6 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

benefits of brussels sprouts
benefits of brussels sprouts

You may remember trying to avoid them when you were younger, but Brussels sprouts are making a comeback in popular cuisine. That’s mostly a result of taste: new hybrids are more tender and easier to cook, which reduces the sulfurous taste and odor that once made them so unpopular.

But the benefits of Brussels sprouts aren’t all in the taste. These tiny vegetables from the cabbage family are full of vitamins and minerals, and they work overtime to keep you healthy.

1. Lower Cholesterol

The vitamins and minerals contained in Brussels sprouts are known for lowering cholesterol and improving circulation. This is increased when they are cooking using steam. Steaming improves the ability of the fibers in the sprouts to bind with the acid and bile in your stomach, which improves cholesterol reduction. [1]

2. Weight Loss

The benefits of brussels sprouts are very low in calories. But they are also full of nutrients and fiber, and the leaves are densely packed, which means that eating a serving will leave you feeling full. This full feeling helps you eat less and maintain a healthy weight without feeling constantly hungry. [2]

3. Cancer Prevention

Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts are full of glucosinolates, the chemical compound responsible for giving them their distinctive aroma and taste. During digestion, glucosinolates break down into several cancer-fighting compounds that your body uses to protect its DNA, reduce cell damage, and deactivate carcinogens. [3]

4. Stronger Immune System

The vitamins in Brussels sprouts include vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate. All of these contribute to a healthy immune system and help your body fight off colds, infections, and even more serious diseases. In fact, eating a serving of Brussels sprouts will give you about half of your daily dose of vitamin C. [4]

5. Healthy Digestion

The average American eats anywhere from 10 to 20 grams less than the recommended daily amount of fiber, which can result in digestive complaints and abdominal pain. [5] The high levels of fiber contained in a serving of Brussels sprouts improve digestion, promote regular bowel movements, and help prevent gastrointestinal complaints like constipation.

6. Anti-Ageing

Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, compounds that help your body fight off free radicals, reduce wrinkles and environmental damage, and generally improve the look of skin. [6] The vitamin C in Brussels sprouts plays a key role in your body’s production of collagen, which keeps your skin elastic and firm, while its vitamin A fights of sun damage and manganese reduces the appearance of wrinkles.