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.
Have you embraced brussels, how’ve they been for you? Please leave me a comment below.
- 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
- http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/alphalipoic-acid “Alpha-lipoic acid”
- 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.”
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetylcholine “Acetylcholine”