Are brussels sprouts really that good for you?

Brussels sprouts are often considered nature’s stinkiest vegetable. A member of the Gemmifera cultivar group, these tiny cabbage-shaped buds are not only delicious (when cooked properly) they’re also incredibly nutritious [1]. Brussels sprouts contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals as well as a healthy dose of fiber [2]. Consuming brussels sprouts boost the immune system, promotes a healthy gut, and can even help prevent cancer [3].


There are many reasons to love this adorable little vegetable - besides the slightly sulfuric smell. When it comes to superfoods, the brussels sprout is high on the list. Enjoying them as a delicious side dish is a great way to introduce more vitamin k [4], vitamin c [5], and antioxidants into your diet by way of kaempferol [6]. They may be small, but they pack quite a healthy punch when it comes to benefits.


The Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

In addition to offering vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, brussels sprouts are a low-carb option and can help maintain blood sugar levels [7]. Due in part to the low-glycemic index [8] and the soluble fiber [9], brussels sprouts are great for those managing diabetes or trying to reduce their carb intake.


Brussels sprouts also provide a healthy dose of glutathione [10] which works to promote healthy gut bacteria and protects cells from oxidative stress. This can help up defenses against infection and certain types of cancer. Working as an anti-inflammatory [11] throughout the body, brussel sprouts keep everything running more efficiently every time they’re consumed.


Easy Ways to Introduce More Brussels Sprouts into Your Diet

While most consider brussels sprouts a side at Thanksgiving dinner, there are actually lots of easy ways to introduce more brussel sprouts into your diet. While they’re often cooked on the side of the main course, brussel sprouts can be the star of the show - if you know how to cook them properly. Adding them to dishes like pasta, veggie skillets, and buddha bowls is the perfect way to get a full serving each day.


While one might think vegetables are only for lunch and dinner, there is room for brussels sprouts at breakfast time too. Don’t worry, no one is suggesting a brussels sprout smoothie - at least not this time. However, adding brussels sprouts to omelets [12], avocado toast [13], and breakfast hash [14] is a tasty way to introduce even more sulfuric goodness into your life. It takes practice, but the benefits are worth it.


Top Ways to Cook Brussels Sprouts

It’s important to note exactly how NOT to cook brussels sprouts. Food Network star Anne Burrell [15] often states that one should NEVER boil brussels sprouts. Part of the bad reputation this amazing vegetable has gotten comes from the improper cooking techniques of years past. Nowadays - we know better. Brussels sprouts take on the flavor of whatever they’re cooked with, which makes them a perfect pair for things like bacon, garlic, and balsamic reduction.


The top cooking methods for brussel sprouts include baking, sauteing, and air frying. The trick is to make sure they are thoroughly cooked in a good amount of fat with strong flavors that complement them. Some even like their brussels sprouts a little on the burned side. However one may choose to enjoy brussels sprouts, when one discovers their favorite way, they’re hooked.


The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that whether a person needs to maintain their blood sugar, improve their gut health, or introduce more vitamins into their diet, brussels sprouts are the way to go. This versatile vegetable is a great way to experiment more in the kitchen and reap the benefits. Try something new this week and give brussels sprouts a chance!

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