(Natural News) If you have been eating kale for its health benefits, you will like its cousin — the Brussels sprouts. The much smaller cruciferous vegetable shares a lot of the same nutrients and cancer-preventing properties.
Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes the cabbages they closely resemble save for the small matter of their size. They used to be a common part of old-fashioned diets, but eventually fell out of favor for more easily-cooked and less bitter comestibles.
Nowadays, the sprout is enjoying a comeback in various recipes and restaurants. It has displaced kale as the trendiest vegetable for health-conscious people who want to eat nutritious food.
Eating half a cup of Brussels sprouts each day will provide you with all of the vitamin K1 you need for healthy blood clotting. It will also give you more than 70 percent of the vitamin C you need, as well as considerable amounts of choline, folate, fiber, manganese, and vitamin B6.
In addition to all of these nutrients, Brussels sprouts possess many phytochemicals that can support the healthy functions of the body. They can help prevent the onset of diseases, including many types of cancer. (Related: Read this first BEFORE you buy pre-washed vegetables.)
Eating Brussels sprouts can help you avoid cancer
Eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale have been scientifically linked with lower risks of cancer. These veggies contain an organic compound called sulforaphane that has been shown to account for their bitter taste and their anti-cancer properties.
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A 2011 study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) showed that sulforaphane stopped the activity of histone deacetylase (HDAC), an enzyme that spurs tumorous cells to increase in number. The inhibitory effect stops potential cancers from turning into actual threats to health.
The OSU study is one of many that suggest sulforaphane-rich Brussels sprouts can help prevent certain types of cancer. Eating the vegetable can potentially provide protection for the colon, esophagus, liver, ovaries, pancreas, prostate, and skin.
On top of that, Brussels sprouts also contain plenty of chlorophyll. In addition to powering photosynthesis, the green plant pigment can reduce the risks of cancer from eating foods that have been charred or cooked at high temperatures.
“Supplementation of diets with foods rich in chlorophylls may represent practical means to prevent the development of hepatocellular carcinoma or other environmentally induced cancers,” suggested a 2001 study by the John Hopkins University.
The best and tastiest ways to enjoy Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are just as convenient to store as their cabbage relatives. Stocks of the vegetable can be found in grocery stores all year round. They are also a common sight on the dishes served by restaurants.
There are several ways to prepare these healthy sprouts at home. You can steam them, roast them, or incorporate them into existing recipes.
Steaming is the simplest way to cook Brussels sprouts. It also preserves most of the nutrients in the vegetables. Season the steamed sprouts with garlic, organic butter, pepper, and sea salt according to your liking.
If you have an oven at home, you can roast the sprouts. Cut them in half and toss the pieces in olive oil with a little bit of garlic, pepper, and sea salt. Set the oven temperature at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the veggies for 15 to 30 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready to eat when their edges begin changing color.
A recipe for a stew usually contains at least one vegetable as an ingredient. You can add Brussels sprouts to the mix. They absorb the flavor of the broth, which reduces their bitter taste, and brighten the stew with their vibrant green color.