Brussels sprouts are small cabbage-like vegetables. The greenish-yellow vegetable has a slightly sweet delicate flavor, but a strong unpleasant smell. This smell is caused by the release of sulfur compounds when the vegetable is cooked. They do well in cold climates and can survive frost. It is one vegetable whose availability you can count on during the winter.
To prepare the vegetable, you can steam or boil slightly. It can also be chopped and added to a stir-fry mixture. This ensures that the vegetable retains most of its nutrients. Prolonged cooking destroys most of the food value. The winter vegetable is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C and K. It contains iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorous and potassium. It is also rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants. These nutrients have various health benefits.
Antioxidants and Phytonutrients
The vegetable contains glucosinolates, which have powerful antioxidant properties. These potent compounds have been found useful in the prevention of cancer. The vegetable also contains phytonutrients that boost the capacity of detoxification enzymes in the body. This helps to rid the body of carcinogenic substances quicker. Plant phytonutrients boost the immune system against several diseases and help to promote good health.
The greenish-yellow vegetable has high quantities of vitamin A. This plays a vital role in growth functions in the body. It helps to achieve healthy, glowing skin. Vitamin A plays a role in the body’s defense system. It helps to guard against infections. The vitamin also helps to maintain mucous membranes and healthy muscles.
Brussels sprouts contain high levels of vitamin C. They contain thrice the amount of vitamin C found in oranges. This vitamin enables the manufacture of collagen. It is a type of protein that is vital in the maintenance of healthy tissues and organs. It helps to hold these body parts together. Vitamin C also acts as an anti-cancer agent and supports a healthy immune system.
Vitamin D enables better absorption of calcium and phosphate in the body. This supports strong, healthy bones and teeth. It helps to regulate cellular growth and functions in the brain cells. Vitamin D also helps to prevent rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.
Most vegetables have minimal to modest quantities of protein. However, Brussels sprouts have good amounts of protein. This makes it a healthy substitute for meat. Proteins are essential for various growth activities throughout the body.
Folic acid deficiency is a common vitamin deficiency. Yet, this is an important nutrient for pregnant women. Folic acid enables healthy cellular division. It supports the healthy growth and development of the fetus’ nervous system. This helps to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.
One cup of the vegetable contains 5 grams of fiber. This is an essential item for healthy digestion. It supports the formation of soft stool which enables quick and comfortable elimination. If you suffer from constipation, inclusion of the winter vegetable in the diet can help to eliminate constipation.