Brussels sprouts boast a high content of many nutrients, and are very good for health. In this article, we will learn the scientific facts about Brussels sprouts, the benefits and harms of Brussels sprouts, and also list the 9 main advantages that Brussels sprouts can provide for the body of men, women and children.
Brussels sprouts nutritional values
Brussels Sprouts is a green vegetable, a member of the cruciferous family (Brassicaceae). Brussels sprouts taste very similar to white cabbage and cauliflower seasoned with mustard greens.
These cruciferous vegetables are shaped like a mini-version of white cabbage and are usually used for cooking in the same way: they are peeled, cut and cooked as a nutritious side dish or main dish.
Brussels sprouts contain low calories, but are very rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
The following are the main nutrients that are contained in a cup (150 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts:
Calories : 56 kcal
Protein : 4 gr.
Carbohydrates : 12 gr.
Cellulose : 4 gr.
Vitamin K : 260%
Vitamin C : 160%
Vitamin A: 24%
Folic acid : 24%
Manganese : 20%
Omega-3 fatty acids: 25%
Brussels sprouts are especially rich in vitamin K, an essential vitamin that is essential for healthy blood coagulation and bone health.
It also contains vitamin C – an antioxidant that helps the body absorb iron and is involved in tissue repair and the immune system.
Moreover, the high fiber content helps maintain the health of the gastrointestinal tract.
In addition to the nutrients listed above, Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Brussels sprouts is a low-calorie and very useful product that contains many nutrients, including vitamins C and K and fiber.
Brussels sprouts health benefits
1. Rich in antioxidants
Brussels sprouts have many health benefits, but especially affect the large amount of antioxidants found in this vegetable.
Antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress in human cells and help reduce the risk of developing and developing a chronic disease.
One study showed that when participants ate about 2 cups (300 grams) of Brussels sprouts daily, the damage to their cells from oxidative stress decreased by 28% ( 1 ).
The most important antioxidant that makes up Brussels sprouts is kaempferol. It has many health properties and is widely studied.
Eating Brussels sprouts as part of your balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, can help ensure the supply of antioxidants that will benefit the body to maintain good health.
Brussels sprouts contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that can reduce the growth of cancer cells, reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
2. Has antitumor properties.
Studies show that high levels of antioxidants in Brussels sprouts can help protect against some types of cancer.
For example, a study conducted in 2008 showed that Brussels sprouts can protect against carcinogens or cancer-causing agents and prevent oxidative damage to cells ( 4 ).
In another small study, the use of Brussels sprouts increased the amount of some detoxification enzymes by 15–30%. The researchers suggested that this effect could potentially lead to a reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer, although further studies are needed ( 5 ).
In addition, antioxidants in Brussels sprouts can neutralize free radicals. These are compounds that are formed in the process of “oxidation” of the body and which can cause the growth of tumors ( 6 ).
Thus, Brussels sprouts as a part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of cancer, but more research is needed.
Some studies show that compounds found in Brussels sprouts can reduce the risk of cancer.
3. Contains high amounts of fiber.
Only one cup (150 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts contains 4 grams. fiber, accounting for up to 16% of your daily fiber needs.
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet. In order for the body to function well, every day you need to eat at least one serving of foods containing fiber.
Studies show that fiber can relieve constipation by increasing the frequency and reducing the consistency of the stool to facilitate passage through the intestines ( 7 ).
Fiber also helps digestion, helping to “feed” the beneficial lacto-and bifidus bacteria in the intestines.
Increased fiber intake is also associated with other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and normalizing blood sugar levels.
Medical specialists recommend that women use at least 25 grams. fiber per day, while men should eat at least 38 grams. fiber per day ( 8 ).
Eating Brussels sprouts, along with other good sources of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can easily help you meet your fiber needs.
Brussels sprouts contain an enormous amount of fiber, which can contribute to regular bowel emptying, support digestion, and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
4. Rich in vitamin K
Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamin K. One cup (150 grams) of prepared Brussels sprouts contains 270% of the daily requirement of vitamin K. That is, to get the required amount of this vitamin, you only need to eat half a cup of Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin K plays a vital role in the body. It is necessary for the functioning of the circulatory system, namely for good coagulation – the body’s ability to form blood clots that stop bleeding.
Vitamin K can also play a role in the growth of bone mass and can help protect against osteoporosis, a disease characterized by increased bone fragility and progressive bone loss.
Studies show that vitamin K supplementation is required for postmenopausal women when there is a risk of developing osteoporosis. Vitamin K can increase bone strength and reduce the risk of bone fracture ( 9 ).
Keep in mind that those who take blood thinners (aspirin, various heparins and other blood thinning medications) should reduce their vitamin K intake, as a large amount of it may harm the body. However, for most people, increasing vitamin K intake can bring many health benefits.
Brussels sprouts contain large amounts of vitamin K – a nutritional ingredient that is important for blood clotting and bone metabolism.
5. Brussels sprouts can help maintain optimal blood sugar levels.
In addition to an impressive nutritional profile and a long list of health benefits, Brussels sprouts can also benefit people with diabetes, as they can maintain blood sugar levels.
Numerous studies associated with an increase in the consumption of cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, show a reduction in the risk of developing diabetes ( 10 , 11 ). This is because Brussels sprouts have a high fiber content, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Fiber slowly moves through the body, not digesting and slowing the ingress of sugar into the blood.
Brussels sprouts also contain alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that is widely studied for its potential effects on blood sugar and insulin ( 12 ).
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for transporting sugar from the blood into the cells of the body.
In one study, 12 patients with diabetes who were added alpha-lipoic acids to their diet experienced increased insulin sensitivity. Researchers concluded that alpha lipoic acid allowed insulin to work more efficiently to lower blood sugar levels ( 13 ).
Increasing your intake of Brussels sprouts along with other healthy foods will help you keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Fiber and antioxidants in Brussels sprouts can help keep blood sugar levels at an optimum level and in a stable state.
6. Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It is known that the largest source of beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids is fish and seafood. However, for those who do not eat fish or seafood, there is a sufficient amount of other healthy foods that are composed of omega-3 fatty acids.
Herbal products contain only alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acids that is used less efficiently in your body than omega-3 fats from fish and seafood. This is due to the fact that the human body can convert alpha-linolenic acid into more active forms of omega-3 fatty acids in limited quantities ( 14 ).
For this reason, in order to fill your daily body need for Omega-3 fatty acids, you will need to consume more Omega-3 fatty acids from plant foods than you could get from fish.
Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids, having in their composition 270 mg (25% of the daily requirement) in a 150-cup dish.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to lower triglyceride levels in the blood, slow down brain aging processes, reduce insulin resistance, and reduce inflammation ( 15 ).
Thus, several servings of Brussels sprouts in your diet each week will help you to easily meet your needs for omega-3 fatty acids.
Brussels sprouts are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid), which can reduce inflammation and triglyceride levels in the blood, improve insulin resistance and slow down the aging process of the brain.
7. It has anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation is a normal immune response in the presence of an infection in the body, but chronic untreated inflammation can contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Some in vitro studies have shown that compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, have anti-inflammatory properties ( 16 ).
One study found that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood ( 17 ).
In addition, Brussels sprouts have a high content of antioxidants, which can help neutralize free radicals that can cause inflammation.
Based on these findings, a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.
Brussels sprouts contain many antioxidants and other compounds that can fight inflammation in the body.
8. Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C
Brussels sprouts provide 160% of the body’s daily need for vitamin C.
Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It also acts as an antioxidant, is involved in the production of proteins, such as collagen, and may even enhance immunity.
One of the reviews, including those involving more than 11 thousand people, showed that vitamin C reduces the severity of the common cold, reducing its duration by an average of 8% in adults ( 20 ).
Vitamin C can also increase the absorption of non-heme iron – a form of iron found in plant foods that the human body cannot absorb as easily as iron from animal products. A study found that taking 100 mg of vitamin C with a meal increased iron absorption by 67% ( 21 ).
Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, but Brussels sprouts are one of the best sources available. Adding even one or two servings of Brussels sprouts to your diet several times a week can help you meet your vitamin C needs.
Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that is important for immune health, iron absorption, collagen production, growth and tissue repair.
9. Brussels Sprouts – an affordable vegetable that is easy to add to your diet.
Brussels sprouts are a healthy addition to any diet, becoming an excellent side dish or even a main course in your diet.
There are many recipes for the preparation of Brussels sprouts: it can be cooked, stewed, fried or baked.
To make a simple side dish, cut the brussels sprouts. Mix the cabbages with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, and then fry them in a pan until they become crispy.
Brussels sprouts can also be added to pasta or fried dishes for a fragrant and nutritious dinner.
The best way to cook Brussels sprouts is to boil the vegetables for a couple, so they will retain maximum benefits for the body.
Brussels sprouts are easy to prepare, and you can enjoy it in a variety of delicious dishes.
Brussels sprouts contraindications
As already noted, Brussels sprouts are not recommended for use by people taking blood thinners, as cabbage has the opposite effect – an increase in blood coagulation. Simultaneous use may harm the body.
It is also recommended to limit the use of Brussels sprouts to people suffering from flatulence. Brussels sprouts, like all crucifers, may slightly increase flatulence in the intestines.
Brussels sprouts have a high content of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which makes it a nutritional supplement to your diet.
It can also bring additional health benefits, including the potential to reduce the risk of developing cancer, reduce inflammation, and improve blood sugar control.
Adding Brussels sprouts to a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can bring significant benefits to your health. But do not forget about the possible harm of Brussels sprouts when taking anticoagulants.