Bring on the Brussel Sprouts!

Bring on the Brussel Sprouts!

Food TalkIf you were anything like me as a child, Brussels sprouts were one of the vegetables that made their way to the side of the plate as fast as possible in hopes that I’d never have to touch them.  Even if I had been told of all their superior health benefits, I would’ve done anything to get them into the trash can.  The thing that I’ve realized as an adult is that they can be incredibly tasty and the texture is amazing!

 

Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous vegetable family.  They provide incredible detoxification benefits for our cells and DNA which allows us to stay healthy and prevent disease.  In order to get these protective health benefits, you should eat a minimum of 2-3 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week, making each serving at least 1 ½ cups in size.

 

It’s important to chop the Brussels sprouts in half or in quarters so they cook in less time.  If you overcook the Brussels sprouts you will negate some of the nutritional value you want from the vegetable.  Once they are chopped, let the Brussels sprouts sit for at least five minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities.  You can then steam them for 5 minutes, roast them as suggested in the recipe below, sauté them in coconut oil or butter, or shave the Brussels sprouts and add them to your salad for a crunchy treat.

 

Brussels sprouts provide protection against cancer by working with three key areas of the body: the detoxification system, the antioxidant system and the inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system.  When there is a chronic problem with any or all of these systems, the body will be at increased risk for cancer.  All cruciferous vegetables are known to help protect against various cancers, and there are many studies documenting the health effects of consuming Brussels sprouts.  While there are over 80 nutrients found in Brussels sprouts, it is the Glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that provide the cancer protective detoxification in the body.  Brussels sprouts also boast good amounts of vitamins C and A for a detoxifying effect on our cells.

 

To follow up the cancer-protective benefits, you’ll also receive cardiovascular health benefits and your digestive tract will thank you for the 4 grams of fiber it receives from each one cup serving you enjoy.

 

So bring on the Brussels sprouts!  Get the kids involved, have them help you wash and, if old enough, chop the Brussels sprouts.  The more they can be involved, the more apt they’ll be to give it a try.  In time, the whole family will enjoy them; just take it one bite at a time.

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