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Brussels Sprouts

Background

Notorious for being the most disliked vegetable, Brussels sprouts are now making a comeback! These little cabbages grow on a long stalk and take 26 to 31 weeks to grow. They are considered a cruciferous vegetable and in recent years, they have become a lot more visible in the produce aisle. They can usually be found year round, but they are in peak season in the fall and through the winter months.

Benefits

  • Along with other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts contain a sulfur based phytochemical known as glucosinolate. Research shows that if consumed on a regular basis, it can help reduce your risk of cancer. This compound can also help to reduce and prevent inflammation in the body by working with omega-3 fats and vitamin K, which are also found in Brussels sprouts.
  • Brussels sprouts also contain a variety of antioxidants, like vitamin C and vitamin A. Antioxidants help to protect our body’s cells from damage. This damage can occur naturally as we age, but can also be caused by environmental factors (pollution, smoking).
  • Good source of vitamin K, which helps make blood clotting proteins. When you cut yourself, these proteins help to make the bleeding stop. Vitamin K also helps make proteins for your bones and kidneys.
  • Brussels sprouts also provide folate, which is a water soluble vitamin that is involved in making and maintaining cells, as well as DNA. It also helps make red blood cells and prevents anemia.
  • Good source of dietary fibre, which helps us feel full and satisfied, and can help with weight management. Fibre can also help control blood glucose ( blood sugar) levels, keeps us regular and has the potential to lower cholesterol levels.

Nutritional Value of ½ cup (80g) of Cooked Brussels Sprouts

  • 28 calories
  • 5.6 g carbohydrate
  • 2.8 g fibre
  • 2.0 g protein
  • 0.39 g fat
  • 11% daily potassium requirements
  • 170% daily vitamin C needs

Did You Know

In order to pick the best Brussels sprouts, look for ones that are bright green in color. They should be free of yellow spots or wilted leaves and have a firm, compact head. If stored in a plastic bag in your fridge, they can last 2 or more weeks. To prepare them, trim the stems, and remove any loose, wilted or yellow leaves, and rinse under cool water. The trick to making delicious Brussels sprouts is to not overcook them. Overcooked Brussels sprouts begin to lose their bright green color and start to release sulfurous compounds, which is what causes that distinct unpleasant odor.

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