Let’s talk about the humble Brussel sprout! Not every child’s favorite food but a super healthy vegetable.
I’m going to break it down a little on the health benefits front and share my ultra-simple recipe below.
A vegetable drastically underestimated.
The Brussel sprout (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbages (Brassica oleracea), grown for its delicious edible buds.
The genus Brassica (family Brassicaceae, also known as Cruciferae) includes a high number of vegetables comprising among others broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, cabbage, and mustard.
Brussel Sprouts are a great winter vegetable to grow in your garden with an excellent yield. They are extremely versatile and can be included in many dishes, from soups, curries, and stir fry to smoothies and juices.
Brussel sprouts are among the top 20 most nutritious foods according to their Aggregate Nutrient Density Index score, which measures vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient contents in relation to calorie content. (2) Brussel sprouts have some amazing nutrient qualities, for example, a 100g serving contains:
- 85mg of Vitamin C
- 177µg of Vitamin K
- 42mg of Calcium
- 23mg of Magnesium
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
Brussel sprouts contain a high amount of chlorophyll, which can block the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines generated upon grilling meats at high temperatures. Recent studies have reported that cruciferous vegetables including Brussel sprouts may protect humans against oxidative stress, several cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension as well as lowering cholesterol levels. (2)
Brussel sprouts are an important rich source of sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to isothiocyanates (ITCs) by the action of myrosinase in the presence of water. Cruciferous vegetables including Brussel sprouts contain a variety of glucosinolates, each of which forms different ITCs such as sulforaphane, phenylethyl isothiocyanates, and allyl isothiocyanates, as well as indole compounds. ITCs, which are potentially bioactive components present in cruciferous vegetables, are being investigated for their anticarcinogenic properties, including their ability to induce phase I and II detoxification enzymes and inhibit genes that promote tumor formation. (2)
Several epidemiologic studies highlight that a regular intake of Brassica vegetables is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer and further beneficial effects on health were demonstrated in cardiovascular diseases and in metabolic disorders such as diabetes. (1)
Ultra Simple Recipe
- 1/4 of a Crown (or half a buttercup) Pumpkin cut into pieces
- 1 round of Brie cut into about 16 wedges
- About 15-20 Brussel sprouts
- Coconut oil for roasting pumpkin
Peel and chop the pumpkin into roasting-sized pieces and place in a roasting pan. Chop stalk ends of Brussel sprouts and boil for 20 minutes until soft while pumpkin roasts.
When cooked serve pumpkin and Brussel sprouts with Brie.
I like mine with some mustard.
1. Neuroprotective Effect of Brassica oleracea Sprouts Crude Juice in a Cellular Model of Alzheimer’s Disease. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4477226/
2. Influence of Cooking Methods on Bioactive Compound Content and Antioxidant Activity of Brussels Sprouts. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5758100/