About Brussels Sprout
The Brussels sprout is grouped into cruciferous category of vegetables with also includes cabbages and broccoli.
It is a cultivar in the Gemmifera group of wild cabbages.
Health-wise, Brussels sprouts are the choice vegetable due to its various health benefits as we shall uncover in this article.
While the origins of Brussels sprouts are unknown, the first mention of them can be traced to the late 16th century.
They are thought to be native to Belgium, specifically to a region near its capital, Brussels, after which they are named.
They remained a local crop in this area until their use spread across Europe during World War I. Brussels sprouts are now cultivated throughout Europe and the United States.
In the U.S., almost all Brussels sprouts are grown in California.
Health Benefit 1: Low calories Food
Due to its low calorie content (half a cup contains a mere 28 calories); Brussels sprout is a suitable food for combating weight gain.
Additionally, it contains trace amounts of fat, hence suitable in weight loss program.
Health benefit 2: Source of Fiber
Brussels sprout contain digestive-regulating fiber which aids in preventing constipation, reducing cholesterol levels and takes care of the colon.
Health Benefit 3: Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
There are various vitamins and minerals in Brussels sprout such as vitamin, C, E, and B complex, iron, magnesium, phosphrous, manganese and selenium.
Vitamin K is involved in healthy bones, stops body tissues from undergoing calcification of the body’s tissues and plays an important role in proper functioning of the brain and nerves.
The Vitamin C assists in fighting hyper tension, high blood pressure, lead toxicity as well as cataracts owing to its high anti-oxidant qualities.
The vitamin A provides 20% of the RDA of vitamin A required in the body.
This vitamin increases immunity, guards eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration and preserves bones and teeth health.
It also helps in preventing urinary stones.
Health Benefit 4:Anti-Cancer Properties
The Detox-activating isothiocyasanates in Brussels sprout are chemical compounds which aid in the removal of carcinogens hence reducing risks of cancers such as breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancer.
In the same vein, they also aid in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack.
Health Benefit 5: Lowers Cholesterol Level
Brussels sprout assist in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood by attaching to bile acids which the liver extracts from cholesterol for purpose s of digesting fats.
This is owed to the fact that sprout contains a high level of fiber content.
Health Benefit 6: Protects DNA
According to recent reports, there are compounds in Brussels sprout which hinder sulphotransferase enzymes’ activities which destabilizes the DNA in white blood cells.
Health Benefit 7: Antioxidants Property
The vitamin C, E A among a host of other minerals such as manganese is important anti-oxidants in this vegetable.
There are also flavonoids such as isorhamnetin, quercitin, and kaempferol which guard against the effects of oxidation on the body’s cells.
Health Benefit 8: Anti- Inflammation
Brussels sprout contains Glucobrassicin, a glucosinolate which combats inflammation from the genes level when it is converted into indole-3-carbinol molecule (ITC).
Brussels sprout is high in omega-3 fatty acids (provides a third of RDA) which constitute the body’s anti-inflammatory messaging molecules.
Notably, Brussels sprout contains a vitamin that aids in regulation of inflammatory responses, namely vitamin K.
Health Benefit 9: Cardiovascular Health
The isothiocynates sulforaphane derived from glucosinolatesare compounds in Brussels sprout which induces anti-inflammatory activity in the cardiovascular and likely abates blood vessel damage.
Brussels sprout combats heart attacks, arteriosclerosis among other cardiovascular diseases through inflammation regulation mechanisms.
By and by, it reduces cholesterol levels and stops further arterial blockage.
Health Benefit 10: Digestion Health
The four grams of dietary fiber in Brussels sprout provide 16% of the recommended daily allowance.
This fiber aids in preventing constipation, regulates blood sugar and also checks on weight.
Brussels sprout preserves the stomach lining by halting Helicobacter pylori (it causes gastric cancer), thanks to sulforaphane.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking
Tips for Preparing Brussels Sprouts
Before washing Brussels sprouts, remove stems and any yellow or discolored leaves.
Wash them well under running water to remove any insects that may reside in the inner leaves.
Brussels sprouts cook quickly and taste the best when they are cut into small pieces.
The Nutrient-Rich Way of Cooking Brussels Sprouts
We recommend Healthy Steaming Brussels sprouts for maximum nutrition and flavor.
Quick Steaming—similar to Healthy Sauté and Quick Boiling, our other recommended cooking methods— follows three basic cooking guidelines that are generally associated in food science research with improved nutrient retention.
These three guidelines are: minimal necessary heat exposure; minimal necessary cooking duration; minimal necessary food surface contact with cooking liquid.
Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2 inches of water.
While waiting for the water to come to a rapid boil.
If Brussels Sprouts are cut into quarters, steam for 6 minutes. If you have chopped them into smaller pieces, steam for 5 minutes.
Toss with our Honey Mustard sauce to add extra flavor and nutrition.
While Brussels sprouts are usually served as a side dish, they also make a nice addition to cold salads.
How to Enjoy
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
Since cooked Brussels sprouts are small and compact, they make a great snack food that can be simply eaten as is or seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine quartered cooked Brussels sprouts with sliced red onions, walnuts, and your favorite mild tasting cheese such as a goat cheese or feta. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for an exceptionally healthy, delicious side dish or salad.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes
One taste of this roast Brussels sprouts dish, and you’ll be tossing your go-to recipe out the window.
Our version combines the teeny tiny cabbages—that have recently made a real comeback—with red seedless grapes.
Cut each piece of vegetables and fruit in half; toss them with oil, garlic, fresh thyme, salt and pepper; and roast them in the oven for 25 minutes or so.
Crunchy, perfectly browned bites of Brussels sprouts with the occasional bite of roasted grape, which lends a fresh, slightly sweet note to the dish.
This one might just bring Brussels sprouts-haters to the other side.
- 1½pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1pound red seedless grapes
- 3tablespoons olive oil
- 2cloves garlic, sliced
- 1tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- kosher salt and black pepper
- Heat oven to 375° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts and grapes with the oil, garlic, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Turn the Brussels sprouts cut-side down and roast until golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.