Brussel sprouts nutrition facts
Brussel sprouts are small leafy green buds resemble like miniature cabbages in appearance. The buds are exceptionally rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which work wonders to get rid of many health troubles. In fact, a renewed interest is growing about health benefits these sprouts have to offer.
Botanically, the sprouts belong to the same brassica family which also includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli and kale.
Brussels sprouts are winter crops, flourishes well in cool weather and light frost conditions. Well grown plant reaches about 90 cm in height. The sprouts are produced all along the stalk, starting at the base and moving upward. Each sprout, in general, has similar in appearance and structure to cabbage but only very small in size, around 1-1.5 inches in diameter.
In structure, each head consists 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 start to develop. Also, sprouts exposed to hot weather do not form in to compact buds. Sprouts are one of the most popular vegetables in the United States and Mediterranean Europe.
Health benefits of brussel sprouts
One of the nutritious vegetable that should be considered in weight reduction programs. 100 g Brussel sprouts just provide 45 calories but contain 3.8 g of dietary fiber (10% of RDA) and no cholesterol.
In fact, brussel sprouts are storehouse of flavonoid anti-oxidants like thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Together these phytochemicals offers protection from prostate, colon, prostate and endometrial cancers.
Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol has been found to be an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating "Interferon-?" receptors.
In addition brussel sprouts contain 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 142% of RDA. Along with other antioxidant vitamins, vitamin A and E; it protects body by trapping harmful free radicals.
Zeaxanthin, 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 disease" (ARMD), in the elderly.
Sprouts are good source of another anti-oxidant vitamin A, provides about 754 IU per 100g. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for acuity of vision. Foods rich in this vitamin offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 177 mcg 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 helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; helps prevnt or at least delay onset of Alzheimer's disease.
The sprouts are notably good in many B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc that are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.
They are also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium in 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. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.
Brussel sprouts are incredibly nutritious vegetable that offers protection from vitamin A deficiency, bone loss, iron deficiency anaemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and, colon and prostate cancers.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||3.80 g||10%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.309 mg||6%|
|Vitamin A||754 IU||25%|
|Vitamin C||85 mg||142%|
|Vitamin E||177 mcg||147%|
Selection and storage
Brussel sprouts are cool season vegetables. In general, sprouts are harvested when the lower buds mature and reach about an inch in size. Fresh sprouts should feature firm, compact and dark green in color. Avoid sprouts featuring loose leaf, yellowish and light in hand.
Fresh sprouts keep well in the refrigerator for up to a day or two. Remove any damaged or discolored outer leaves and store fresh unwashed sprouts in plastic bags/zip pouches in the vegetable container of the refrigerator.
Preparation and serving methods
Before cooking, remove discolored and loosen outer leaves and the stems are trimmed. Wash in clean water and then, soak for few minutes in salt water to remove any dust particles and insect’s eggs.
Fresh sprouts are delicate in flavor, however overcooking results in the release of allyl isothiocyanates imparting sulphurous odour (pungent smell) to cooked recipes. Therefore, sprouts are generally blanched in boiling water for just about 5 minutes, cooled and then added to the recipes.
Here are some serving tips:
Sprouts can be cooked by boiling, microwaving or steaming.
Roasted and salted sprouts are one of favorite snacks across Europe.
Blanched sprouts are braised/ mixed with other vegetables like carrot, green beans or mushrooms.
Used as favorite add on in chicken casseroles.
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