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Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are small, leafy green buds resembling like miniature cabbages in appearance. The buds nonetheless are exceptionally rich sources of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, a renewed interest is growing about health benefits of these sprouts have to offer. Botanically, the sprouts belong to the same brassica family of vegetables, which also includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, and kale.
Brussels sprouts are winter crops that flourish well under cool weather and light frosting conditions. Well-grown plant reaches about 90 cm in height. The sprouts develop all along the stalk, starting from the base and moving upward. Each sprout, in general, features similarity in appearance and structure to cabbage, but only very small in size, measuring about 1-1.5 inches in diameter.
In structure, each headaconsists of clusters of stiff leaves superimposed in compact layers, giving it a round or globular shape as in cabbages. In order to get uniform sprouts, the tip of the stalk is cut as soon as sprouts at the bottom begin to develop. These developing buds should be protected from the sunlight since the sprouts that exposed to hot weather do not form into compact buds. Sprouts are one of the most popular vegetables in the united states, and mediterranean europe.
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Health benefits
Brussel sprouts are one of the low-glycemic nutritious vegetables that should be considered in weight reduction programs. 100 g brussel sprouts provide just 45 calories, nonetheless, they contain 3.38 g of protein, 3.80 g of dietary fiber (10% of rda) and zero cholesterol.
In fact, brussels sprouts are a storehouse of several flavonoid anti-oxidants such as thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Together, these phytochemicals offer protection from prostate, colon, and endometrial cancers.
Di-indolyl-methane (dim), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol, is found to be an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating "interferon-i" receptors.
Additionally, brussel sprouts contain a glucoside, sinigrin. Early laboratory studies suggest that sinigrin helps protect from colon cancers by destroying pre-cancerous cells.
Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin c; 100 g sprouts provide about 85 mg or 142% of rda. Together with other antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin a and e, it helps protect the body by trapping harmful free radicals.
Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid in sprouts, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula-lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide anti-oxidant and protective light-filtering functions from uv rays. Thus, it helps prevent retinal damage, "age-related macular degeneration related macular degeneration disease" (armd), in the elderly.
Brussel sprouts are a good source of another anti-oxidant, vitamin-a, providing about 754 iu per 100g. Vitamin-a is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin, and is essential for eye health. Foods rich in this vitamin have been found to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-k; 100 g provides about 177 ag or about 147% of rda. Vitamin k has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-k levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain and thereby, preventing or at least delaying the onset of alzheimer's disease.
Further, the sprouts are notably good in many b-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin b-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential for substrate metabolism inside the human body.
They are also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. 100 g fresh sprouts provide 25 mg (1.5% of rda) sodium and 389 mg (8% of rda) potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.airon is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.
Brussels sprouts are incredibly nutritious vegetable that offers protection from vitamin a deficiency, bone loss, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.


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