Have you ever wondered how Brussels Sprouts are growing on a farm? Brussels Sprouts grow in bunches of 20 to 40 up and down the sides of a central stalk that is several feet tall. You may have some other misconceptions about Brussels Sprouts. |
You may have unpleasant memories about Brussels Sprouts from your childhood as having a strong and bitter taste, but today their taste has changed. It’s time to have a fresh look at this vegetable with its undeserved bad reputation. Today’s Brussels Sprouts taste better than they used to do in the past, and researchers have discovered that they may contain great disease stopping power.
Brussels sprouts are related to cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. In recent years, Brussels sprouts growers have developed varieties that are sweeter and milder than those you may remember from your childhood. Also, if you are careful to store and cook them properly,you can maximize their tastiness.
Cancer protection As Brussels sprouts belong to the family of crusiferous vegetables, they are loaded with natural plant compounds called phytonutrients, which may help protect against cancer. These compounds may be particularly effective against common cancers, like breast and colon cancers.
One of the key protective compounds in Brussels sprouts is sulforaphane. Research from test tubes to lab animals to humans shows that this component can interfere with cancer at many stages of its development. It can keep cancer-causing chemicals from becoming activated in your body; it may trigger cancer cells to spontaneously die; it can prevent new blood vessels from growing to a tumor to feed it; an it may help prevent cancer from metastasizing, or spreading to new locations.
A study which reviewed 80 studies looking at the relationship between consumption of brassica vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts0, found that most showed a link between higher consumption of these vegetables and a lower risk of cancer. The results were most consistent with cancer of the lungs, stomach, colon, and rectum.
Brussels sprouts contain another protective phytonutrient called indole-3- carbinol, or I3C. This compound works as an antiestrogen, that means it helps break down your body’s estrogens before they contribute to the growth of cancer cells. It also helps boost the production of certain enzymes that help clear cancer-causing toxins from the body.
Lab tests have shown that I3C inhibits the growth of a variety of types of cancer cells, including breast, prostate, endometrial, colon, and leukemia.
In one small study, researchers in the Netherlands found that people who ate more than 10 ounces of Brussels sprouts (about 14 sprouts) a day for one week had levels of protective cancer-fighting enzymes in their colon that were, on average, 23% higher than people who did not eat Brussels sprouts.
There are also well-known vitamins, minerals and other substances that can help fight off cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, and a host of other health problems. Topping this list is fiber. Brussels sprouts are a decent source of fiber, with about 3 grams in a half-cup serving.That’s more than you get in a slice of whole-grain bread.
When you eat your daily portion of Brussels sprouts it will help you to avoid all the conditions that a diet rich in fiber is known of to prevent : constipation, hemorrhoids, and other digestive complains.
A half-cup of Brussels sprouts also provides 48 mgs of vitamin C, more than 80% of the DV for this vitamin. It also provides 47 mgs of folate, about 12% of the DV. Folate, a B vitamin, is essential for normal tissue growth, and studies show that it may protect against cancer, heart disease, and birth defects. Women who are on birth control pills often have low levels of this important vitamin.
Tips on how to cook Brussels sprouts. To allow the tough stems to cook as quickly as the leaves, make an “X” on the bottom of each stem, using a sharp knife. Then steam them for 7 to 14 minutes, until they’re just tender enough to poke with a fork.
The big sulfur smell thrown off by these little cabbages discourages some people from taking advantage of their healing power. Add a celery stalk to the cooking water, it will help to neutralize the smell.
Use them quickly. Although you can keep them for a week or longer in the refrigerator, they start to get bitter after about three days, Which may discourage you and your family from eating them and reaping their benefits. Buy only as many as you need in the next couple of days.
About the Author Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management while he was an associate with a nutritional supplement company. Since 2008 he wrote several articles about nutrition and weight loss and achieved expert status with Ezine Articles.com. He has been involved in nutrition and weight management for more than 12 years and he likes to share his knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it. Get my free reports about nutrition and weight loss here!
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cancer, estrogen, fiber, folate, phytonutrients, sulforaphane, vitamin C,