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Just ask any kid and they’ll tell you that Brussels sprouts must be healthy. After one glance they know – Brussels Sprouts scream healthy food!
But what do they do in the body?
The kids are right. Brussels Sprouts do many amazing healthful things in the body including reduced inflammation, oxidative stress, cancer risk, osteoporosis, and more.
Here are 8 Science-Backed Benefits of Brussels Sprouts and 1 amazing Easter Brunch Recipe.
Keto zone Bacon Brussels Sprouts for Easter Brunch
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts washed and dried
- 4 ounces (120 g) diced bacon or pancetta
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease large baking sheet with a small amount of oil or butter.
- Trim the ends of sprouts and cut in half lengthwise.
- Add Brussel Sprouts, bacon, and garlic to the pan. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir or toss the mixture well and spread into a single layer.
- Roast the sprouts, stirring once midway through cooking, until tender with charred edges (about for 25-30 minutes).
- Toss again and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Nutrition info (per serving): 214 calories, 16 gm fat, 5 gm net carbs (10 grams carbs, 5 gm fiber), 10 gm protein
8 Science-Backed Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
1. High in Fiber
When you see a Brussels Sprout, you may automatically think of fiber. And, you’d be right.
For every cup of cooked Brussels Sprouts, you’ll get 4 grams of health-promoting fiber.
Brussel Sprout’s fiber can:
- Promote healthy digestion and relieve constipation (1)
- Feed the healthy bacteria in your small intestine promote whole-body health (2)
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood sugars (3, 4)
2. High in Vitamin K
A nutrient that you don’t see?
Vitamin K is important because it plays vital roles in blood clotting and bone health in the body.
Amazingly, Brussels Sprouts contain 274% of your daily vitamin K needs in just 1 cup cooked.
There are two forms of vitamin K:
Vitamin K1 is the most well-known, and essential for blood coagulation. This is the formation of clots so that cuts and injuries stop bleeding (5). Due to this function, it’s important for anyone on blood thinners to be aware of high Vitamin K foods like Brussels sprouts in their diets.
Vitamin K2 plays a role in bone growth, bone health, and protection against osteoporosis, especially during menopause (6).
3. High in Vitamin C
When you think of vitamin C, you may think of citrus fruits, tomatoes, an even broccoli.
But, did you know that 1 cup of cooked Brussels Sprouts provides 162% of your daily vitamin C needs?
Vitamin C plays a multitude of roles in the body. It:
- Improves the growth and repair of tissues in the body
- Aides the production of proteins like collagen (7)
- May improve immunity (8)
- Improves iron absorption by up to 67% (9)
Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient, and Brussels Sprouts are loaded with it.
4. Antioxidant Powerhouse
Most fruits and vegetables have antioxidants, but certain ones stand out.
Brussel Sprouts’ antioxidants stand out.
In fact, Brussels sprouts are high in a special antioxidant, called kaempferol. Kaempferol has been extensively studied and found to:
- Reduce antioxidative stress in cells up to 28% (10)
- Potentially reduce cancer cell growth
- Reduce whole-body inflammation
- Improve heart health (11, 12, 13)
5. Potential Cancer Protection
Beyond the antioxidant-cancer protection, other components of Brussels Sprouts make it a potential cancer fighter.
In fact, they also contain nutrients that promote detoxification enzymes. One small study showed a 15-30% increase in these enzymes activity with Brussels Sprout consumption (14).
What’s more, Brussels Sprouts’ ability to neutralize free radicals plays a direct role in cancer protection. The compounds formed by oxidative stress likely play a role in chronic diseases like cancer (15).
6. Inflammation Reduction
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, inflammation is a healthy part of the body’s immune response. However, chronic whole-body inflammation, which is influenced by diet, lifestyles, and weight, can contribute to many chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease (29).
Brussels Sprouts may reduce chronic inflammation.
In fact, studies show that cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels Sprouts are associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood (16).
What’s more, kaempferol has anti-inflammatory functions as well as antioxidant ones (17).
7. Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
As a cruciferous vegetable, Brussels Sprouts also play a role in keeping blood sugars healthy.
In fact, many studies have linked increased intake of cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, to a decreased risk of diabetes (18).
Likely, this is due to the fiber and low-carbohydrate level of Brussel Sprouts, making it a great Keto Zone food.
But in addition, they also contain alpha-lipoic acid, which improves blood sugars and insulin levels in the body (19).
8. Diindolylmethane Producer
As outlined in our article on DIM, DIM is a powerful compound that is produced when we eat cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels Sprouts.
DIM can help balance hormones, especially during menopause, by:
- Improving the Metabolism of Estrogen
- Influencing the Production of “good” estrogens vs. “bad” estrogens
- Reducing the conversion of Testosterone to Estrogen
- Providing Anti-Cancer and Anti-Virus Properties
- Improving Skin Health and Weight Loss
DIM is a powerful hormone-balancer, you can increase your levels by increasing cruciferous vegetable consumption and/or using a supplement such as Hormone Zone.
Upon first glance, most anyone could tell you that Brussels Sprouts must be healthy. And, they are! There are many science-backed health benefits of Brussel Sprouts. And, with our delicious Keto Zone Bacon Brussels Sprouts recipe, it’s easy to get them all!
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