Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts. Every child's nightmare. I always saw these in the grocery store and thought "Well, they're ADORABLE! Baby cabbages, how freaking cute. But I don't know what to do with them so...nope". I only recently tried Brussels sprouts and they're surprisingly really good! A little bitter, crunchy, but sweeter than cabbage. You can cook them in many different ways, you could even juice them! Some people say they are even better for you than kale, but what makes them so good?

-They're a cruciferous vegetable, just like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are the best vegetables we could eat for our health:
-They may reduce your risk of cancer through antioxidants. Isn't that the case with all of these fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds? That's because they're real food. When in doubt, eating anything that is real, comes from the ground and doesn't have any additives is your best choice.
-They can help detox your body.
-Anti-inflammatory. That's because they contain vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids. 100 calories' worth of Brussels sprouts contain about 480mg of omega-3, which is more than 1/3 of the recommended ALA intake.
-Support cardiovascular health thorough their anti-inflammatory component, but also they lower cholesterol because they contain so much fiber. When you eat something that has a lot of fiber in it, that fiber binds together with some of the bile acids in the intestine and sticks with it until they pass out of your body when you go #2. When this happens, our liver needs to replace some of the bile that was lost, so it uses up its storage of cholesterol (which is a building block of bile), making our cholesterol decrease. That's why things like oatmeal and apples are also so great for your heart.
-Going along with the fiber thing, they also aid our digestion.
-Brussels sprouts have the most vitamin E of any of the cruciferous veggies. Vitamin E is great for your skin, hair and nails. Also for your heart and your immune system.

Phew! As you can see, these little cuties are AMAZING for your body. There are so many different ways to eat them. You can:
-Roast them
-You could top a pizza with them
-Sauteed as a side for anything
-Put them on top of a baked potato
-You can make Brussels sprouts hash
-Throw them in a stir-fry

Here's an amazing recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo using Brussels sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon
They're in season NOW so go get some!

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