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brussels sprouts

The benefits of brussels sprouts

While they may divide opinion at family dinners, Brussels sprouts are a great source of nutrients. Part of the cruciferous family, alongside kale, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, sprouts are low in calories and high in good stuff like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.1

Brussels sprouts closely resemble mini cabbages and typically eaten cooked as a side dish to a meal. Here, we explore the health benefits of brussels sprouts, as well as delving into their nutritional profile and finishing with some tips on how to cook them.

Brussels sprouts nutritional profile

Let’s take a look at some of the nutrients found in brussels sprouts:2

  • Vitamin K: brussels sprouts contain high levels of vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels3

  • Vitamin C: helps prevent against iron deficiency and boosts the immune system. It may also reduce your risk of chronic diseases and manage blood pressure4

  • Folate: one of the body’s B vitamins, folate is needed to make red and white blood cells in bone marrow and convert carbs into energy5

  • Vitamin B6: may improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. It’s also linked to promoting overall brain health6

  • Manganese: plays a role in the regulation of blood sugar. It’s also linked to the improvement of bone health and the reduction of inflammation7

  • Fibre: helps improve overall digestive health8

The benefits of eating brussels sprouts

They’re rich in antioxidants

Brussels spouts are rich in antioxidants, the compounds that reduce the amount of oxidative stress (OS) in your cells, thus lowering the risk of chronic diseases.9 A recent study found that the participants who ate 300 grams of brussels sprouts daily, reduced the damage from OS in their cells by 28%.10

They may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels

There have been multiple studies which show that eating lots of cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts could decrease the risk of diabetes.11,12 This is due to their high levels of fibre, which slows the absorption of sugar into the blood.13

They may reduce inflammation

A large study found that eating lots of cruciferous vegetables was linked to lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood.14 Also, the high levels of antioxidants in brussels sprouts help neutralize free radicals, which can cause inflammation.15

Ways to eat brussels sprouts

  • Make veggie kebabs: marinate your brussels sprouts alongside some bell peppers and mushrooms in a low-fat Italian dressing before threading onto skewers. Place under the grill for four minutes or until tender

  • Blanch them: boil your brussels sprouts in water for five minutes before plunging them into an ice bath. Sauté them with garlic and onion before adding fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and toss them all together. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese

  • Roast them: put your brussels sprouts into the oven at 200C for 40 minutes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper16
For more delicious, healthy food ideas, head over to our selection of cooking ingredients.

Last updated: 10 June 2020

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