There is more to Brussels sprouts than just your annual Thanksgiving side dish. Did you know these little vegetables are packed with nutrition and have a ton of health benefits!
The Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are packed with Vitamin K, an essential vitamin for bone health and blood clotting. Studies show that being deficient in Vitamin K puts you at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and cancer. 1 Eating Brussels sprouts regularly is an easy and delicious way to add more Vitamin K to your diet. Enjoy them steamed, sauteed, roasted or shredded into salads.
Brussels sprouts are a good source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is well known for its ability to strengthen immunity, joint and tissue health, and is especially important during cold and flu season. Vitamin C is essential for a number of other processes as well, including iron absorption, tissue repair, bone formation, and metabolic function. 2
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Brussels sprouts are a great plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be difficult for those who do not eat fish or seafood to get a sufficient amount of. Eating a few servings of Brussels sprouts each week is enough to meet your body’s omega-3 fatty acid needs. 3 4 Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids slow cognitive decline, help reduce inflammation, and reduce insulin resistance. 5 6 7
Including a high intake of fiber in your diet has a number of positive health effects. Fiber aids in regulating blood sugar levels, helps ease constipation and bloating, improves microbiome health, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. 8 9 10 Just a half cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains 2 grams of fiber. 11
Ways to Enjoy Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are extremely versatile and can be cooked many different ways, or shredded and eaten raw. Here are some simple ways to add more Brussels sprouts to your diet.
- Shred them and add them to salads and coleslaws raw.
- Roast them. Cut Brussels sprouts in half, drizzle in olive oil, and roast them in the oven. Try adding a little lemon juice or maple syrup for flavor.
- Steam them for a quick, healthy side dish that goes well with any savory meal or add steamed and diced Brussels sprouts to your favorite pasta.
- Chop them finely and add them to stir fries with soy sauce, teriyaki, or your favorite seasonings.
- Cut them in half and saute them in olive oil with a little salt and pepper to taste. When one side is browned, flip them and cook until the other side is browned.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in the healing capacity of food and other natural health practices, naturopathic medicine may be a good fit for you.