There has been some increasing demands for fruit and vegetables due to their high nutritive contents. During the World Health Organisation 3rd Biennial 5-A-Day International Symposium, Dr Derek Yach suggested the need for everyone to strive towards eating more fruit and vegetables as a fundamental approach for tackling certain chronic diseases.
Almost all fruit and vegetables count towards 5-A-DAY however, one of such vegetables of huge interests and popularity is the Brussels sprout. Peradventure you are keen on knowing more about this vegetable, here's why you actually need Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts, which are biologically known as Brassica oleracea var Gemmifera belong to the plant family of Cruciferae and a group of plants known as the Cole crops.
The Brussels sprouts measure approximately 0.98 to 1.6 inches in diameter and have the physical appearance of tiny cabbages. The Brussels sprout is originally from Brussels, which suggests how the name of this vegetable was derived. It is also popular in Rome, Belgium, Netherlands and has presently spread to other parts of the world such as United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia etc.
Brussels sprouts thrive best in cooler temperate regions at the temperature ranges of 59 to 64 °F and 45 to 75 °F. The sprouts usually grow in the form of miniature buds in helical patterns across the side of thick, long stalks of about 24 to 47 inches height. Cultivated Brussels sprouts are best harvested within 90 to 180 days of being planted. Each Brussels sprout stalk can yield from 1.1 to 1.4 kilogram per stalk. Matured sprouts are best harvested between September to March, which makes them an ideal winter vegetables for cold-weather Brussels sprouts recipe.
The point is that several studies have reported an increasing need for everyone to consume more Cruciferous vegetables because they are highly essential for preventing cancerous diseases especially colorectal cancer. Among the popular types of cruciferous vegetables are Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, rutabaga, broccoli, cabbage, collard, turnips and mustard. Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of natural antioxidant and it is worthy to note that eating a balanced amount of antioxidant rich vegetables is a direct passport for a healthier you. Moreover, the Brussels sprouts are rich sources of glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds that release their distinctive pungent smell and flavorful taste.
Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
1. Protection Against Cancer
Brussels sprouts contain sulforaphane, which is a phytochemical that fights against cancer. But it is noteworthy that boiling this vegetable lessens their sulforaphane level however, stir frying and steaming do not lead to any significant losses. Brussels sprouts also contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that defends the body against cancers of the larynx, oesophagus and cancers of the mouth.
2. Brussels sprouts Nutrition
Raw Brussels sprouts are rich source of vitamin K, flavonoids, vitamin C, benzoic acids, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, dietary fibre, tocotrienols, cinnamic acids, vitamin B6, carotenoids, tocopherols, essential minerals and B vitamins such as folic acid. These are all essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for the healthy functioning of our body systems.
3. Anti-oxidizing Properties of the Brussels Sprouts
Antioxidants are molecules that can inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Being an antioxidant, Brussels sprouts play significant role in defending the body systems against reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are toxic byproducts produced during normal cell aerobic respiration. Increasing the intake of Brussels sprouts facilitates the normal physiological functioning of a living system, thereby protecting the body systems and cells against any potential reactive oxygen species.
4. Skin Care
Brussels sprouts contain antioxidants, which helps to maintain healthier and glowing skin with a more youthful tone. Brussels sprouts also exhibit anti-aging effects on the skin.
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts
1. To cook the Brussels sprouts, firstly cut the buds off the stalk as well as the stem.
2. Peel and discard any loose surface leaves.
3. Then cook the buds by either steaming, stir frying, roasting, boiling or grilling. Brussel sprouts recipes include; roasted brussel sprouts, baked brussel sprouts, grilled brussel sprouts, baked brussel sprouts, caramelized Brussels sprouts, steamed brussel sprouts, sauteed brussel sprouts, pickled brussel sprouts and brussel sprouts with bacon etc.
N:B - Avoid overcooking as this causes the vegetables to be too softened thereby changing the color to gray with strong pungent flavor. The pungent odor is as a result of the present of glucosinolate sinigrin, which is an organic compound that contains sulfur.
How to Store Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can be stored and preserved for a longer time-frame by freezing. Due to the seasonality of this vegetable and the convenience of reach, frozen Brussels sprouts are easily obtainable all year round. The storage process of the Brussels sprouts involves selecting the vegetables, peeling, cutting, washing, blanching, pre-freezing treatments and then freezing.
Side Effect of Brussels Sprouts
Excessive consumption of Brussels sprouts is not advisable for individuals taking anticoagulants because they contain vitamin K, which contributes to blood clotting.
Having read through this post, it will be highly appreciated if you leave your opinion or ask related questions in the comment section. Every opinion counts!!!
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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