It seems to be one of the great ironies of life, that the foods we like the most are usually the worst for us. But the theory works the other way round, too: often the food that can do us the most good, is the food we hate the most. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of the much-maligned Brussels Sprout.
The sad truth is, that no matter how much we – and especially our kids – equate the taste of Brussels sprouts with the experience of licking the bottom of a well-used wellington boot (they are not that bad! – Ed.), those ugly little greens are incredibly healthy. Here is a no-nonsense Yours.ie list of the reasons why.
Let’s start with one for the ladies. Antioxidants are good because they slow the ageing of cells, including skin cells. Brussels sprouts are full of antioxidants, which means that sprouts help us to keep looking younger for longer. It also means they reduce the risks of age-related diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, cataracts, cardio-vascular disease and immune dysfunction.
Brussels sprouts contain indole-3-carbinol, which is a chemical which the body uses to repair damaged DNA. Damaged DNA can lead to cancer and many other diseases, so by boosting the body’s ability to repair them, sprouts can really make a big difference to our future health.
Fiber is good for us, and 1 cup of Brussels sprouts contains 4g of it. Fiber helps to clear out the intestines of toxic and rotting waste, which fights constipation, promotes regularity, and prevents colonic cancer. Fiber makes us feel fuller after eating, leading us to eat less. Fiber also binds with bile acids produced by the liver. These bile acids are what the liver uses to lower…
… and by binding them, it encourages the liver to make more of them, thus reducing levels of cholesterol in the body. Brussels sprouts themselves, while providing plenty of protein and vitamins, have very few calories and 0% cholesterol, so you can eat them by the bucketload.
Vitamins & Minerals
There are 20 different vitamins and minerals in a serving of Brussels sprouts. Vitamin C for antioxidants, A for eye health, K helps with blood clotting and bone strength, and all the B’s are in there to keep us stress free.
Potassium aids blood pressure and fluid balance, while iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, calcium, manganese and selenium do whatever it is that they do, but it’s all good.
So kiddies, stop talking and eat your sprouts!