The amazing Brussels sprout100 grams of Brussels sprouts (6 to 10 sprouts, depending on their size)—the serving size I’ll use throughout this article—contain about 85 mg of vitamin C. That’s 142% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA), and approaching twice as much vitamin C as you’ll find in an orange. Vitamin C, as you know, is a phenomenal benefit to your health. It does everything from improving your immune system, to slowing the aging of your skin, to reducing your risk of stroke. But vitamin C is just one of the nutrients Brussels sprouts can deliver in spades. Brussels sprouts also give you 25% of your RDA of vitamin A (bone growth and health, vision, cell growth), good doses of minerals like iron (17.5%) and manganese (15%), and 147% of your RDA of vitamin K (heart health, bone health, and cancer-fighting properties).
Your secret weapon in the fight against cancerVitamin K is only one nutrient that Brussels sprouts offer to fight cancer. In addition, these little powerhouses also contain a whole host of anti-oxidants, which help to prevent free radicals from damaging your genes. Specifically, Brussels sprouts are rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates—two types of antioxidants that have proven especially effective against colon, prostate, and endometrial cancers. Not to mention, like all leafy greens, Brussels sprouts are rich in folic acid—the version of vitamin B that’s both helpful in maintaining the integrity of your DNA, and in maintaining your heart health. These are just the highlights. Frankly, Brussels sprouts contain so many essential vitamins and nutrients, simply listing them all would fill too many pages. And yet, despite all these health effects, Brussels sprouts are very low-calorie (only 43 calories per 100 grams!), contain no cholesterol, yet deliver a surprisingly potent punch of protein. So as this winter drags on, remember the lowly Brussels sprout. If you’ve been avoiding them for years, you may be pleasantly surprised how good they taste now. Steam them to avoid losing any nutrients—although, even sautéed or fried, they’ll probably be the healthiest thing on our plate. As a potent delivery system to promote heart health, fight cancer, and give your immune system a boost, it’s hard to find anything that matches up against the Brussels sprout.
- SF Gate, “What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Brussels Sprouts?”, Sara Ipatenco http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-eating-brussels-sprouts-4461.html
- Nutrition And You, “Brussels sprouts nutrition facts” http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/brussels-sprouts.html
- Mercola, “What’s New and Beneficial About Brussels Sprouts?”, Dr. Mercola, November 16, 2014 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/16/benefits-brussels-sprouts.aspx
- Brussels Sprouts, “Brussels Sprouts Info” http://www.brussels-sprouts.com/BSINFO.htm
- WebMD, “The Benefits of Vitamin C”, Kathleen Zelman, Jan. 07 2010 http://www.webmd.com/diet/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c
- WebMD, “Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide” http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-vitamin-a
- Life Extension Magazine, “The Surprising Longevity Benefits of Vitamin K”, Judy Ramirez, September 2014 http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2014/9/the-surprising-longevity-benefits-of-vitamin-k/page-01