Brussels sprouts are a classic side dish. But there are many reasons why these little leafy cabbages should take center stage on your plate. Like broccoli and cauliflower ― their close cousins in the cruciferous family ― Brussels sprouts not only provide essential nutrients to your bodies, they boast a plethora of health benefits.
Brussels Sprouts Are Mini Cabbages
As you might have guessed, Brussels sprouts are named after the capital of Belgium. This leafy vegetable has been enjoyed in that country as early as the 13th century, but no one can trace its exact origins. Brussels sprouts are a member of the disease-fighting cabbage family, and like nearly every other vegetable, they are low in fat and calories. They are also high in protein, so it's a good idea to pair them with whole grains and get the full spectrum of essential amino acids that your body requires for healthy living.
Brussels Sprouts are Immune System Boosters
Eating more Brussels sprouts will promote a healthier immune system, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. They are exceptionally rich in vitamin C, an anti-cancer agent. Plus, recent studies have proven Brussels sprouts’ ability to improve the stability of the DNA inside our white blood cells. One cup of Brussels sprouts contains four grams of dietary fiber, which does wonders for your digestion and helps stabilize blood sugar. Including foods with plenty of dietary fiber in your diet will also check overeating, which is why we recommend these cute cabbages to anyone looking to feel fuller longer.
Eat Brussels Sprouts Year-Round
Unlike many seasonal vegetables, Brussels sprouts are available year-round. Look for rigid and vivid green sprouts, ideally still attached to their stalk. Most importantly, find buds that are all about the same size or cut them up into quarters to ensure that they cook evenly. One of the easiest ways to prepare Brussels sprouts is to roast them. One can also steam them, cutting a line or a cross at their center to aid with the penetration of heat. Overcooking will result in a significant loss of their anti-cancer compounds, as well as create a sulfuric smell and unpleasantly strong flavor, so roasting or baking might be your best bet.