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Not only is today January 31st but did you know it’s also National Eat Brussels Sprouts Day???

brussel sprouts 1Okay, I just saw you roll your eyes, give me a minute here before you go back to looking extremely busy while you read the latest headlines on MSN. This may actually prove to be more useful than whether Kim & Kanye are about to have the next reality star.

Here are 11 AWESOME reasons to eat Brussels Sprouts (thank you Health Diaries!). At the bottom is one of my own recipes I make frequently, I have even had meat & potato junkies ask for seconds of.  Click here if you are curious about the nutritional breakdown these guys have.

Cholesterol
The high fiber content (over 15% of our RDA) of Brussels sprouts lowers our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because many of these bile acids are coupled with fiber, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid to digest fat, and therefore requires more cholesterol to do so, ultimately lowering the cholesterol amount within our bodies.

DNA
Recent studies have shown that certain compounds in Brussels sprouts block the activity of sulphotransferase enzymes that can be detrimental to the health and stability of DNA within white blood cells.

Antioxidants
A host of antioxidant ingredients are found in Brussels sprouts, including Vitamins C, E, and A, as well as the mineral manganese. Furthermore, flavonoid antioxidants like isorhamnetin, quercitin, and kaempferol also serve well to protect against oxidative stress on the body’s cells.

Inflammation
Glucobrassicin, a glucosinolate particularly abundant in Brussels sprouts, has been shown to fight inflammation on a genetic level once converted into the molecule indole-3-carbinol, or ITC. Furthermore, one and a half cups of Brussels sprouts contain about 430 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (about ⅓ of the daily recommended amount) that are an essential part of our body’s anti-inflammatory messaging molecules. Finally, the wealth of vitamin K found in Brussels sprouts has been shown to effectively regulate our body’s inflammatory responses.

Cancer Prevention
Glucosinolates in Brussels sprouts and their detox-activating isothiocyanates are shown to fight against and even prevent various cancers, including bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancer.

Cardiovascular Support
Brussels sprouts contain the isothiocyanate sulforaphane made from glucosinolates. This powerful compounds not only triggers anti-inflammatory activity in our cardiovascular system but may also prevent and even possibly help reverse blood vessel damage. By regulating inflammation within the body, Brussels sprouts can fight against the onset of heart attacks, ischemic heart disease, and arteriosclerosis. Furthermore, the lowered cholesterol mentioned earlier may also lessen the possibility of arterial blockage.

Digestion and Diet
One cup of Brussels sprouts contains four grams (16% of the RDA) of dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion, prevent constipation, maintain low blood sugar and check overeating. The sulforaphane found in Brussels spouts also protects our stomach lining by obstructing the overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that can lead to gastric cancer.

Vitamin K
Brussels sprouts are especially high in vitamin K (one cup contains 273.5% of the RDA), which promotes healthy bones, prevents calcification of the body’s tissues, serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and is essential for proper brain and nerve function.

Vitamin C
The nutritional benefits of vitamin C (one cup contains over 161% of the RDA) found in Brussels sprouts ensure a healthy immune system, ward against hyper tension, lower blood pressure, fight lead toxicity, combat cataracts, and serve as a powerful antioxidant that prevents “cellular rust,” which can lead to atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Vitamin A Brussels sprouts also contains over 20% of the RDA of vitamin A that boosts immunity, protects eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs. Folate A biochemical event called the methylation cycle relies on folate to properly transcribe DNA, transform norepinephrine into adrenalin, as well as transform serotonin into melatonin. Furthermore, folate suppresses the amino acid homocysteine that has been shown to contribute to heart disease.

Recipe

brussels sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 2- 3 cups Brussels Sprouts, sliced in half
  • dash salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

 

Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Slowly incorporate the olive oil until a dressing is formed.

Place the Brussels Sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over the sprouts and gently toss to coat.

Bake for 25 minutes, turning once. Sprouts are done when they are lightly browned.

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