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Benefits of Brussel
Brussel sprouts are small, leafy green buds resembling like miniature cabbages in appearance. The buds nonetheless are exceptionally rich sources of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, a renewed interest is growing about health benefits of these sprouts have to offer. Botanically, the sprouts belong to the same Brassica family of vegetables, which also includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, and kale. Scientific name: Brassica oleracea (Gemmifera Group).
All cruciferous vegetables provide integrated nourishment across a wide variety of nutritional categories and provide broad support across a wide variety of body systems as well. Brussels sprouts are members of the Brassica family and therefore kin to broccoli and cabbage. They resemble miniature cabbages, with diameters of about 1 inch. They grow in bunches of 20 to 40 on the stem of a plant that grows as high as three feet tall. Brussels sprouts are typically sage green in color, although some varieties feature a red hue.
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.
4. Cholesterol lowering benefits
Brussels sprouts can provide you with some special cholesterol lowering benefits if you will use a steaming method when cooking them. The fiber related components in Brussels sprouts do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw Brussels sprouts still have cholesterol lowering ability just not as much as steamed Brussels sprouts.
5. Fighting cancer
Since the 1980s, consuming high amounts of cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts has been associated with a lower risk of cancer. More recently, researchers have been able to pinpoint that the sulfur containing compounds (namely sulforaphane) that give cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite are also what give them their cancer fighting power.
6. Improving bone health
Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption (which just ? cup of Brussels sprouts provides) improves bone health by acting as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improving calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.
7. Managing diabetes
Many green vegetables contain an antioxidant known as alpha lipoic acid that has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress induced changes in patients with diabetes. Studies on alpha lipoic acid have also shown decreases in peripheral neuropathy or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics.
8. Maintaining vision
Making sure you get your daily requirement of vitamin C has been shown to help keep eyes healthy by providing increased protection against UV light damage. Eating just one serving of Brussels sprouts per day would ensure you are getting enough of this important nutrient. Another antioxidant in Brussels sprouts, zeaxanthin, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration.
9. Looking younger
The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form (in fresh produce as opposed to supplement form) or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the main support system of skin. You may think automatically reach for citrus fruits when you think of vitamin C, but Brussels sprouts provide a whopping 75 milligrams per cup, over 100% of your daily need. Vitamin A is also crucial for healthy looking skin, which Brussels sprouts also provide.
10. DNA protection
Brussels sprouts may have unique health benefits in the area of DNA protection. A recent study has shown improved stability of DNA inside of our white blood cells after daily consumption of Brussels sprouts in the amount of 1.25 cups. Interestingly, it s the ability of certain compounds in Brussels sprouts to block the activity of sulphotransferase enzymes that researchers believe to be responsible for these DNA protective benefits.
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