Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that have a crisp, fresh taste and look like small cabbages. Some people like to season them and enjoy them as a snack, and they can also be an excellent addition to certain kinds of salads. As long as they are not overcooked, eating them can provide your body with a range of important nutrients that help to promote good health. Read on to discover the nine most significant reasons why adding more Brussels sprouts to your diet can improve and extend your life.
1) They have powerful anti-carcinogenic properties:
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of glucosinolates (providing you with even more of these compounds than you can find in cabbage, kale, broccoli or cauliflower). The particular combination of glucosinolates in Brussels sprouts has been shown to reduce your likelihood of suffering from cancer quite substantially. Specifically, studies show that having a diet that is rich in these vegetables is strongly linked to a lower likelihood of developing cancers of the breast, bladder, lung, colon, prostate and ovaries.
2) They help to regulate inflammation:
Eating plenty of Brussels sprouts can help you avoid excessive, painful levels of inflammation for a few different reasons. Firstly, they are a good source of vitamin K, which your body needs in order to keep chronic inflammation under control. Secondly, some of the glucosinolates in Brussels sprouts can be converted into an anti-inflammatory compound called indole-3-carbinol. Thirdly, less than two servings of Brussels sprouts provides you with over a third of your recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and these are necessary for the production of certain messaging molecules that can reduce unnecessarily high levels of inflammation.
3) They help to protect your DNA:
One particularly interesting health benefit of Brussels sprouts is their ability to promote DNA stability inside white blood cells. It is thought that they do this by blocking the action of a particular enzyme that can cause DNA instability. Nutritional experts say that you should have at least one serving of Brussels sprouts each day if you want to protect your DNA in this way.
4) They can help to lower your cholesterol:
As long as you steam Brussels sprouts before eating them, they will reliably lower your cholesterol levels. This is because steaming them allows their fiber to bind to bile acids in your digestive system more effectively (which then allows those bile acids to be removed from your body as waste, reducing your cholesterol levels).
5) They boost cardiovascular health:
It is currently thought that the anti-inflammatory properties of Brussels sprouts also leads to a reduced risk of certain cardiovascular problems. Specifically, studies show that regularly eating Brussels sprouts lowers your likelihood of developing heart disease, having a heart attack, and suffering from hardened arteries.
6) They promote digestive health:
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of fiber, with 200 calories of these vegetables providing you over half of your daily recommended intake of fiber. This helps to keep your bowels regular and helps to prevent constipation. In addition, some studies show that eating Brussels sprouts helps to protect your stomach lining by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers and acid reflux.
7) They can improve your resistance to disease:
Brussels sprouts provide you with plenty of vitamin C, and vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system that is effective at fighting disease. As a result, regularly eating Brussels sprouts should make you less likely to suffer from infections such as the cold and the flu.
8. They promote ocular health:
Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamin A, and regular consumption of vitamin A has been proven to reduce your risk of losing your sight (as it lowers your likelihood of suffering from macular degeneration and glaucoma).
9) They do not cause thyroid gland problems:
In recent times, there has been concern about whether cruciferous vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage) can negatively influence thyroid gland function. However, you can rest assured that studies show that eating Brussels sprouts every day for four weeks does not appear to have any impact on the way your thyroid works.
As is obvious from the above health benefits, Brussels sprouts are an excellent addition to your diet if you want to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. As mentioned above, make sure that you steam them if you want to enjoy the full force of their nutritional power.