The 5 reasons why you shouldn’t detest brussel sprouts

nutrition-and-productivity-blog-13

I used to hate brussel sprouts. The only time I would eat them was at Christmas when they were glazed with sugar. Outside of Christmas I avoided- the bitter taste and offensive odour put me off. This year, however, I’ve discovered what nutritional atom bombs they are. And if done right, they can also be delectable. I now eat bagfuls of the buggers.

Introducing brussel sprouts

A couple of facts about our green spherical friends:

  • They belong to the brassica family – they’re cousins with broccoli, cauliflower and kale.
  • They get their name from the Belgian capital where they were popular in the 16th century.
  • It is thought they originated from Afghanistan or Iran.
  • Captain Cook made his crew eat sprouts to combat scurvy.

They pack a mighty nutritional punch with a low caloric load. Full of vitamins (A, Bs, C, E and K1), minerals (potassium, iron, manganese) and a great source of fibre. They contain several anti-oxidant phytochemicals such as sulforaphanes, indoles and thiocyanates.

5 reasons to eat more brussels

Being so nutritionally dense, they offer many benefits to being healthy and productive:

1. They boost energy levels

  • Indole-3-carbinol in brussels helps balance the hormones by causing the excretion of oestrogen1. This in turn creates a higher balance of testosterone. More testosterone = more drive.
  • Brussel sprouts are high in alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that helps balance blood-glucose levels2. Alpha-lipoic acid also promotes healthy mitochondrial function (mitochondria are the body’s batteries)3.

2. They benefit the brain

  • They are a great source of choline. Choline is an important precursor to the neurotransmitter acetyl choline which plays a role in memory and learning4.
  • Vitamins A, C, E and K1 all protect the brain from damage through oxidation, toxin build up or chronic inflammation.

3. They keep you healthy

  • The amount of vitamin C they hold keeps colds at bay.
  • They’re beneficial in protecting against heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia

4. They’re cheap and abundant

  • £1 per kilo and stocked in every supermarket

5. They’re uber tasty

Yes, you read that right. A couple of tweaks to how you cook them and they become awesome:

  • They can be lip smackingly good by blending with butter and salt.
  • Fancy a Mediterranean flavour? Blend with dill, lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Oven bake with ghee and skewer with prosciutto for an amazing snack

Stock up on your brussels – they’re for life, not just for Christmas. Thanks for reading and have a great week.

Paddy.

Have you embraced brussels, how’ve they been for you? Please leave me a comment below.

If you are interested in trying out a FREE 7-day meal plan you can grab a copy of that here. Just add your details and we’ll get that over to you. 

References

  1. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/89/10/718.short “Changes in Levels of Urinary Estrogen Metabolites After Oral Indole-3-Carbinol Treatment in Humans” Improves hormonal balance
  2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/alphalipoic-acid “Alpha-lipoic acid”
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17605107 “The effects and mechanisms of mitochondrial nutrient alpha-lipoic acid on improving age-associated mitochondrial and cognitive dysfunction: an overview.”
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetylcholine “Acetylcholine”
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