients

Brussels Sprouts In Skillet

Brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Here are some of the main nutrients in half a cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts (1):

  • Calories: 28

  • Protein: 2 grams

  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams

  • Fiber: 2 grams

  • Vitamin K: 137% of the RDI

  • Vitamin C: 81% of the RDI

  • Vitamin A: 12% of the RDI

  • Folate 12% of the RDI

  • Manganese: 9% of the RDI

Brussels sprouts are especially rich in vitamin K, which is necessary for blood coagulation and bone health (2).

They also have a high content of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps promote iron absorption and participates in tissue repair and immune function (3).

In addition, its high fiber content helps maintain regularity and intestinal health (4, 5).

In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus (1).

Summary: Brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in many nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C.

2. Rich in antioxidants

Brussels sprouts have many health benefits, but its impressive antioxidant content stands out.

Antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress in your cells and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

One study found that when participants ate approximately 2 cups (300 grams) of Brussels sprouts per day, the damage to their cells from oxidative stress decreased by 28% (6).

Brussels sprouts are especially high in kaempferol, an antioxidant that has been widely studied for its numerous properties that promote health.

Test tube studies show that kaempferol can reduce the growth of cancer cells, relieve inflammation and improve heart health (7, 8, 9).

Eating Brussels sprouts as part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help provide the antioxidants your body needs to promote good health.

Summary: Brussels sprouts contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that can reduce cancer growth, decrease inflammation and promote heart health.

3. It can help protect against cancer

Some studies suggest that high levels of antioxidants in Brussels sprouts may help protect against certain types of cancer.

There are several possible ways in which this can work.

A 2008 study found that Brussels sprouts could protect against carcinogens or cancer-causing agents and prevent oxidative damage to cells (10).

In another small study, eating Brussels sprouts increased the levels of some detoxification enzymes by 15-30%.

The researchers hypothesized that this effect could potentially lead to a decreased risk of colorectal cancer, although more research is needed (11).

In addition, antioxidants in Brussels sprouts can neutralize free radicals. These are compounds formed by oxidative stress that contribute to diseases such as cancer (12).

Including Brussels sprouts as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of cancer, but more research is needed.

Summary: Some studies show that compounds found in Brussels sprouts can lower the risk of cancer.

4. High in fiber

Only half a cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts contains 2 grams of fiber, which satisfy up to 8% of your daily fiber needs (1).

Fiber is an important part of health, and including a good amount of it in your diet offers many health benefits.

Studies show that dietary fiber can relieve constipation by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and softening the consistency of bowel movements to facilitate passage (4).

Fiber also promotes digestive health by helping to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut (5).

Increased fiber intake has also been associated with other health benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease and better control of blood sugar (13, 14).

Current guidelines recommend that women eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should eat at least 38 grams of fiber per day (15).

Eating Brussels sprouts, along with other good sources of fiber such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can help you meet your fiber needs.

Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, which can promote regularity, support digestive health and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

5. Rich in vitamin K

Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamin K. In fact, only one half cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts provides 137% of your daily vitamin K requirement (1).

This important nutrient plays a vital role in the body.

It is essential for coagulation, the formation of blood clots that stop bleeding (16).

Vitamin K may also play a role in bone growth and may help protect against osteoporosis, a condition characterized by progressive bone loss (17).

In fact, a review of seven studies concluded that taking vitamin K supplements could increase bone strength and decrease the risk of bone fracture in postmenopausal women (18).

Keep in mind that people taking blood-thinning medications should moderate their vitamin K intake.

But for most people, increasing your intake of vitamin K can generate many health benefits.

Summary: Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K, an important nutrient for blood clotting and bone metabolism.

6. Can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels

In addition to its impressive nutrient profile and long list of health benefits, Brussels sprouts can also help keep blood sugar levels constant.

Multiple studies have linked the increase in the intake of cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, with a lower risk of diabetes (19, 20).

This is likely because Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

The fiber moves slowly through the body undigested and decreases the absorption of sugar in the blood (21).

Brussels sprouts also contain alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant that has been extensively investigated for its potential effects on blood sugar and insulin (22).

Insulin is a hormone responsible for transporting sugar from the blood to the cells to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

In one study, 12 patients with diabetes who received alpha lipoic acid supplements experienced an increased sensitivity to insulin.

The researchers proposed that this was because alpha lipoic acid allowed insulin to work more efficiently to lower blood sugar (23).

Increasing the intake of Brussels sprouts along with a healthy diet can help keep blood sugar levels stable.

Summary: Fiber and antioxidants in Brussels sprouts can help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

7. Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids

For those who do not eat fish or shellfish, eating enough omega-3 fatty acids can be a challenge.

Plant foods contain only alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is used less effectively in your body than omega-3 fats in fish and shellfish.

This is because your body can only convert ALA to the most active forms of omega-3 fatty acids in limited amounts (24).

For this reason, you would need to consume a greater amount of omega-3 ALA to meet your daily omega-3 needs, compared to if you were getting omega-3 fats from fish or shellfish.

Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with 135 mg of ALA in each half-cup serving (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts (1).

It has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce triglycerides in the blood, decrease cognitive decline, reduce insulin resistance and decrease inflammation (25, 26, 27).

Including some portions of Brussels sprouts in your diet each week can help you meet your omega-3 fatty acid needs, with half a cup (78 grams) that provides 12% of the daily requirement for women and 8.5% for women. the men (28).

Summary: Brussels sprouts are a good source of omega-3 ALA, which can reduce inflammation, insulin resistance, cognitive decline and triglycerides in the blood.

8. It can reduce inflammation

Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease (29).

Some test tube studies have shown that compounds found in cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts have anti-inflammatory properties (30).

A large study found that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood (31).

In addition, Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, which can help neutralize free radicals that can cause inflammation (32).

Several test tube and animal studies have found that kaempferol, one of the main antioxidants found in Brussels sprouts, has especially potent anti-inflammatory properties (33, 34, 35).

According to these findings, a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of proinflammatory diseases.

Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants and contain compounds that can help lower levels of inflammation.

9. High vitamin C content

Brussels sprouts provide 81% of your daily needs for vitamin C in each half cup (78 grams) of cooked portion (1).

Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of body tissues. It also acts as an antioxidant, is involved in the production of proteins such as collagen and can even improve immunity (3, 36).

A review that included more than 11,000 participants found that vitamin C reduced the severity of the common cold, decreasing its duration by an average of 8% in adults (37).

Vitamin C can also increase the absorption of non-heme iron, a form of iron found in plant foods that your body can not absorb as easily as iron from animal sources.

In fact, one study found that taking 100 mg of vitamin C with a meal increased iron absorption by 67% (38).

Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, but Brussels sprouts are one of the best available plant sources (39).

Adding just one or two servings of Brussels sprouts to your diet several times a week can help you meet your needs.

Summary: Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that is important for immune health, iron absorption, collagen production and tissue growth and repair.

10. Easy to add to your diet

Brussels sprouts are a healthy complement to any diet and are easy to incorporate into the accompaniments and main courses.

People usually enjoy them roasted, boiled, sautéed or baked.

For a simple garnish, first cut the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Mix the sprouts with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast them on a baking sheet until crisp.

Brussels sprouts can also be added to pasta, frittatas or sautéed dishes for a tasty and nutritious dinner.

Summary: Brussels sprouts are easy to prepare and you can enjoy them in a variety of delicious side dishes and main courses.

The bottom line

Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which makes them a nutritious complement to your diet.

They can also have additional health benefits, including the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, decrease inflammation and improve blood sugar control.

Adding Brussels sprouts to a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains has the potential to have a great positive impact on your health.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-brussels-sprouts


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