Ah yes, the small baby cabbage; often one of the most ignored vegetables on plates across America. They really deserve a second look and taste because they are packed with nutrition.
Brussel sprouts provide many health benefits like restoring healthy digestion have a high amount of protein and have been linked to preventing cancer and heart disease. Just one cup of Brussel spouts will meet your daily requirements for vitamin C and vitamin K. They also provide lots of folate, potassium, B vitamins and manganese, just to name a few.
Brussel sprouts are considered a cruciferous vegetable, belonging to the same family as cauliflower and broccoli. You don’t need to be cautious of buying organic with they guys. All of the cruciferous vegetables supply a high level of disease-fighting antioxidants and other nutrients. And, they won’t load you up with extra calories. Yay!
So how do these guys help prevent cancer?
Cruciferous vegetables are associated with a lower risk of cancer because they protect against free radical damage or oxidative stress and DNA mutation. I know, kinda sciency, but those are all links to cancer. Researchers report that “the sulfur-containing compounds called sulforaphane” are what give cruciferous veggies their cancer-fighting abilities. “Sulforaphanes inhibit the harmful enzyme known to be involved with the progression of cancer.”
What’s so important about Vitamin K and Vitamin C?
Vitamin K provides bone building blocks. Brussel sprouts have over 270% of your daily value of vitamin K. Vitamin K is responsible for keeping your skeletal structure healthy and helps to prevent conditions related to loss in bone mineral density like osteoporosis or fractures. Vitamin C is also provided in large amounts from these little cabbages. Vitamin C is a protective antioxidant in the body that boosts our immune system and helps to reduce inflammation. We can all benefit from that.
What about Heart Disease?
According to research studies, high levels of inflammation are directly related to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. The anti-inflammatory abilities of Brussel sprouts from the vitamin K, C, antioxidants and even small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids all aid in a decreased risk. These all work together to keep arteries clear of bad plaque buildup, lower cholesterol, fight high blood pressure and maintain healthy, strong blood vessels.
Ever heard of Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Think of the lining of your gut like a net with extremely small holes in it that only allow specific substances to pass through. Your gut lining works like a barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system. When someone has leaky gut the “net” gets damaged which causes even bigger holes to develop so things that normally can’t pass through, are now able. These things can include bad bacteria and undigested food particles.
So, Brussel sprouts contain something called glucosinolates that help protect the lining of our stomach, which reduces the chance of developing leaky gut syndrome or other digestive problems. Brussels sprouts are also packed with fiber, which is important for maintaining your digestive health and encouraging regular bowel movements.
Give these little guys another chance. They are my favorite roasted in the oven with BACON and then add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Yum!
Have a great week!
Written by Connie Keathley
Connie is a Coach at Four Barrel CrossFit. Her coaching credentials include CrossFit Level 3, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Movement & Mobility, Gymnastics, Advanced Gymnastics and Endurance. She is also a Level 1 USAW lifting coach. She’s coached and trained under 9-time USAW National Champion Olympic Weightlifter, Chad Vaughn as well as Olympic competitors Ursula Garza and Matt Bruce. She’s trained people from age 3 to 81, and has always had a heart to help others! Being a CrossFit coach has given her the avenue to do so!